In the summer of 1988, Coastal Helicopters began as a division of Alaska Coastal Airlines providing services to the US Forest Service using a Bell Jet Ranger.
In the fall of that year, Jim Wilson joined the company and began flying air taxi jobs in the winter months. He generated additional business and as a result a second helicopter, a Bell 206B, was purchased and Jim became a partner in the company. Later that same year Jim and Dot Wilson purchased all assets of Alaska Coastal Helicopters and became Coastal Helicopters, Inc. In 1996, Jim became the first Alaskan since 1960 to receive the Helicopter Association International ‘Pilot of the Year’ award.
Our primary objective is to support local business and industry in Air Taxi / Charter flying. Coastal provides air support for the local power company with over 45 miles of remote power lines. This often requires hovering in close proximity to the power lines and towers in adverse weather conditions to aid in troubleshooting line problems. The telephone company also requires helicopter assistance for the maintenance and repair of mountain top repeaters throughout SE Alaska that provide telephones to most of the small villages and a myriad of small boats. Coastal Helicopters also provides logistical support for the mining community in the form of transporting crews and geologists to remote areas for research and development and to transport supplies. Additionally, we conduct airborne geophysical and electronic survey work.
We continue to grow as the demand increases in the areas of tourism and heli-skiing. Our focus in the visitor industry is to provide professional and exciting tour opportunities to individuals or groups of independent travelers. Where we can supply that support in a safe environment without adversely impacting the local community, it is our intention to do so. Today the Coastal Helicopters fleet consists of two (2) Jet Rangers and eleven (11) Aerospatiale AStars.