Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Orin Seybert

Orin Seybert

Orin Seybert was born in 1936 and moved to Pilot Point, Alaska when he was thirteen years old when his parents got jobs at the local school. At age fourteen, Orin participated in the last year of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery using sailboats and remembers when power was allowed to be used. As a teenager, he became interested in flying and obtained his pilot's license. After flying back and forth from Pilot Point to Chignik Lagoon while courting his future wife, Jenny, Orin decided to start his own flying business to provide transportation between communities and for people needing to get to the hospital at Kanakanek. He founded Peninsula Airways, known as PenAir, in 1956 at the age of nineteen, and eventually was flying workers in and out of the canneries for seasonal work, as well as transporting groceries, mechanical parts, and other supplies. Orin also used his skills to fly federal biologists around the region who were doing stream surveys and counting fish from the air. For more about Orin Seybert and his long career of flying in Bristol Bay, see his book, You breathe. I fly. (Anchorage, Alaska: Northern Printing Company, 2017).

Orin Seybert appears in the following new Jukebox projects: