Wrangell Mountain Air is an FAA approved Air Taxi based at McCarthy, Alaska, near the geographic center of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. From May to October we operate six professionally maintained aircraft, all equipped with intercoms and individual passenger headsets that allow conversation and narration by the pilot during the flight.
Our office staff is friendly and experienced in sorting out the details of your Alaska vacation itinerary, especially when it comes to Wrangell-St. Elias. Whether planning a day excursion to Kennicott, extended stay in the area, a backcountry trip or arranging transportation to Kennicott and McCarthy, take advantage of our long time experience and knowledge. We can help you customize your trip to fit your schedule and budget and are happy to share our knowledge of other areas of Alaska.
From your first contact to the day you board one of our airplanes, we are committed to making your visit in McCarthy the highlight of your Alaska trip. Call and talk to one of our staff about including Wrangell-St. Elias in your Alaska vacation plans.
Wrangell Mountain Air Pilots
Our crew of highly experienced Alaskan pilots knows the Park well and are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of the history, geology and landscape of Wrangell-St. Elias. All five of our pilots have thousands of hours of mountain flying experience and many years dedicated to flying in Wrangell-St. Elias and all over the state of Alaska. Flying with some of the best pilots in Alaska ensures you a safe and rewarding experience in Wrangell- St. Elias National Park.
Kelly Bay, Owner and Pilot
Kelly arrived in McCarthy in 1976 and became one of the few year-round residents. Kelly and his wife Natalie started Wrangell Mountain Air in 1992 after managing two other air services and flying for other air taxis and guide services. He has been flying in the Wrangells and other parts of Alaska for 26 years and has held a commercial pilot license since 1984. Kelly is the Director of Operations for Wrangell Mountain Air and has accumulated over 10,000 hours of flying in Wrangell-St Elias and other mountainous regions of Alaska.
Natalie Bay, Owner and Pilot
Natalie started her flying career in the outback of Australia more than 30 years ago. On a visit to Alaska in 1983 she met Kelly and decided to stay. She has flown for bush operations all over the state of Alaska including Yakutat, King Salmon, Cordova and Western Alaska fish spotting. You will see her both in the office and the cockpit. Among other qualification she has a flight instructors rating and is Chief Pilot for Wrangell Mountain Air. 8000 hours as a pilot gives her the experience to keep the operation running smoothly.
Don Welty, Pilot
Don has lived in the Wrangells since 1995. He has 11,000 hours flying in Alaska as well as many hours flying float planes in Prince William Sound and South Central Alaska. Don is an avid outdoorsman and when not flying for Wrangell Mountain Air is usually off exploring Wrangell-St. Elias in his own Super Cub with his family in the summer and winter. Don is very knowledgeable about the geology, flora and fauna of Wrangell-St. Elias and holds a BA in wildlife management. Don serves as chief training pilot for Wrangell Mountain Air and has been with us since 1998.
Martin Boniek, Pilot
Martin hails from Colorado where he is a Professor of Aviation at Aims College during the winter months teaching everything from basic flight instruction to Turbine Transition training in twin engine aircraft. During the summer you will often find Martin flying Wrangell Mountain Air customers in the DeHavilland Beaver, his favorite airplane. Martin has been with the company since 2003 and has over 9000 hrs flight time. When he isn’t flying for Wrangell Mountain Air he usually off on a trip with his family in his own airplane exploring Alaska.
Bill McKinney, Pilot
We talked Bill into flying for us in 2007. He comes with a solid background in aviation, flying for air taxis and lodges around Denali National Park. He started flying by accident in the early 70’s when a mountaineering expedition in Peru turned into a love affair with early hang gliders. One thing led to another; sailplanes then powered flight. In addition to his skills as a pilot (now grey and far more cautious) he still gets out to climb, hike or kayak, preferably with his wife or two grown children. When not conducting one of his informative flightseeing tours, Bill is found working on his cabin outside of McCarthy, or flying his airplane to remote destinations in Wrangell-St. Elias. Bill has accumulated 4500 hours flying amongst the largest mountains in North America.