Jim Tweto, known for his starring role in Discovery’s Flying wild Alaska, died Friday in a minor plane crash, Alaska State Troopers said in a statement. He was 68.
According to the trooper’s report, Tweto and passenger Shane Reynoldsa hunting and fishing guide from Orofino, Idaho, crashed about 35 miles northeast of the coastal town of Shaktoolik.
“The Cessna 180 aircraft witnessed it take off but not climb and then crash,” the statement said. State troops were initially notified of an SOS activation at 11:48 a.m. and then of a plane crash.
Troopers responding from Nome recovered the two bodies, according to the report. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.
Tweto and its family-run airline, Era Alaska, were the centerpiece of the Discovery Channel series that ran for three seasons from 2011-2012. The show followed the family as they battled Alaska’s weather and terrain to transport supplies to remote areas.
According to the Associated PressBorn in Kansas, Tweto grew up in Minnesota before coming to Alaska to play hockey at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He later settled in Unalakleet where he met his wife Ferno. The couple had three daughters who also appeared on the Discovery show.
After news of the crash, his daughter Ariel took it up Instagram to share a sweet message remembering her father. “I didn’t think something could hurt so bad. … And I would endure any other kind of pain if he could land today,” she wrote. “My dad and a great hunting guide and friend of our family passed away this afternoon in his 180. He died doing what he really loved and is now with Uncle Ron up there in the sky.”