Our Crew

Suzanne Rust
Owner/Station Operations Manager

Suzanne started her career in aviation by working at the National Transportation Safety Board’s Anchorage Regional Office while attending college. The three years she interned built a solid foundation for understanding aviation. When the Rust family purchased K2 in 1996, she focused on building a team that would put passenger and pilot safety first while sharing one of the most beautiful places on earth. She has three daughters and lives in Talkeetna where she can be found on the K2 Aviation deck visiting with guests or on the trail running or biking with her dog Charley.  She relates that one night she and one of her daughters were ice skating and her daughter paused and said, ” you know Talkeena’s a really special place.”

Todd Rust
Owner/Director of Operations

Todd Rust, owner and Director of Operations, came to Alaska with his family in 1959. In 1963 his father, Hank,started Rust’s Flying Service, an Anchorage floatplane operation, where Todd grew up working as a dock hand and later as a pilot. After college, he worked as an aeronautical engineer for several years for aircraft manufacturers Northrop and Lockheed Martin. He returned to the family business in 1983 and has been overseeing operations of 23 airplanes and 40 pilots. He and Suzanne have three kids.

Colin Rust
Owner/Director of Maintenance

Colin Rust has worked as a dock hand during his high school years. In 1980 he got his Airframe and Power plant Certificate from Northrop University. He has worked for Continental Airlines and later, MarkAir Express, stationed in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Colin received his Inspection Authorization Certificate, and began working as Director of Maintenance in 1996. With a Divemaster Certification in scuba diving, he enjoys teaching scuba, and dives regularly year-round in Alaskas’ waters. Colin has three wonderful children.

Chris Wilson
Station Chief Pilot

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

Stephanie Smothers
Assistant Operations Manager
Jeremiah Nill
Lead Flight Follower
Sara Sickler
Flight Follower
Sara Sickler joined the K2 team in 2018. She was born and raised in Wyoming, and later traveled around the U.S.  She worked in the hospitality industry in both Phoenix and the Chicagoland area before jumping on the chance to come to Alaska for “one season”.  One season turned into 11 years working in the hospitality industry in Talkeetna before giving adventure tourism a try. She could not be happier to be a part of the K2 team! Sara spends most of her winter months in the local high school gym where her husband, Jimmy, coaches basketball as well as finds time to travel and experience new places. In the summer, she spends most of her time at the lake with her two dogs Stanley and Lou, working in the yard, and at the softball field.
Katie Gilligan
Katie was born and raised in Alaska and is part of four generations of Alaskans. She and her husband live in Talkeetna year-round and enjoy travelling the world as often as they can.