Alaskan bush pilots have been the brave and iconic adventurers of the skies for over a century. They have tamed America’s most outlandish natural landscapes thanks to their outstanding courage and one-of-a-kind gut instinct – and Leighan Falley, a Talkeetna-based pilot, is one of them.
Falley is one of the very few female Alaskan pilots to continuously push boundaries in the great northern skies. Always graceful, even when under pressure, she explores Alaska’s idyllic yet raw nature with the courage of an explorer, following her instincts, while calculating risks. “The first memory of my entire life is being in the backseat of my father’s airplane,” Falley recalls. “I must have been a tiny baby, I remember feeling the airplane moving through the air and seeing the trees and the river below.”
She flies to the remotest locations in Alaska in order to capture the adventurous everyday life of the Great North, while bringing mountaineers to their final destination and helping those in need. Living her dream, Leighan Falley is not only a brave pilot, but also a mother, a ski guide, an alpinist, having reached the peak of Denali Mountain six times out of twelve expeditions. “Alaska is probably my favorite place on earth,” she continues. In a place as beautiful as Alaska, you have to have an airplane to see all of it,” she concludes. “Discovering Alaska and climbing its mountains is a journey that involves a lot of beauty, a lot of hardship, and a lot of testing yourself mentally and physically.”