Nominated for three Emmys, Ketchikan: The Bush Pilots chronicles the history of aviation in Southeast Alaska, from the pioneer bush pilots integral to developing the area to today’s bush pilots who keep commerce humming and communities connected. Through all the industry booms—mining, fishing, logging, tourism—Ketchikan’s storied bush pilots have been a lifeline, serving as scouts, air taxi drivers, medivacs, and the Pony Express all rolled into one. Without them, Ketchikan’s remote neighboring communities would remain distant and sea-locked.
Often called “swashbucklers of the sky,” Ketchikan’s bush pilots are equal parts skilled and safety-conscious, a necessity in SE Alaska, where the weather can pick and roll on a penny. Told by pilots, dispatchers, aviation mechanics, this film is a window into the area’s past and present. Filled with celestial cinematography, the film showcases Ketchikan’s picturesque backyard, a stunning reminder for those who’ve been lucky enough to see it in person and a bucket list prompt for those who haven’t.