K2 Aviation Staff


Station Operations Manager

Suzanne started her career in aviation by working for the National Transportation Safety Board in the Anchorage Regional Office while attending college. The three years she interned built a solid foundation for understanding aviation safety. When the Rust family purchased K2 in 1996, she focused on building a team that would put passenger and pilot safety first. Through the years, Suzanne and Todd's family has grown to include three kids. She enjoys the outdoors and values the opportunity to share Alaska with visitors. She enjoys serving in her community. She currently serves on the Denali Overflights Advisory Council, that advises the Superintendent of Denali National Park through the Secretary of the Interior, on mitigation efforts to reduce the impacts from aircraft overflights. You may often find her at the deck visiting with guests.

Owner/Director of Operations

Todd Rust, Director of Operations, came to Alaska with his family in 1959. His father started Rust's Flying Service, a floatplane operation, where Todd worked as dock hand and later as a pilot. After College, he worked for Northrop and Lockhead Martin as an aeronautical engineer. He returned to the family business in the early 80's and oversees operations for their 19 airplanes and 39 pilots. He and Suzanne have three wonderful children: Jonathan, Anna Christine, and Lauren.

Owner/Director of Maintenance

Colin Rust worked as a dock boy during his high school years. In 1980 he got his Airframe and Power Plant Certificate from Northrop University, and later received his Inspection Authorization Certificate. He began working as Director of Maintenance for Rust's Flying Service in 1996. In addition to his impressive aviation credentials, Colin has his Dive Masters certification in scuba diving. He teaches scuba and dives regularly with his wife, Gail. They have three wonderful grandchildren: Michael, Lucas, and Madison.

Chief Pilot

 Dan Baldwin came to Alaska in 1961. His father was a flying preacher and Dan traveled throughout Alaska. He learned to fly when he was six and got his pilot's certificate when he was 17 years old. He has always flown small airplanes. He has been with Rust's Flying Service and K2 Aviation since 2001 and became the Chief Pilot in 2005.


Randy is a 53-year resident of Alaska. He has been flying for 40 years, and has more than 8,400 hours and is qualified to fly both float planes and ski planes. He joined the K2 team in 1997 and quickly took on the role of managing K2 Aviation operations and making certain that K2 Aviation remained a leader in safe mountain operations. He is an student of Denali history and geology.


Pilot/ Line Check Airman

Before moving to Alaska, Barry flew medevac in Arizona for 23 years. Barry is the Indiana State Banjo Champion and can be found playing at the Fairview Inn when he is not flying.


Chip knows his way around Alaska.  In addition to flying around the West coast of Alaska, he also worked as a hunting and river rafting guide.  If you need a little guidance to find the best fishing hole around, or a superb pilot that can take you there, Chip is your man.

Station Chief Pilot

Chris Wilson has made Alaska his home since 2001. He joined the K2 Team in 2003, quickly gained the respect of his peers, and took a lead position as our company instructor  training and evaluating pilot staff. Flying has always been a passion and a way of life for Chris. He started flying gliders when he was 17 years old and continued into fix winged aircraft. He enjoys the backcountry and loves to fly all our single engine airplanes.


Mike and his wife Kristina winter in Hawaii where they grow vegetables and tropical fruit. They have a beautiful toddler, Heidi, and we think she is the cutest! When in Hawaii, Mike flies air tours over volcanos and does tail wheel instruction and spin training with his Cessna 140. In Mike's own words, "I am so grateful for the opportunity to fly in some of the most beautiful places in the world."


Mike has lived and worked in Alaska most of his life.  He grew up in the Anchorage area, worked on the pipeline construction, and learned to fly in the snow.  He lived in McGrath for 26 years, flying people and cargo throughout Alaska. If actions speak louder than words, Mike is deafening.  He's always willing and able to fly any where, and help out how ever he can.


Patrick was born to fly. 

At a very early age, he demonstrated his skills by making airplane noises from his crib. His mother, impressed with his ability, supported his flying until she caught him jumping off the roof of the house practicing his takeoffs. When not flying for work, which most recently was flying in the mountain jungles of Papua, he and his wife Margo fly competition aerobatics in their Extra 300 for fun. Flying in the unlimited category,  he competes in regional and national events, and is happiest when his feet are off the ground. When he's not flying, you can find him surfing, skydiving, or sitting on his deck with his Dog Cody.


