Updated 21 June 17



Egli Air Haul began its operation in Utah in 1979, flying a DeHavilland Beaver bushplane. The business performed specialized cargo hauling to off-airport landing sites throughout the Western United States Region. It served the oil & gas, and remote-site construction industries, as well as fishing/river-running lodges in the Idaho Backcountry area out of Salmon, Idaho.

Egli Air came to Bristol Bay, Alaska in 1982 to haul fish for the commercial fishing industry. Fish-haul never proved to be that great for the company. So following the commercial fishing season Egli Air began hauling groceries, developing it into a steady operation.

In 1990 Egli began operating a Cessna 206 airplane instead of the larger, slower, and more expensive Beaver. This smaller, faster plane proved to be up to the cargo task, and at the same time was more marketable for passenger work. As the business grew, Egli Air Haul's flight line expanded to 5 airplanes, performing a variety of tasks. These jobs have included air taxi, aerial survey, air tours, sport fishing, big game hunting, search and rescue, aerial photography, and even the US mail. They have flown everything from school kids, technicians of various trades, and government officials, to chickens, ducks, dogs, and multi-national corporate VIP's. Sam, the founder of the company says, "We've even hauled Eskimo Pies to Eskimos!"

In 1997, Egli Air Haul added their first helicopter to the fleet; a Bell 206B Jet Ranger III. Sam tells that "Back in '79 I wanted to start out with a Jet Ranger, but we couldn't afford one. So we had to just start out with what we could do, and work our way up to it. It took us 18 years, but we finally accomplished it."

This addition to Egli's capabilities has really expanded the options they can offer the client. In addition to all the "fixed-wing" (airplane) missions they fly, they are performing the same missions better by "rotary-wing" (helicopter), plus heli-fishing, heli-skiing, movie filming, sling-loads, and aerial game management, to name a few.

Egli Air Haul is the only commercial helicopter service in Bristol Bay meeting the growing ecotourisim trend, whether it is remote sport fishing, remote backpacking, or viewing the area. Let Egli Air Haul take you were no one else can. They may even take you where no one else has ever been!


Sam Egli, raised in Ogden, Utah, is Founder and President of Egli Air Haul inc. He is a Commercial Pilot and Certificated Flight Instructor in both helicopters and airplanes. He enjoys the outdoors, and is always ready for the next adventure. He loves to fly (especially helicopters), and loves just as much to share the experience with others.

He began flying airplanes back in 1970, flying in Utah and the surrounding Western States. His initial helicopter pilot flight training was conducted by the US Army at Ft. Rucker, Alabama in 1979. He flew Army turbine helicopters (UH-1, OH-58, and OH-6) with the Utah Army National Guard throughout the Rocky Mountain Region from 1979 until 1982 when he relocated the flight operation to King Salmon, Alaska. With 34 years operating in Alaska, and over 24,000 pilot hours in a variety of aircraft, customers fly with confidence when Sam is at the controls.

In 2011 Sam received the Alaska Pilot of the Year Award from the Alaska Air Carriers Association. In 2013 he was awarded the Right Stuff Award by the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation. He was again awarded the Alaska Pilot of the Year by the Alaska Air Carriers Association in 2014. Sam also received national recognition as a recipient of the 2014 Moral Courage Safety Award by the US-DOT Transportation Safety Institute.

Sam has 3 children, LaRece, Elisa, and Bob, all raised in Naknek/King Salmon Alaska.


Bob Egli was raised in Naknek Alaska. The son of Glenda and Sam Egli, he has been involved in work activity with EAH nearly his whole life. He started out with the company in Line Service. He handled fuel, and maintained fuel trucks and flight line equipment. When he was old enough, he got licensed to drive our large fuel trucks, eventually becoming our Director of Line Service.

Bob began his flight training at age 16 in a Cessna 172. He later completed his Private Pilot flight training and began building flight time, concurrently going to college full-time. At age 21 he received his endorsement to fly our Cessna 206. He completed his Commercial Pilot Certificate (both Airplane and Helicopter), Instrument Rating (both Airplane and Helicopter), and Bell Jet Ranger Factory School, all in the course of 12 months, while he worked full-time trying to pay for it all.

Besides flying for the "old man" now, he operates his own business ALASKA EAGLE EYE which has become the premier car and truck rental source for Bristol Bay.

Bob enjoys getting his hands into a project. It doesn't seem to matter how complicated, or how dirty the task. You'll find him in it up to his chest figuring out how to solve the problem at hand!


Shawn Davis was born at Incirlik AFB in Turkey. He grew up an "Air Force Brat" all over California and Europe. He joined the US Army at the tender age of 17 to become an OH-58D Kiowa Helicopter Mechanic.

