The Helio Courier is designed for short field operations.
Al Wright began flying in the 1940’s. He was involved with various aviation endeavors including: Nenana Air Service, Fort Yukon Air, and Wien Airlines. Al was also a registered Big Game Guide. He began Wright Air Service in Fairbanks in 1966, servicing Interior Alaska with a Cessna 180 and a Piper PA-14. The majority of the flights were made on floats in the summer and on skis in the winter. The tradition of Al Wright’s excellent flight history has earned him the dedication of Minto Airport.
Bob Bursiel, current owner, began flying for Wright Air Service in 1968. Shortly after that, a few more aircraft were added to the Wright Air fleet. A Cessna 206 and a Twin Aero Commander 680 were acquired in 1969; and in the 1970’s, the company added Helio Couriers, Piper Aztecs and Navajos. They used the Helio Couriers for short fields and game surveys, and the twin engine aircraft were utilized in support of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction. Along with Bob, several other pilots and employees have been with the company since the 60’s and 70’s as well.
Bob Bursiel became owner of Wright Air Service in 1982. Shortly thereafter, the company began scheduled service in 1986 from Fairbanks to villages in Northern Interior Alaska, carrying passengers, mail and freight. The next milestone came when the company acquired a Cessna Grand Caravan in 1991, becoming the first air service to operate the Grand Caravan in Alaska. Today, the company is operating 8 Grand Caravans, 3 Navajos, 3 Helio Couriers, 2 Cessna 206’s and a Beechcraft Bonanza. With 16 pilots, 10 mechanics and 34 support staff; they have become a sizable business over the last 4 decades! At the same time, they remain a traditionally family friendly company toward its customers and employees.
The continuing success of Wright Air can be contributed to its commitment to safety in all its operations. It is their intention to maintain and operate with the highest of safety standards. Employees must operate within the scope of all Company policies and FAA regulations. It is the specific direction of Wright Air that Safety have the highest priority in all operations.
Thus, in spite of the many challenges to providing reliable air transportation in Interior Alaska such as extreme cold weather and variable loads, Wright Air continues its tradition of flight excellence. Wright Air now carries more than 20,000 passengers a year on their scheduled flights and a growing volume of freight, while continuing to serve the many diverse needs of its chartered air customers.