About us!

The most experienced Air Charter Service in Ketchikan

Plane taking off on waterKevin Hack the "Pirate" and owner of Pirate Airworks and Yes Bay Lodge has over 40 years of experience providing float plane air transportation services throughout Alaska. A certified air frame mechanic you can be assured that Pirate Airworks has the experience and safety record to provide you with air services second to none. Offering Air Charter Service, Logistics, Premier Flightseeing Tours.

Kevin is an expert in the maintenance of the DeHavilland Beaver and also offers survey and valuation of Beavers. Our latest fleet addition was a labor of love for nearly 7 years as the plane was completely disassembled and lovingly rebuilt and flew again last season 2011 as a zero hour better than new aircraft. There was not a single piece of that airplane that remained untouched during the reconstruction.

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