Longtime Alaska bush pilot Jim Webster died in a plane crash on the North Slope on May 14.
Flying with Webster that day was University of Alaska Fairbanks research professor Ben Jones, who survived with serious injuries.
Jones’s research has focused on permafrost, and the flights with Webster earlier this month included measuring ice thickness on Teshukpuk Lake and installing instruments near a research station there.
Jones flew with Webster every summer during the field research season, logging hundreds of hours flying with the veteran pilot over that last 14 years. Jones says he’s compiled a list of more than 100 scientific publications that Webster contributed to, and he’s seeking an honorary, posthumous degree for Webster from UAF.
Jones says Webster was more than just an expert pilot and that he contributed more to science that he probably knew.