Famed bush pilot Jim Tweto and Idaho guide die in Western Alaska plane crash

An Idaho outdoor guide and Unalakleet bush pilot, Jim Tweto, perished Friday in a Western Alaska plane crash that also killed him. 

In an online update, Alaska State Troopers said they got an SOS activation at 11:48 a.m. Friday and a report that a Cessna 180 had crashed 35 miles northeast of Shaktoolik.

“The aircraft was witnessed taking off but not climbing and then crashing,” troopers said late Friday night. 

The agency later learned that Tweto, 68, and 45-year-old passenger Shane Reynolds from Orofino, Idaho, were dead. 

Saturday, troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said a third hunter who stayed on the ground witnessed the jet crash.

Nome troopers found both men's bodies Friday. Troopers informed relatives and sent the men's bodies to Anchorage's State Medical Examiner's Office.

 Saturday, Alaska NTSB chief Clint Johnson said the NTSB and FAA are investigating the tragedy. 

He added the NTSB will send airframe manufacturer and FAA representatives to Nome. 

After a storm system passes, the team will go to the crash site by helicopter. 

Ariel Tweto stated on Instagram that Tweto and "a wonderful hunting guide and friend of our family" perished Friday in her father's Cessna 180. 

Reynolds, who ran Northwest Fishing Expeditions, was a longtime guide in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Gina and their Idaho daughter survive Reynolds.

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