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Alaska Day Festival Events - 2011

Thursday, October 13

Slide show and panel discussion: 6:30pm

In collaboration with the ALASKA DAY FESTIVAL COMMITTEE, the presentation will focus on Sitka's aviation history. Free and Open to the Public.

Aviation Exhibit: 6:30 pm

Exhibit includes:

  • Historic Aviation Photos from Sitka and Region
  • Aircraft Models
  • Artifacts and Memorabilia

Annual Meeting: 7:00 pm

Call to Order

Jerry Dzugan, President

Annual Report

Bob Medinger, Executive Director
Jackie Fernandez, Curator of Collections & Exhibits

Alaska Coastal Ellis PBY Catalina approaching Sitka turnaround in 1959Election of Board of Directors by the Membership

Isabel Miller Award
Volunteer of the Year Award

Aviation History Presentation: 7:30 pm

Aviation History Presentation - Sitka and Southeast Style

by Bill Foster, Bob Medinger, Andrew Miller-SMHS

Panel Discussion

Sabra Jenkins, daughter of Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis was a bush pilot and founder of Ellis Air Lines which eventually merged with Alaska Coastal and Alaska Airlines. He was known to scores of tiny Southeast villages as the world's greatest airline president. Bob was a 2004 Inductee into the Alaska Aviation Museum Hall of Fame.
world flyerJim Johnson
Jim came to Alaska Airlines from Alaska Coastal where he became Sr VP of Public Affairs. He became the airlines "Mr. Alaska" (the equivalent to ambassador to another country). Jim was so popular that Petersburg (his hometown) named its airport after him.
Ken Bellows
Operator of Air Sitka. Air Sitka is currently in operation at the original homestead here in Sitka, which includes FlyInn Fishing Lodge. Ken, with over 40,000 hours in flight and over 40 years piloting float planes in Alaska, is one of Southeast's most experienced pilots.
world flyerBud Rude
Bud has a long history with PBY's and once owned 12 of these aircraft. His "Flying Fireman" operation used the aircraft as water bombers for forest fires. Currently, he is the owner of the PBY 6A Catalina Flying Boat (we are attempting to get FAA approval to have this plane visit Sitka as part of our aviation history focus). Bud was a pilot in Alaska from 1948 to the mid 70's acquiring 40,000 hours in flight. Nearly 80 years old, he piloted many classic historical airplanes of a by gone era, such as Norseman, WACO, Gullwing, PBY Catalina Flying Boat, Grumman Goose, Widgeon, Mallard, H216, Sikorsky Flying Boat S42, DC-3, C-46, DC-6, DC-7, Beech 18 and numerous Cessna and Beaver models.

Friday, October 14th - Coast Guard Hanger: 6:30pm

Sitka Naval Operating Base

WWII and the PBY Catalina Flying Boat

Early Civil Aviation

SE & Sitka Coast Guard Aviation History

by Matt Hunter, Lance Leone, Bob Medinger

Panel Discussion

Bud Rude (PBY Owner, Pilot) Bud knew or worked with the giants of Alaska aviation history, including Bob Ellis, Noel & Sig Wien, Bob & Dick Reeve, Don Sheldon, Mudhole Smith, the Nicholsons from Bethel, Shell Simmons, the Davis Brothers, and others.

Lt. Lance Leone Lt. Leone, a helicopter pilot, has served in the Coast Guard for more than 9 years. Lance is the recipient of numerous Coast Guard Commendations & Awards.


Beaver aircraft on exhibit via Harris Air, and possibly Bud Rude's PBY. (NOTE: We are still waiting for an FAA permit approval for Bud Rude's PBY Catalina Flying Boat to visit Sitka, and are hopeful this historic aircraft will be allowed to fulfill the following schedule. If we get approval, we will announce the success via KCAW/KIFW, the Sentinel, and Email.)

Saturday - October 15th - Coast Guard Hanger

PBY Catalina on exhibit 11:00 am - 2:30 pm

Flying Demonstration @ 3:00 pm
(and possible channel landing & roll-out at UAS/Sitka Ramp)

Sitka Aviation Events - National News!

1923 Naval Flight- First Plane in Sitka
1924 Round the World Flyers
1926 Naval Mapping Expedition
1929 Russian Flying Boat
Charlie Paddock, Fastest Human, Goose Crash - WWII Death
Ellis Airlines - Coastal Aviation - Alaska Airlines
The Turnaround and Airport Construction
NW Airliner water ditching - crash Sitka Sound in 1962