Shawn's army service started out in Germany. He spent 5 years at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 2 years at Fort Drum, New York, and a tour to South Korea for a year. Then he was moved back to Fort Drum for 9 more years. From Fort Drum he deployed 3 times; to Iraq, to Afghanistan, and again to Iraq, each time returning home to Fort Drum. After that he was off to Fort Irwin, California, where he retired as a Sergeant First Class after a 21-year career in Army Aviation on helicopters.

Shawn was the leader of his maintenance ground crew for much of his career, training many others on how to perform in the capacity as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief. He was the NCO In Charge of his Flight Detachment, answering directly to his Commanding Officer for the performance of his Detachment. He performed and excelled in maintenance on the OH-58 series, the UH-60 Blackhawk, and the CH-47 Chinook helicopters in a combat environment. He served on the Eagle Team, and the Downed Aircraft Recovery Team during his military tenure.

Shawn was awarded many medals, including the Soldier's Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Shawn and his family may well be most proud of his receipt of the Order of Saint Michael Award, for outstanding professionalism and support to the field of Aviation. He was recognized through this award for his demonstrating the highest levels of dedication, courage, and selfless service, in contributing not only professionally, but also on a personal level, dedicated to the welfare of the soldiers serving under him as well as their families.

As an FAA-licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, Shawn brings a career of helicopter maintenance talent and experience to our operation. He leads our maintenance activity in a quality-conscious manner, with personal concern for the well-being of his fellow employees in the process.

Shawn and his wife Lisa have been married for 20 years and are the parents of 3 children. Shawn says, "Don't forget we also have 12 cats, 3 dogs, and 1 turtle!"

He likes woodworking, remodeling, and helping other people. He enjoys hunting, fishing, volunteer work, and is very community-minded. He gets a real kick out of designing and constructing haunted houses and spook alleys for Halloween. If there is something going on to make the community better, Shawn Davis is there pitching in to help!


Natalie Johnson is our Bookkeeper and Safety Coordinator. She grew up in a small town in Arizona, gardening, working at the family dairy, milking cows and packaging cheese. She made ice cream cones and hauled out groceries for store customers. Later on, she trained as a bookkeeper in the accounting department of the family business.

Natalie has always loved life in small communities. When she came to visit her sisters in King Salmon, she fell in love with the place and decided to stay. She and Matt Bendza are the proud parents of their son Billy.

Natalie's favorite things to do are gardening, baking, and playing with the kids. She likes 4-wheeler riding, snowmobiling, and camping. She loves drinking hot cocoa and quilting.

Natalie always wears a smile. She is very patient and is always willing to help you in any way she can. Natalie says "I am standing by to help you with any questions you have about your account!"

We at Egli Air are confident that Natalie will do all she can to make your experience with Egli Air a good one! We are excited to have her on our team.


Mike was born and raised in the southeastern US, and grew up as a country boy. He enlisted in the army in the early 2000's. After his stint in the service, Mike went on to work as a construction worker and later as a marine turbine engine mechanic.

Mike always enjoyed aviation and mechanics, so he went on to tech school and college to get his A&P certificate. He then went to work for Boeing as a systems installer and jet window specialist. After working on airline-scale aircraft, he hired on with Egli Air Haul.

Mike says he likes to do what every Alaskan likes: hunt, fish, ride 4-wheelers, and shoot guns. He also likes to fly in helicopters, saying "I'm up for every maintenance check flight needed!"


Duane Schmutz has worked for the company since 2003. Duane used to fly with Sam Egli in the Utah National Guard back in the 70's and early 80's. Sam says you will not find a better helicopter pilot anywhere, than Duane Schmutz.

He has been an active helicopter pilot since 1967 when he flew for the US Army, where he served two tours flying UH-1C/D and AH-1G helicopters in Vietnam. Following his tour with the Army, he flew for the next 12 years as a commercial helicopter pilot doing extensive mountain flying in the Rocky Mountains. He then served for 23 years as a full-time Army National Guard pilot for the State of Utah. During that period, he flew one tour flying AH-64A Apache helicopters in Afghanistan. Since retiring as a full time pilot with the Utah Army National Guard in 2005, Duane has been flying recurring two month rotations as a contract pilot supporting the War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Duane has three sons, all of whom have served numerous combat tours fighting the War on Terrorism. Two of his sons graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point and one is a Sergeant First Class on an Operation Detachment Alpha Team in the Special Forces. Duane also has a daughter he is very proud of and his wife Kathie keeps him busy trail-running in the mountains when he is not flying.