James Bradley Tweto

James Bradley Tweto

Nov. 26, 1954 – June 16, 2023

James Bradley Tweto was born in Wichita, Kansas on November 26, 1954 to William and LeNore Tweto.  Jim died in a plane crash on June 16, 2023 in the Nulato Hills doing what he truly loved.

At an early age, Jim moved from Wichita to Silver Bay, Minnesota. He graduated from William Kelly High School in 1973.  Jim was recruited and accepted a scholarship to play hockey at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  There he played as a goalie for two years.  Jim graduated with a welding degree in 1975.

He started his working career with the Army Corps of Engineers; this job took him throughout the state of Alaska, working on various welding projects.  One of his assignments brought him to Shaktoolik where he began building boats for the local fishermen.  From there he moved to Unalakleet, continuing to build boats under the business Gussic Ventures.

Jim began his aviation career with Ryan Air where he met his future wife Ferno. They were married at the North River Bridge sandbar on June 25, 1988.  Jim and Ferno worked together and raised their three daughters in Unalakleet.

Jim continued his aviation career by merging Gussic Ventures with Mike Hageland to form Hageland Aviation.  Eventually Hageland Aviation merged with Frontier Airlines out of Fairbanks, Alaska and together they bought Era Aviation.  This business became the largest 135 carrier in Alaska.

The individuality of Hageland Aviation’s employees and, in particular, the Tweto family led to the creation of Discovery Channel’s “Flying Wild Alaska”.  The show aired for three seasons and allowed Jim to enjoy certain notoriety in the aviation community worldwide.

Jim retired in 2015 which allowed him to spend more time at his beloved camp in Ungalik. He enjoyed trying his hand at gold mining with his nephew Scott, fishing, hiking, stargazing, and moving endless piles of wood.

Despite his retirement and due to his restless nature, Jim returned to flying commercially for his dear friend Jared Cummings’ business Golden Eagle Outfitters.  Besides caring and spending time with his family, Jim had a relentless devotion to serving the rural Alaskan communities.

Jim will be forever remembered for his outstanding work ethic, his generosity and kindness, and his promotion of aviation.  Most importantly was his devotion and love for Ferno and his girls.

Jim is survived by his wife Ferno and daughters Ayla, Ariel and Elaine; brothers Bruce (Ruth) Tweto, John (Karen) Tweto; sisters Susan (Mark) Wegner and Lori Ann (Dan) Regan; brothers in-law Wilfred, (Victoria) Ryan, Adrian (Amy) Ryan and Dennis Ryan; sisters in-law Sue (John) Eckels, Linda (Clarence Jr.) Towarak, Glenda (Jake) Sherman, Pauline Nicoll, Stephanie Ryan (Craig McConnell) and Pam Tweto; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents William James Tweto and LeNore Mary Tweto and brother Ronald James Tweto; uncles Jerome (Barb) Goebel, Leon (Mary) Goebel and Richard (Eileen) Goebel.

The Tweto family is grateful for the love and support following Jim’s passing. 

Your consideration at this difficult time was much appreciated and of great comfort to all of the family. 

Jim leaves behind many friends and family who loved him.  His dazzling smile and generosity will be missed. 






The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112


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