Russian Mission, AK


My job sent me to Russian Mission, AK. I flew out there with a stop in Bethel.

The flights from Anchorage to a regional hub are usually on a “big” plane – 30 passenger seats or so. In this case, I flew on a Ravn Aviation Bombardier Dash 8-100.

Once in Bethel, we switched planes to a Ravn Aviation Cessna 207B. When you buy a ticket on such a flight, you’re assisting the Bypass Mail program – the plane won’t fly without a ticketed passenger, and when it does fly, the passengers are jammed in with a bunch of cargo (mail), most of the time. For many villages in rural Alaska, there wouldn’t be any air or mail service without Bypass Mail.

This also means that most flights are “milk run” flights. We stopped in Marshall and let some passengers and cargo off before we flew around a mountain to drop me off in Russian.

As you can see in the video below, though, I got lucky. There probably wasn’t much mail service the day I was flying, since there wasn’t much cargo in our plane.

On trips like this to rural Alaska, most of the time you’ll be put up in the village school or something similar. In Russian Mission, the extra bunk space is in their city jail. They didn’t lock me in! 🙂


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