On April 1, 1962, Alaska Coastal Airlines of Juneau and Ellis Air Lines of Ketchikan merged. The merger produced the biggest Grumman Goose fleet in the world.
They had a total of 24 aircraft including 4-Pby Catalinas, smaller seaplanes and a Convair 240. They had around 300 or so employees, and served 60 SE Alaska communities, as well as charters.
In January 1967, Alaska Coastal received the first Turbo "Super Goose". (1164 - N95431) The original radial engines were replaced by 2 Pratt & Whitney of Canada PT6A-20 Turbo prop engines. The conversion extended the range from 900 to 1600 miles, and a cruising speed of 243 mph from the original 190mph.
In 1968 it was announced that Alaska Coastal would be bought out by
With the Building of land based airports all over SE Alaska, Alaska Airlines soon sold off all the amphibious aircraft. With the building of Ketchikan Airport in 1973, ,the rest of the gooses were sold.
In 1973, the Annette Island Airport was closed down for good in 1977. Antilles Airboats in the U.S. Virgin Islands bought 7 of the Alaska Coastal "Gooses". Two stayed in Ketchikan with
Coast Air for a short time. One went to Southeast Airlines in Juneau.
Ellis and Alaska Coastal will be remembered for a long time, not only by the people who flew on them,
but by the Tongass Historical Society in Ketchikan. There will be a static display of (1157 - N88821) the "original" Ellis Goose there. so if you are ever in Ketchikan, stop by and see it!
It will been painstakingly restored to the original colors