Enjoy the Great Outdoors Aboard Our Floatplane in Ketchikan, AK

Plane taking off on waterYou’re excited about all the natural beauty you expect to see on your upcoming trip to Alaska. Whether you get here by cruise ship, airline, or car, be sure to see Ketchikan, AK via floatplane. The view you can get from on high is unparalleled. Imagine flightseeing from up above with unimpeded views of the grandeur below.

Make memories on your trip by booking Alaska flightseeing tours with Pirate Airworks. Our owner and the “pirate” in the name is Kevin Hack, a certified airframe mechanic who has more than 40 years of experience in piloting floatplanes in the Southeast part of the state. Ask him to show you breathtaking landscapes, as well as wildlife -- such as our bear viewing trips. Plus, you can plan an overnight stay through Yes Bay Lodging.

Take a Tour of the Alaskan Wild by Air

As the largest state in the United States by far, there’s a lot of Alaska to see, and no better way to do so than by air. When you charter a flight with our company, you can see a significant portion of the “Misty Fjords” area of the state from the comfort and safety of our floatplane. The area is full of stunning sights and beautiful wildlife, and you’re sure to be in awe of the beauty of our great state. Whether you’re visiting the area on your own or with a cruise, we’re here to make sure your time in Alaska is wonderful.

Convenient Booking and Meeting Procedures

Book a private tour with us and be back to your cruise ship in time for your departure. During our decades of flying clients around Alaska, we’ve never missed a scheduled cruise ship departure. As soon as you know your cruise ship schedule, get in touch with our friendly and dedicated staff to schedule your tour.

In order to keep costs low for you, we do not work with any cruise lines and instead prefer you contact us directly. You may choose one of our set schedules or get in touch with us to discuss your group’s specific needs and work with us to create a custom itinerary.

Safe Pilots and Comfortable Sightseeing Tours

Our pilots have extensive experience flying floatplanes in all conditions. We have a stellar safety record and make sure our planes are maintained to standards far beyond the minimums set by the FAA. When you fly with us, you can relax and enjoy the sites while our flight staff watches out for everyone’s safety.

Contact us today to schedule your flightseeing tour. We proudly serve tourists visiting and locals who live in or near Ketchikan, Alaska.

Introducing N1400Z (Call Sign "Oz")
Complete Rebuild completed May 2011
DeHavilland Beaver - Originally built 1959 C/N 1400

Frequently Asked Questions

Serving Ketchikan for over 35 years, the Most Experienced Flightseeing service offers the best tours on the waterfront in Ketchikan.

Pirate Airworks has over 35 years of experience operating tours to the Misty Fjords National Monument. We pride ourselves in providing exceptional service and a high quality tour to all guests who fly with us. Our aircraft are some of the highest quality aircraft in SE Alaska and we maintain them to the highest standards. Our Captains all have extensive experience flying in Alaska and on floats. Our tours are generally longer in duration and fully narrated. By booking with us directly you will save money by avoiding the Cruise Ship commission markup. Our aircraft include our onboard stereo audio systems for your enjoyment and so the Captain can point out the highpoints of the tour. Our aircraft have been upgraded to include oversized panoramic view passenger windows which are a photographer's dream!
Our shuttle bus and driver will rendezvous with your party at the “Rain Gauge” outside of the (Ketchikan Visitor Bureau) All guests must check-in 30 minutes prior to departure for their flightseeing tour. The ground shuttle bus ride takes approximately five minutes from the downtown Cruise Ship Docks to Pirate Airworks office and floatplane dock.
Yes! The Misty Fjords National Monument offers a large variety of Game, Marine Mammals, bird life & wild salmon. There are many photo opportunities and something for everyone.
No, we have found that we are better served by booking our passengers direct. It reduces our costs and allows us to offer a better tour. We do have representatives on the dock in Ketchikan who can book you on Pirate on a space available basis, however it is much better if you sign up well in advance and choose the exact tour you are interested in for your party. On the dock all of our tours may not be available. All of the cruise lines have some unreasonable demands on their suppliers and of course they want a pretty sizable commission, we pass those savings on to you!
Don’t be fooled by high pressure sales tactics from the cruise lines. They will tell many first time travelers to Alaska “If you don’t book with us you might miss your ship” This is far from the truth. In 35 years of flying to the Misty Fjords none of our guests have ever missed their ship departure. The cruise ship schedule is published years in advance and if your ship arrives and departs at its scheduled time, we will have you back to the ship in plenty of time.
Our office in Ketchikan is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Alaska time, weekdays, during the winter months; we are of course open 7 days a week during the season. We suggest you review the various tours we have listed here and choose one that interests you and your party. If none of those are a perfect fit, not a problem, outline what your expectations are and call or email our office and we will design a custom itinerary specifically matched to meet your requirements. 888-817-4321.
No. we are one and the same company. The moment you make a reservation at Yes Bay Lodge you are added to our flight manifest for transport on your arrival and departure days.
Some mobility is required to enter and exit our aircraft. We offer airline staff assistance during the boarding process. Ramps allow for smooth loading into the planes. Entrance into the planes requires negotiating a few small steps and there is minimal walking required during your stop-over in the Misty Fjords. We are not equipped to handle heavy motorized wheel chairs, however collapsible chairs are welcome. This is another reason to make advance reservations and discuss with our representative your special needs and will make every effort to accommodate you.
We do not have any weight per passenger restrictions on our aircraft and no additional charge for guests over 250 lbs. We will discreetly ask for your weight as the FAA requires a full weight and balance record per aircraft.
WOW - You have done your homework. Ketchikan is known for its record amount of annual rainfall. Our average annual rainfall is a whopping 153 inches - that is almost 13 feet of rain. If we did not fly in the rain, we may never fly!! Our pilots are very well trained in determining when we can fly comfortably and safely on our tours...but a little rain will not stop us and it should not stop you. The "Misty Fjords" are named "Misty" because of the rain and low clouds it is part of the beauty of the area and should not be missed. Rest assured we only fly when it is safe to fly and if it is not safe or we cannot guarantee a quality tour, you will be issued a refund to the original payment method within 24 hours.
All the more reason to make advance reservations. We are limited by the seating and weight capacity our airplanes. Each plane can comfortably hold 6 passengers plus the pilot, we have two identical DeHavilland Beaver aircraft. If your party is larger than 12 people we can accommodate by doing back to back tours or even arrange to partner with another flying service, we can design a program specific to your group and will make every effort to meet your requirements. Additional seating is available on the wings, however it is NOT very comfortable! Call the Pirate and discuss the needs of your group.
All our costs are defined in our rates and will be disclosed fully when you make your reservation. There are NO additional costs once we have outlined your fees for your tour. We feel that gratuities are a personal issue and are not required, however if you feel one of our staff made an exceptional effort to guarantee your enjoyment then by all means feel free to leave them a tip.
We have hardly any roads in SE Alaska and the float plane is our primary means of getting around to the more remote areas of Alaska. In fact there are more floatplane take-offs and landings in Alaska than in any other part of the world.
Our safety record is unparalleled. We pride ourselves in maintaining our aircraft beyond FAA requirements and will gladly forgo a flight seeing tour if there are any safety or weather concerns. Our aircraft are expensive and we have no desire to jeopardize the safety of our passenger, crew and aircraft.
Safety issues can generally be classified in two areas.
1. Mechanical issues - our maintenance program assures our planes are in tip top operating condition.
2. Weather related issues - Our pilots are very well trained and have thousands of hours logged flying in Alaska and have full authority to cancel any trip they feel is unsafe.
Traveling by float plane in Alaska is generally safer than you driving your car to the local 7-11