Updated 25 Nov 16



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.

Glenda Egli, raised in Carey, Idaho, is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BS degree in Elementary Education. She also has specialized training in Special Education. She works for the Lake & Peninsula School District, serving as a district-wide Teacher Mentor. Glenda is enjoying the opportunities this affords her to progress in her career as an educator. Traveling the Bristol Bay area continually, she maintains a first-hand look at the challenges of transportation in the Alaska Bush.

Glenda is also the Corporate Secretary for Egli Air Haul. She performs much of the legwork behind the scenes, to keep things running the way they need to. She enjoys working with Egli Air customers. She especially gets a kick out of sharing in clients' adventure stories. Their tales of experiences in our remote region of the world are always fun to hear.

Sam and Glenda have been married 39 years. They are the parents of 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.


Dave Bowen was born in Illinois. He began flying in 1986 while still in high school, obtaining his Private Pilot Certificate before graduation. He later achieved his Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot Certificate through Wings of Denver, in association with Metro State College. Thereafter, he continued to fly as often as circumstances would allow.

Throughout his working career, Dave worked as a reserve Deputy Sherriff. Along the way, he attended Colorado Christian University where he graduated with a BA Degree in Youth Guidance and Ministry. He then spent time working with imprisoned juveniles and adults. Later, he became a Tanker Truck Driver in the Colorado oil fields.

During all his non-aviation-working years, Dave continued striving to build his flight experience. He finally decided to walk away from law enforcement to pursue his passion for flying. He took up working on his Multi-Engine Rating, flying a Beechcraft Duchess.

Then one day he received a call to ferry a Cessna 206 from Alaska to Colorado and he jumped at the chance. Dave says "It was a chance to fulfill my lifelong dream to fly Bush Alaska! But it was also an opportunity to fly such a challenging cross country flight that I just couldn't pass up!"

After crossing the vastness of Canada, seeing the ruggedness of the mountains at the edge of Alaska really made an impression on him. After completing this ferry flight, Dave's hair was on fire so to speak, to return to Alaska and fly. He set ambitious flying goals for himself, which he knew would be necessary for his own preparation to fly "the bush", and he pursued his pilot preparation with intensity.

Dave tells that he did not know at the time exactly how his dream of flying Alaska would materialize, but he continued undaunted, keeping his dream alive. He was ready for Alaska when Egli Air called him to work in Bristol Bay, and the rest is history.

Dave has been married since 1987 to his high school sweetheart Brenda, who runs her own business, Peace of Mind Accounting. They have 2 children; their son Jeremiah, who is a US Navy Seabee, and their daughter Rachel, graduated from high school and striking out in her own life.


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!"


Mike Tiedeman is a farm boy from South Dakota where he grew up in small farming communities. He did all the chores that go with farming in the area; everything from walking beans and picking rocks on crop farms, to working on dairy and hog farms and even in slaughter houses.

A big part of the farm work experience included his learning how to operate different types of machinery. This prepared him for a career working construction and professional driving. He has driven truck in both the Texas and North Dakota oil fields. He has worked on a number of big-scale construction projects such as the Brightwater Project, and the Beacon Hill Tunnel/Train Station Project in the Seattle area. He was even trained and certified in Tunnel Rescue, and worked as part of a tunnel rescue team.

Mike likes to do online gaming in his free time, and has been playing an MMOG game which has been in progress for the last ten years. He says "It's fun cheap entertainment and it keeps me out of trouble!"

He also likes to shoot muzzle-loader - in particular long-range muzzle-loader - saying "Anybody can blast through a clip of ammo with an AR-15, but how many can make a long range shot with a muzzle loader?!"

Mike also enjoys traveling. There are only maybe 3 or 4 states he hasn't been to yet. He says this is his second time to Alaska. He's been to Mexico and Canada, and would like to travel all over the world someday.

Mike likes working around helicopters and planes, exclaiming "How many people get to do that?!" He is excited to learn new things and get to be involved with how things work in the Alaskan bush.

Mike Tiedeman stands ready to help you with your aircraft handling and fueling needs, or with rescues, law enforcement support, or whatever else comes up!


Born in Polson, Montana, Mat Rowley is a third generation pilot. Mat says "Flying is in my blood!" A Commercial Instrument Helicopter Pilot and Certificated Helicopter and Instrument Helicopter Flight Instructor, he also earned a college degree in Aviation Maintenance from the University of Montana College of Technology - Helena.

After a short stint in the United States Marine Corps in the mid 90s, Mat took an extended break in military service. During this period, he pursued careers in radio, television, graphic design, photography, and even a bid for Montana State House of Representatives.

Mat re-enlisted into the Montana Army National Guard in 2005, and was immediately deployed to Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina relief. His professional aviation career began in 2006 when he attended Army Helicopter Flight School in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Over the next nine years his accomplishments included: two tours flying UH-60A/L Blackhawk helicopters in the Middle East, Public Affairs Officer for the Montana National Guard, and attending the Army Instructor Pilot Course.

Mat's last UH-60 flight was April 11, 2015. His first flight with Egli Air Haul was 3 days later on April 14th. Mat frequently remarks "I love my job!"


Duane Schmutz is our back-up relief pilot for our helicopter jobs. He has worked for the company since 2003. Duane used to fly with Sam Egli 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.