Pilot friends start new Utah Airline service to national parks

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(KUTV) If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Grand Canyon on a whim, or hop over to Yellowstone for a day, there are a couple guys that can make that happen.

Utah Airways is a small startup flight service that runs out of Ogden-Hinckley airport, targeting National Parks in the Western US.

Coming this January, David Story and his business partner, Bret Kobe, will take flight to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone of Mount Rushmore.

“It’s just giving the opportunity to people, to be able to go to these places without the 10 hour and 15 hour drives,” says David Story, the pilot and co-founder of Utah Airways.

Story says the flight itself gives passengers a different experience than a typical airline. It offers a chance to take in more beauty of the landscape below.

“We don’t fly at 30,000 feet; we’ll fly at 10,000/8,000 feet. You’re actually flying over Bryce Canyon as we get to the Grand Canyon,” says Story.

David Story and Bret Kobe were pilots that met in Las Vegas, where Story ran a business a lot like the one they’re opening out of Ogden.

“We are getting a lot of people calling who are interested in the tours, interested in the trips, excited about what we’re doing,” says Kobe.

The tours he is referring to are part of the flight package. They are offering to fly passengers to these parks for half-day trips, which include a full tour of the park included with the flight.

“We’ll leave at six o’clock in the morning and have you back in Salt Lake for lunch and you’ve had a great morning,” says Story.

They’ll be flying a six passenger Piper Navajo 310.

“It’s a great aircraft, very sturdy,” says Story, who says both pilots are fully licensed by the FAA and undergo rigorous training and certification in order to fly passengers.

“Every 50 hours of flight, the aircraft has to go in for maintenance checks to make sure everything is fine,” he says.

Owners say one of the best parts of flying Utah Airways; you won’t have to deal with the hassles of airport security or airline delays.

“We’re able to get in the airplane and get going and within 15 minutes of arrival we can be in the air and on the way to our destination,” says Kobe.

Flight/tour packages start at around $799. Visit: UtahAirways.com