Alaskan Pilots' Reality Featured On Discovery Channel
The Discovery Channel launches a new reality show this month, "Flying Wild Alaska," that follows the adventures of Era Alaska, a family-owned charter company. Era is based in Unalakleet, a small town on the coast near the Bering Strait. During the show's 10 episodes, "the Tweto family battles unforgiving Alaska weather and terrain to transport life's necessities to one of the most remote and extreme regions of America," according to Discovery. The company was founded with just one airplane serving the local area but now comprises nearly 75 aircraft that fly to destinations across the state. The show focuses on the "quirky" and "passionate" members of the Tweto family -- Jim and his wife, Ferno, and their two 20-something daughters, Ayla and Ariel -- but also includes plenty of flying action, with shots of backcountry landings and flights in extreme conditions. "Mostly it's just about flying airplanes in rural Alaska," Jim Tweto told The Alaska Daily News. The series premieres Friday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time.
The Discovery crew worked in Alaska from August to November last year to shoot the program. "Battling minus-40F degree winters and hurricane-like winds for months on end, the intrepid pilots of Era Alaska are among the best in the world," says Discovery. "They combat big storms in small planes -- a scenario only suited for the most experienced, especially with such precious cargo. From champion snow dogs bound for the Iditarod, to medicine for sick children, to groceries for miners working on the North Slope, Era Alaska transports a wide range of goods." Ferno Tweto told ADN the family doesn't receive the Discovery channel at their home, but they plan to watch the program at a neighbor's house. "I'm really pushing to get [a satellite] dish out here," Tweto said.