Alaskan Instructor Wins Martha King Scholarship


A 43-year-old Alaska woman who literally grew up in the aviation business is paying it forward with a company that specializes in mentoring young people from isolated communities in aviation careers. At a news briefing from King Schools at Sun ‘n Fun 2024, Jamie Klaes noted she began CKT Aviation after the unexpected death of her native Alaskan brother, naming it after him. Their parents operated a small charter company from their hometown of Bettles, which is only accessible by air or dogsled. CKT, based in Anchorage, works with Alaska Excel, which provides academic and technical education for rural Alaska youth.

“We are now working with almost 20 remote school districts to offer introductory courses into aviation,” she told King Schools. “Upon graduating, high school students are offered internships at local air taxis while they continue their training.” More than 90% of graduates stay in Alaska to pursue their aviation careers, a fact that makes Klaes especially proud. The scholarship is handed out in partnership with Women of Aviation International and includes $5,000 for flight training and lifetime access to all of King Schools’ resource materials, valued at $14,120.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Always nice to read life affirming stories recognizing people who quietly give or give back in aviation.