Our Crew

Todd Rust
Owner/Director of Operations

Todd Rust, owner and Director of Operations, came to Alaska with his family in 1959. In 1963 his father, Hank,started Rust’s Flying Service, an Anchorage floatplane operation, where Todd grew up working as a dock hand and later as a pilot. After college, he worked as an aeronautical engineer for several years for aircraft manufacturers Northrop and Lockheed Martin. He returned to the family business in 1983 and has been overseeing operations of 23 airplanes and 40 pilots. He and Suzanne have three kids.

Suzanne Rust

Suzanne started her career in aviation by working at the National Transportation Safety Board’s Anchorage Regional Office while attending college. The three years she interned built a solid foundation for understanding aviation. When the Rust family purchased K2 in 1996, she focused on building a team that would put passenger and pilot safety first while sharing one of the most beautiful places on earth. She has three daughters and lives in Talkeetna where she can be found on the K2 Aviation deck visiting with guests or on the trail running or biking with her dog Charley.  She relates that one night she and one of her daughter’s were ice skating and her daughter paused and said, ” you know Talkeena’s a really special place.”

Colin Rust
Owner/Director of Maintenance

Colin Rust has worked as a dock hand during his high school years. In 1980 he got his Airframe and Power plant Certificate from Northrop University. He has worked for Continental Airlines and later, MarkAir Express, stationed in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Colin received his Inspection Authorization Certificate, and began working as Director of Maintenance in 1996. With a Divemaster Certification in scuba diving, he enjoys teaching scuba, and dives regularly year-round in Alaskas’ waters. Colin has three wonderful children.

Dan Baldwin
Chief Pilot

Dan Baldwin came to Alaska in 1961. He started flying at the age of six, but his dad would not let him take off and land until he was eight. Dan received his pilot’s certificate when at 17. His started his career flying small airplanes in Alaska in 1983.  The Rust’s/K2 family hired Dan in 2001 and promoted him to chief pilot in 2005. You can find him on Instagram with the handle @otter.dan.

Willis Thayer
General Manager/Operations Manager

Willis Thayer started at Rust’s Flying Service in the summer of 1993 as a seasonal customer service agent. Upon returning to Alaska from college in Oregon, he decided to build a career at Rust’s and has been the Operations Manager for nearly 20 years. He enjoys fishing, hiking and spending time with his wife and three daughters; two of which have started working with Rust’s in the summer season.

Chris Norman
Assistant Operations Manager

Chris Norman joined Rust’s in 1996 as a seasonal dock hand/ramper and after several seasons, moved into the office. Following graduation from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2001, he took a full time position as Customer Service Manager and today is the Assistant Operations Manager. Chris enjoys fishing, boating, and spending time outdoors as often as possible.

Nicole Alton
Customer Service Manager

Nicole joined the Rust’s team in 2014 after serving in the Navy for 4 years. Originally from Florida, Nicole moved to Alaska, her husband’s home state, in the spring of 2014 where she started at Rust’s as a seasonal worker prior to being promoted to Customer Service Manager. Nicole loves to spend her weekends exploring Alaska with her husband, Christian and their dog, Duke.

Eric Nelson
Accounting Manager

Eric drove to Alaska from Michigan in the summer of 2023. In Michigan, he managed group homes and spent some time working at a local Credit Union before making the trip to Alaska and joining the Rust’s team. He likes to spend his time outdoors with his wife, Caroline, and his lab/husky mix, Gunner. Eric is originally from New Jersey, and has seen nearly all the lower 48 states, but nothing has come close to the views here.

Cole Ouellette
Sales & Marketing Director

Cole Chambers joined the Rust’s/K2 team in 2013. Cole spent 10 years of her career with a major cruise line where she got to know the Rust’s/K2 family very well. When a position came available, she jumped at the chance to join the team! Cole believes that flightseeing is the most incredible way to see Alaska. She and her husband, Spiff called Alaska home for over 20 years and now split their time between Alaska and the Midwest to be closer to family. When not at the Rust’s/K2 offices or on the road “selling” Alaska, Cole can be found cooking for friends, hiking with her dogs, or out enjoying Alaska’s incredible local music scene.

Brenda Howard
Customer Service

Brenda moved to Alaska in 2019 from Southeast Texas. She spent her entire life living near the beach but has fallen in love with the mountain life. She enjoys helping our guests choose the best flight option and seeing the smiles upon their return. Out of the office, Brenda likes to lace up and explore different trails and spend time with the Outreach22 sled dog team in Willow, AK. “Alaska is a special place. I love watching the eagles fly just as much as seeing our beautiful red floatplanes take off.”

Scott Rockey

Scott started his aviation career in 1996 flying for Kenmore Air in Seattle. He moved to Anchorage in 1999 where he flew for Ketchum Air before joining Rust’s in 2002. Scott has two jobs at Rust’s: pilot in the summer time and a mechanic in the winter. You will see him in any of the aircraft in Rust’s fleet on floats, wheels and skis. He has over 9000 hours flight time most all of it in Alaska and almost all of that on floats. Scott loves to go fishing, hunting or hiking and in the winter to go skiing, both downhill and cross country. He enjoys the challenges of flying in Alaska and the beautiful places it takes him.

Mark Stadsklev

Mark Stadsklev has been flying with Rust’s for over 20 years. His passion is to fly to unique places to add photographs to his website, www.artwithinnature.com. Mark self-published the successful book, “Alaskan Air: Nature’s Artwork on the Alaskan Landscape”, available at Rust’s and through Amazon.com.

Bruce Adams

I was fortunate to grow up in Breckenridge, Colorado. I spent much of my youth climbing, skiing and developing a passion for wild places. Post graduation from high school a friend and I drove my 1967 Volvo station wagon to Alaska. We stayed the summer, climbed in the mountains, and fell in love with the grandeur of Alaska. Our journey included a stop in Talkeetna and a couple of flights in a Cessna 185 with pilot Jim Sharp, who became a friend and mentor. Enrolled at the University, I returned to Colorado but had trouble concentrating on mathematics. I day dreamed about flying small airplanes up the glaciers and around the majestic peaks of Alaska. Soon I was ditching math class to work on my private pilot license at the Boulder airport. I migrated between Alaska and Colorado several times but I knew that ultimately I desired the adventure and wildness that only Alaska could provide. Finally, I committed to living in the north and fortunately Hank Rust hired me in 1992. I have been with Rust’s Flying Service ever since and have accumulated over 15,000 float plane hours. I hope to see you on one of our flights this summer!