Stan grew up in New Mexico, where he graduated college as an Engineer. Down the road he decided to become a pilot! He spent 23 years flying for the National Park Service before working with us here at K2 Aviation.


Mechanics and Ramp Staff

Station Director of Maintenance

Dallas came to K2 Aviation after spending a decade in his home state of Colorado as a pilot and mechanic for Beagles Aircraft. Now in his 12th season here in Talkeetna with K2, he's keeping this fleet fine tuned and ready to take anyone, anywhere, anytime. The local kids have quite a mentor in Dallas as he volunteers his time to the "Build a Plane" project, offering his skills and leadership to fuel the youngster's interest in aviation. Dallas also has a couple of planes of his own. Between those planes and his love of old cars, there isn't much "sittin' around" time for Dallas


When Ryan joined K2, he was fresh to Alaska and ready for adventures that he just couldn't find in Michigan working for Great Lakes Aviation. Now well established as the "go to" guy in the K2 maintenance hanger, Ryan hones his maintenance and piloting skills in his off time, working on his own Maule M-7. His plane is equipped with skis in the winter, and floats in the summer. Hunting and exploring in the nearby Talkeetna mountains keep Ryan busy year round. If he can't get there by airplane, you may find him cruising by in any one of his many vehicle projects that look like they're right off the set of Mad Max. While a bit of a mad scientist in his home shop, we definitely appreciate his fine work and attention to every detail in the hanger at K2.

Customer Service and Marketing

Sales and Marketing Director

Cole Ouellette, the newest member of the K2/Rust’s team, has worked in Alaska tourism since 2001. For the past nine years, Cole worked for a major cruise line and in the Alaska hotel industry where she developed a great relationship with K2 and Rust’s. She is thrilled to be transitioning from client to representing the company and believes that flightseeing is the most incredible way to see Alaska. Cole as made Alaska her home with her other half, Spiff - an Alaskan musician, and their dog Milo. She enjoys cooking, fishing, live music and being involved in the Alaska tourism community.

Customer Service

David was born right here in Talkeetna. He has worked for K2 since 2007, so he knows his stuff. You might see him around town riding his pink bicycle or juggling flaming batons. In the winter months David keeps busy laying his footprints around the globe.

Gift Shop / Retail Manager

Elaine grew up in Alaska and has been a part of the fun-loving, eclectic Talkeetna community since 1985. She participates in local music and theatre, and enjoys the artistic diversity that characterizes our small town. As Retail Manager, she orders K2's logo-wear and local artisan products for our Main Street gift shop/booking office, The Moose's Tooth. A favorite part of her job is planting and maintaining the colorful flower beds at our downtown location.

Senior Assistant Station Operations Manager

Stephanie Smothers joined the K2 team in 2006 after moving to Alaska. She and her husband, Jack, travelled to Alaska during vacations and decided that they wanted to raise their children where they could hike, backpack and fish. Their goal was to live a simpler life. They currently live off the power grid. They hunt, fish and garden. Prior coming to K2 Aviation Stephanie had her own business that provided marketing and bookkeeping support for small business. She enjoys managing the office staff, meeting clients, and sharing the K2 experience with everyone.

Flight Following

Assistant Station Operations Manager

Garett Lawrence grew up in Phoenix, Arizona as a desert rat forever seeking adventures in nature. He road tripped north to Alaska for summer employment at K2 Aviation in 2000, and all the fun and excitement that go along with a sunny season in Talkeetna. After completing a B.S. degree in Biology and Secondary Education from Northern Arizona University he returned to the great north country for longer stays, eventually ending in full time residency beginning 2008. 2014 brings Garett to his 10th exciting season working for the Rust family. Talkeetna, Alaska is a lifelong center of good people and new adventures waiting to be experienced!

Denali Day Hikes

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Interested in exploring Alaska?

Venture out on a Denali Day Hike.

K2 Specials

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AK residents celebrate your birthday with K2!

Happy birthday Alaskans! In your birthday month, we will offer you a percentage discount that matches your age...