A beloved reality TV star and bush plane pilot has died in a devastating light plane crash that killed two, Alaska State Troopers said.
Jim Tweto, who starred in the Discovery Channel series Flying Wild Alaska, died along with passenger Shane Reynolds shortly after takeoff from a small Alaskan village on Friday.
Tweet The 68-year-old runs a rural aviation business in Unalakleet and was introduced on the series a decade ago, the AP reports.
His death was acknowledged by his heartbroken daughter Ariel, who wrote an emotional Instagram post saying the talented pilot died doing what he loved.
“I didn’t think anything could do so much harm,” she wrote in im post.
“And I don’t know why I’m writing this, but the news is out, so I thought you’d hear it from me.”
Reynolds is a close family friend and was remembered by Ariel as a talented hunting and fishing guide.
“Please greet both of you and my mother, my sisters and his wife and family,” Ariel wrote.
The two were found dead near the coastal village of Shaktoolik, about 200 kilometers east of Nome, Alaska State Troopers said in a statement.
Rescuers received reports of an SOS activation around 11:48 a.m. Friday before learning that a Cessna 180 had crashed.
Witnesses watched the propeller plane successfully take off from the airport while the third member of their fighter party watched in horror as the plane crashed, police spokesman Tim DeSpain said Saturday Anchorage Daily News.
The bodies were recovered later in the day.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the crash along with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The organizations await passage through a storm system before dispatching representatives to investigate the tragic site.
Ariel also shared a now heartbreaking text conversation the two had before his death, which showed how close they were.
Apparently she had just flown to the airport and was picked up by Tweto.
The daughter apologized to her father and said she was still waiting for her checked baggage.
“I’ll wait until hell freezes over if I have to,” said the dedicated father.
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