Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Danny R. “Blacky” Jorgenson

In Memoriam

August 13, 1947 - September 19, 2021

   Danny Ray "Blacky" Jorgenson passed away unexpectantly at his cabin at Whiskey Lake on September 19, 2021.

Blacky began his life in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1947.  In 1965, he joined the Marine Corps for a better life and served in Vietnam.  According to Blacky it was the best thing that ever happened.  With his GI bill he obtained his pilots license in Colorado while running its many rivers.  He arrived in Alaska in the late 70s, ready to fly and worked for numerous bush pilot outfits from Valdez to Barrow and Nome.  Finally, Blacky found his seat in the cockpit with the Flying Tigers and FedEx retiring as a Captain.  Flying by the seat of his pants Blacky flew from one adventure to the next at 500 knots around the world many times.  Blacky hunted all over Alaska and oral history out of Takotna River claims his hunting camp as Blacky's Slough.
He leaves behind two children, Cale and Quinsey; along with their spouses, Lahela and Hugo; and grandson, Laleo.  Blacky also leaves behind his hunting partner of over 35 years, Tommy Norvig.  Blacky and Julie (below) just celebrated 10 loving years of marriage.

There was  a  Toast to Blacky at the Amvets Post 49 in Anchorage Alaska on October 10th, 2021.  According to his fellow FedEx pilot, Steve Collins, it was standing room only and Blacky would have loved the send off.  The following is a wonderful tribute from Steve to his good friend:

It’s difficult to put down on paper what Blacky was to folks who didn’t know him.  Blacky was larger than life.  He was and is a legend here in Alaska both as a bush pilot and hunter. He was a Marine’s Marine serving in Vietnam 1966-1967 as infantryman.  He was extremely proud of being a Marine and you never saw him without his Marine cap on.

He flew often in his C-185 and Taylor Craft float plane to places far and wide here in the frozen tundra of the far north.  He had flown into his favorite place, just prior to his accident, his cabin at Whisky Lake.

When he bought his cabin there was no runway so Blacky decided to build one himself.  He bought a D-5 Caterpillar and had it flown into Skwentna, AK in a C-130 which is about 10 miles from Whiskey Lake.  He waited until winter then drove the D-5 Cat on the frozen river to his cabin.  In the spring time he went to work and built himself a runway.  LAX it’s not but good enough for Blacky, but few others.

Blacky.jpeg
 Whiskey Lake and Blacky’s Runway, his cabin is just to the left of the approach end of the runway.
CabinLeftRunwayRight.jpeg
Blacky was good friends with Roberta Sheldon, wife of Don Sheldon (https://www.sheldonairservice.com/About-Sheldon-Air-Service/Don-Sheldon-Alaska-pilot) and had access to her round house for Memorial Day weekend for many years.  It was an honor to be invited up for the weekend.  Glacier landing and a weekend on Ruth’s Glacier at the base of Denali, it just doesn’t get any better.
Landing on Ruth’s Glacier, the round house is on the knoll just to the right.
IMG_5791.jpeg
 Enjoying a cold one on Ruth’s Glacier.