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Jimmix Samuelson
Jimmix Samuelson
Jimmix Samuelson talks about learning to fly, getting his pilot's license, and starting his flight service company - Jimmix Flying Service. He also talks about some of his scary experiences and using what's available to fix a hole in an airplane.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2011-27-02

Project: Bethel Communities of Memory
Date of Interview: Jan 26, 1996
Narrator(s): Jimmix Samuelson
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Alaska Humanities Forum
Alternate Transcripts
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Learning to fly

Getting pilot's license

Strange happenings while flying

Using bear fat to patch a hole in an airplane

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Barry Toelken: How did you guys learn to fly. Did you learn from other guys. Pick it up locally.

Jimmix Samuelson: We did for a while. Then I went to Fairbanks and took flying lessons and I soloed in 3 and a half hours.

Diane Carpenter: Jimmix, how did you get your flight service started?

Jimmix Samuelson: Well I was flying for Alaska Airlines for four and a half years. The boss and I didn't get along because they rented my airplane from me and I was making more money than he was.

And so I got fired so I, when I got fired, Ray Miller said I'm going into Anchorage tomorrow with the Norseman, to ferry it in.

So he says, come on with me. And I went back in and they wanted me to go flying again.

But I never did. Then I just went over and got my certificate and I bought an airplane, a Pacer and got started.

Barry Toelken: What's the strangest thing that ever happened to you while you were flying?

Jimmix Samuelson: Well, I don't know. I went up for an emergency one time to -- to Nightmute.

And it was really windy out there and they came out with a snow-go and brought the woman and a kid in.

On the way back the weather turned bad and I was flying along and pretty soon I felt my skis touching the bottom.

Man this was awful close.

Buck Bukowski: Smooth landing.

Jimmix Samuelson: I didn't land. I just came on in to Bethel. But, I didn't realize I was that low.

Do you remember that time I punched a hole up at Stoney?

And then you had a piece of bear fat.

Then, I couldn't patch it, so we put it against there and put a willow on it and I used it for a whole month.