From all of us at Misty Fjords Air, we wish to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and close friends that were affected by the tragic events of May 13th and 20th 2019. Our thoughts and prayers will forever be with you all as we are only left with the cherished memory of the loved and lost.
On behalf of the community of Ketchikan, we would like to thank the United States Coast Guard, TEMSCO Helicopters and all emergency response teams for their efforts.
Since our inception in 1981, Misty Fjords Air continues to maintain an accident/incident free history. We regard your safety as our absolute priority.
The corner stone of our safety program is conducting Flight Risk Assessments prior to each departure. After these risk assessments are completed, we ascertain whether the weather conditions are within our high standards for safety and tour quality. The FAA designates strict guidelines for minimums of weather that flights can operate in. If the weather is below these levels, the flight is terminated before departure and passengers are fully refunded.
The Pilots at Misty Fjords Air are full-time Alaska Residents who have advanced knowledge of Misty Fjords National Monument. They are some of the most experienced Pilots in Southeast Alaska and frequently fly their friends and family on our tours. They are veterans of the Alaskan skies and together have accrued over 133,000 accident and incident-free flight hours, which equates to more than 15 years spent in the air. They operate flights with the utmost safety concerns from the time they step on the plane until the flight is completed and back at our location.
Lastly, out of 300+ airline operators Statewide, Misty Fjords Air is one of only 10 Medallion Shield Carrier Members, along with such other prestigious companies as Alaska Airlines. The Medallion Foundation is a voluntary organization made up of aviation Experts and Professionals who want to increase safety in the Alaskan aviation industry. The Shield is made up of 5 stars, which are the cornerstones of the foundation and are only earned through implementing a higher level of safety than the Federal Aviation Administration requires. Misty Fjords Air passed these 5 audits and was awarded Shield status in 2014, and has continued to maintain this level of safety integrity through 2019. We are currently operating at a higher level of safety than the FAA requires for airlines.
You can check out more on the Medallion Foundation at www.medallionfoundation.org.
Misty Fjords National Monument is truly spectacular, and we would encourage anyone who comes to Ketchikan not to miss out on this experience. We are available at any time to answer any questions or safety concerns and we hope to see you on your tour to the Misty Fjords.
Voluntary in nature, the Medallion Foundation Shield Program® focuses on establishing and sustaining an elevated level of safety performance through the application of system safety and safety management system principles. Each of the Five Stars represents the cornerstones of the Medallion Shield. The culmination of all the star cornerstones, an operator who is eligible for the Shield is evaluated on engagement and support of the corporate safety culture by company management and front-line employees to determine if the concepts associated with the Stars are successfully incorporated into day-to-day company operations. Audits are conducted annually by Medallion’s independent auditors to ensure the applicant is maintaining the required Medallion standards.
THE CAPSTONE PROGRAM
The Capstone Program is a joint industry and FAA Alaskan Region effort to improve aviation safety and efficiency by putting cost effective, new technology avionics equipment into aircraft and providing the supporting ground infrastructure. The demonstration areas are non-radar environments where most of the air carrier operations have been limited to Visual Flight Rules. Capstone is equipping aircraft used by commercial operators in the area with a government-furnished Global Positioning System (GPS) based avionics package. In addition to the avionics suites, Capstone is deploying equipment for weather observation, data link communications, surveillance, and Flight Information Services (FIS). Capstone has also increased the number of airports served by an instrument approach and now enables radar-like IFR air traffic control services.
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA)
The Federal Aviation Administration is a federal agency that oversees the National Aerospace System and aviation industry. Under the broad umbrella of safety and efficiency, they have several major roles. The FAA issues and regulates civil aviation to promote safety and end enforces minimum standards covering manufacturing, operating, and maintaining aircraft. The agency encourages and develops civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology, and develops and operates a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft. In addition, the FAA develops air traffic rules, assigns the use of airspace, and controls air traffic.
UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE (USFS)
Founded in 1905, the mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Misty Fjords Air has operated under the U.S. Forest Special Use Service Permit since 1996. Adhering to this permit requires a stringent safety plan, including emergency equipment and rescue procedures, and planned environmental protection procedures and stipulations for all wildlife. All floatplane operators must function under the guidelines set by the USFS, and any violation must be reported. In addition, all passengers flying within Misty Fiords National Monument must be informed that they are touring on National Forest lands.