'Flying Wild Alaska' star Jim Tweto dies in plane crash

Tweto and his family-run airline, Era Alaska, were the centre of the Discovery Channel series that ran for three seasons from 2011-2012. 
Jim Tweto. (Photo | Instagram @Ariel Tweto)
Jim Tweto. (Photo | Instagram @Ariel Tweto)

LOS ANGELES:  Jim Tweto, known for his starring role in Discovery's 'Flying Wild Alaska', died in a plane crash on Friday.

Alaska State Troopers shared the unfortunate news via a statement, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

As per the statement, Tweto and passenger Shane Reynolds, a hunting and fishing guide from Orofino, Idaho, crashed about 35 miles northeast of the coastal village of Shaktoolik.

"The Cessna 180 aircraft was witnessed taking off but not climbing and then crashing," the statement read. State troopers were initially notified of an SOS activation at 11:48 a.m. and then reports of a plane crash.

Jim Tweto was 68.

Troopers who responded from Nome recovered the two bodies, according to the report. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.

Tweto and his family-run airline, Era Alaska, were the centre of the Discovery Channel series that ran for three seasons from 2011-2012. The show followed the family as they battled Alaska's weather and terrain to transport necessities to remote areas.

Tweto's daughter Ariel took to Instagram and mourned his demise.

"I didn't think anything could hurt this bad. ... And I'd take any other type of pain if he could just land today," she wrote. "My dad and a wonderful hunting guide and friend of our family passed away this afternoon in his 180. He died doing what he truly loved and is now with Uncle Ron up there soaring," Ariel's post read.

Ariel also added a link to a GoFundMe page to collect funds for Jim's memorial. The page aims to collect USD 80,000.

Fans also paid their heartfelt condolences.

"Really sorry to hear about your dad. I've heard nothing but great things from pilots that knew him," a social media user commented.

His bio on the Discovery Channel website states that he used to split his time between college classes, hockey practice, and flying. He later acquired his pilot's license and moved to Unalakleet in 1980, where he began to build fishing boats.

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