VIDEO: Pilot straps a GoPro to his private plane, captures scenes of rugged Alaska

Captain Will Turnage loves to fly, loves the state of Alaska and loves being outdoors. He combined all three of his passions last year by recording his flights throughout the state. Turnage flew over glaciers, across rocky coastlines, and on the edge of lakes with a GoPro attached to the rear of his Cessna 180.  The footage, which took him about two weeks to edit, came together as a sort of visual scrapbook of his year in the Cessna.

Turnage originally affixed the camera to the plane as an experiment. He wanted to share some photos with his family and friends back home (he is from Oregon). It became a year-long project as he juggled weather, his work schedule and aircraft availability—he shares the 50-year old Cessna with other members of a club. Accompanied by his wife, Kelly, he flew whenever he could—the old Cessna’s landing gear documenting the change of seasons—from wheels to floats to skis.

Along the way they saw bear, sheep, goats, fox, eagles, nesting terns and a wolf. They caught grayling, hiked the wilderness, camped on a snowfield where the temperature was 15 below and flew into an Iditarod Trail checkpoint.

“In so many ways it takes you back to the early days of our airline’s founders—landing on skis and on floats,” said Turnage.

Equipment used: GoPro HERO3, Canon T21 digital SLR, iMovie video editor


  1. Really well done!!! Love the music…what’s the 2nd song used? I travel thru Alaska and northern Canada a lot and have been a pilot since a kid…love what you did…hope it inspires to go out and fly!!

    1. The music used is:

      1. “The Cello song” by The Piano Guys
      2: The Piano Guys cover of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida
      3. “The launch” by Phillip Sheppard from the soundtrack “In the Shadow of the Moon”

      1. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You really captured the joy of flying “low-n-slow”! Thank you for doing that!!

  2. It could be cool to add annotations to the video (an option within YouTube’s video editor) to let us see the names of the locations that you’re flying over or taking off from or landing at.

  3. Really neat pict. That makes me miss my 210 which I flew for 34 years. Sold it 4 years ago. Now 82 yrs old so am content in flying a T-6 with a friend. Flying is great.

  4. What a beautiful video! Amazing and actually makes me miss Alaska. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Robbie England
    SEAFA (ret)

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