Air Rangers: The Wild Flights of Park Service Pilots

If you can’t control your aircraft in a 30-degree [bank], low enough that you can read a license plate or follow footprints in the desert, you should be in a different business. Weino “Tug” Kangus, NPS pilot

view of pilot from inside a helicopter flying over snowy mountains
Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve fills the windows of an AStar B3 helicopter en route to base camp.

NPS/Martin Parker

Being a pilot for the National Park Service is never dull. The scenery, the varied daily duties, the drama of law enforcement support, the danger of the backcountry, the frequent need to service your own plane. A May 2012 article in Air & Space Magazine spotlights some of the personalities and perils of this most sought after job.