Taking Flight: Ketchikan's Commercial Aviation History : A collaboration with Don 'Bucky' Dawson with support from Chuck and A.J. Slagle to celebrate a century of commercial aviation in Ketchikan

Taking Flight

Ketchikan's Commercial Aviation History by Don 'Bucky' Dawson

Aviation has been a way of life in Ketchikan for 100 years. In celebration of this historic milestone Baranof Fishing Excursions partnered with local aviation photojournalist, author, and historian Don 'Bucky' Dawson to document Ketchikan's commercial aviation history through extensive research and photographs. Companies are listed in chronological order with new pages, detailing the history of each company, released weekly.

We invite you to explore and contribute to the history of commercial aviation in Ketchikan. If you have objects, photos, or stories that might be a good fit for this exhibit or adds information about commercial aviation in Ketchikan, please fill out this form. Click Here to Share More about Aviation in Ketchikan

Special thanks to Don 'Bucky' Dawson for his thorough research and to Chuck and A.J. Slagle for funding and facilitating this important project.


Aviation Companies Available Now on Virtual Exhibit


Upcoming Aviation Companies

  • Pacific Alaska Airways, 1934-1936
  • Aircraft Charter Service, 1935-1941
  • Ketchikan Flying Service, 1936
  • Ellis Air Transport - Ellis Air Lines, 1936-1962
  • Alaska Coastal Airlines, 1939-1962
  • Pan American Airways, 1940
  • Ketchikan Air Service, 1943-1953
  • Totem Air Service, 1947-1950
  • Simpson Air Service, 1947-1970
  • Webber Air Service, 1947-1978
  • Todd's Air Service, 1957-1981
  • Hollenbeak Flying Service, 1958-1961
  • Temsco Helicopters, 1958-Present
  • Alaska Coastal - Ellis Airlines, 1962-1968
  • Tamgass Airways, 1964-1969
  • Ketchikan Air Service, 1966-1997
  • Revilla Flying Service, 1966-1986
  • Alaska Airlines (Seaplane Operations), 1968-1973
  • Alaska Southcoast Airways, 1969-1976
  • Coast-Air, 1971-1975
  • Flair Air, 1973-1979
  • Tyee Airlines, 1975-1985
  • Promech Air, 1976-2016
  • Taquan Air Service, 1977-2000
  • Southeast Alaska Airlines, 1979-1983
  • Westflight Aviation, 1981-1986
  • Misty Fjords Air & Outfitting, 1981-Present
  • Totem Air Service, 1983-1984
  • Temsco Airlines, 1985-c.1991
  • Seaside Air Service, 1989-1996
  • Island Wings Air Service, 1992-Present
  • KenAir, 1992
  • Seaborne Aviation - Alaska, 1992-1994 / 1998-2000
  • Air One, 1997-1999
  • Island Air Express, 1998-Present
  • Carlin Air, 2000-Present
  • Family Air, 2000-Present
  • Taquan Air (Venture Travel LLC), 2000-Present
  • Pacific Airways, 2000-2020
  • Sol Air, 2000
  • RDM Air - Alaska Seaplane Tours - Ketchikan Helicopters, 2000-2020
  • Pirate Airworks, 2001-Present
  • Southeast Aviation, 2002-2021
  • Seawind Aviation, 2004-Present
  • Mountain Air Service, 2011-2019
  • Black Rock Aviation, 2020-Present
  • Helicopter Air Alaska (Ketchikan Operations), 2020-Present


  • Click Here to Start the Exhibit.

    Taking Flight: Ketchikan's Commercial Aviation HistoryEager Beavers, De Havilland Beavers at Tyee Airlines Dock in Ketchikan, AK, 1981 photographed by Don 'Bucky' Dawson

    Westflight Grumman Goose N72PR Unloading Cargo at Smith Cove, AK, 1983 (above) photographed by Don 'Bucky' Dawson