KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Talkeetna Airport Improvements Questions and Answers

Monday, August 8, 2016

This is from the Alaska DOT&PF:

Talkeetna Airport Q&A


Landing in Alaska with Carl Thomas

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Carl and Brenda Thomas at their home south of Talkeetna.

Carl and Brenda Thomas at their home south of Talkeetna. Photo:  Katie Writer

Talkeetna’s history is full of aviators. Most pilots today know of Carl Thomas, or at least of his private airstrip, Carl’s Landing. KTNA’s Katie Writer, an aviator herself, spoke with Carl Thomas and his wife Brenda about their lives in Talkeetna.


by:  Katie Writer–KTNA, Talkeetna

One of Talkeetna’s colorful aviators, Carl Thomas, maintains his own airplanes while his active lifestyle maintains his youthful 82 year old spirit.

Carl and his adventurous wife, Brenda moved to Talkeetna in 1986 and established Carl’s Landing, a private airstrip south of town.

Carl served in the US Air Force as a jet engine mechanic all over the world. The need for reciprocating engine mechanics brought him to Elmendorf Air Force Base to work on the C-130’s.

“I retired in ’76…I was in the military for twenty-two-and-a-half years.”

At a young age, Carl’s desire to be a flyer started with model airplanes, where he learned aerodynamics and theories of flight from the ground. He daringly taught himself how to fly solo before accepting the offer of having a flight instructor check him out. Shortly thereafter, he purchased his first airplane, which he kept at the picturesque Vermont dairy farm where he worked. From then on, Carl knew he would fly his entire life. (more…)

No Injuries Reported in Upper Valley Aircraft Incident

Monday, March 9, 2015

On Sunday afternoon, a Piper Super Cub crashed on takeoff near Mile 95 of the Parks Highway.  State Troopers say the report of the incident came in around 4:30 pm.  The pilot, 46 year old Toby Ashley of Idaho, was preparing for takeoff when his plane hit a rut in the runway.  That caused the right wing of his plane to strike a berm.  The plane suffered significant damage, but Troopers say Ashley was uninjured.  The FAA and NTSB were notified of the incident.

Talkeetna Community Council Notes from January 5th Meeting

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

This story has been updated to better reflect the Mat-Su Borough’s role in the float plane lease program on Christiansen Lake.

On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors held its regular monthly meeting.  Most of the discussion centered around float planes on Christiansen Lake, but other topics got attention as well, including flood mitigation and nuisance beavers.

On the issue of flooding, the board noted on Monday that the process of including East Talkeetna in the Talkeetna Flood Service Area is making progress.  Currently, all of Talkeetna east of the railroad tracks is not covered under the Mat-Su Borough’s flood service area.  That means that the borough cannot currently allocate funds or conduct any work on flood control in the area.  The issue is in the hands of the borough clerk, and will ultimately require a vote by all residents of both East Talkeetna and the current flood service area. (more…)

Going My Way? Writer Attempts Aerial Hitchhike from Key West to Barrow

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amber Nolan upon arrival in Tok, Alaska. www.JetHiking.com

In Talkeetna, a writer is looking to hitch a ride to Point Barrow.  She doesn’t want to go by ground, however.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:


At KTNA, we often have people contact us asking for help finding a ride.  Normally, it’s someone needing to get to town for an appointment or looking for a ride to the airport.  On Wednesday, a very different kind of ride-seeker walked through our doors.

MANNING: So, you’re hitchhiking by plane, trying to reach all fifty states?


That’s Amber Nolan.  She’s a travel writer who has been hitching rides on private aircraft for the better part of two years.  Her goal for this leg of her journey is to make it from Key West, Florida, to Point Barrow, Alaska.  Amber says her work has taken her all over the world, but she had not seen as much of America as she would like, so she decided to start traveling. (more…)

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Building an Alaskan life: A decade to cherish, by Katie Writer

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This article by

Talkeetna pilot and mother Katie Writer

  was published this month

in Aviation for Women magazine.

(Text and photos follow audio, 12 min 37 sec)

Katie Writer-Building an Alaskan Life- A Decade to Cherish 7-27-14

 Earlier this year I hit the ten-year mark of moving to Alaska for my first flying job. I recall the unknown of a new adventure being somewhat daunting. As a newly certified flight instructor, the responsibility of teaching others how to fly floatplanes in Alaska required professionalism beyond the years of flight training. Thinking back, I could have easily been stalled by fear of the unknown. (more…)

Close Encounter Between Plane and Whale in Southeast Goes Viral

Friday, July 18, 2014

by: Greta Mart, KCAW – Sitka

A 48-second YouTube video catching the swift reactions of a Sitka floatplane pilot went viral this past week. KCAW’s Greta Mart tracked down the pilot and the man who took the video to bring us the full story of how a routine flight in Southeast Alaska made waves on news programs and websites around the world.


“…And a close call for the pilot of a pontoon plane in Alaska who just narrowly missed landing right on a humpback whale near Angoon…take a look here you’ll see just before the plane hits the water, the pilot then pulls up and then lands safely a few feet later…”

“My name is Rob Murray. I’m chief pilot at Harris Air in Sitka.”

On the morning of July tenth, Murray was flying four passengers into the small Southeast community of Angoon, coming down for a landing in Mitchell Bay.

“I didn’t see the whale…I was definitely looking right at the spot where the whale turned out to be…the first thing that I saw was just before touchdown was the spray, so thank god the whale decided to exhale because that is what I saw.” (more…)

Super Cub Crash Near Talkeetna Results in Minor Injuries

Monday, September 9, 2013

On Saturday evening, Alaska State Troopers received a call from the passenger of a Super Cub that had crashed into a lake twenty-five miles east of Talkeetna.  Troopers say the plane was being flown by Sheila Perskalla of Wasilla when she had difficulty landing the plane, and it went into the lake.  The passenger, David Akers of Palmer, called the Troopers.  The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted, and both the pilot and passenger were rescued.  Pierskalla suffered minor injuries.  Both she and Akers were transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

Overflights Council assesses aircraft influence in Denali Park

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Denali Aircraft Advisory Council met last week to review information gathered during the last season of activity inside Denali National Park, and to what extent aviation had an impact on the wilderness experience of park users.

The Council was established 6 years ago to help establish voluntary best-practices to minimize noise disturbances within the park. At their most recent quarterly meeting, the council heard a number of reports from soundscape researchers, as well as representatives from user groups who had gathered information on how well the current air-traffic patterns for flight-seeing and back-country taxi services had coincided with the Park Services goals of minimal noise disturbance. (more…)