ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A local air carrier will once again offer passenger service in Bush Alaska after switching to cargo-only flights in the wake of deadly crash more than 25 years ago.
In mid-May, Ryan Air announced that it will schedule passenger services to remote areas of the state.
Wilfred Ryan Sr. started the air service under the name of "Unalakleet Air Taxi" in 1953 and the business is currently run by Wilfred Ryan, Jr.
After seeing many changes over the last 60 years, the company will begin scheduled passenger service to six rural communities including: Kalskag, Russian Mission, Holy Cross, Anvik and Shageluk.
As Ryan Air readies itself for more options for communities in rural Alaska, it's also a time of reflection for those who have been connected to the family-owned company during its toughest times.
Lee Ryan, Vice President and chief pilot of Ryan Air, says he was just a kid on November 23, 1987 when an overloaded Beech 1900 plane crashed near Homer, killing 16 people and leaving 3 seriously injured.