Business Profile

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Title and Firm: Lana M. West is sole proprietor of Westflite, a new Juneau business servicing private and commercial aircraft.

Services: "Basically, we offer aircraft maintenance, alterations and inspection on fixed-wing planes, no helicopters," West said. Cessnas, Pipers, and DeHavilands are among the types of aircraft she is trained on and experienced in repairing.

Because small planes are the lifeline of roadless areas of Alaska, she is willing to travel to remote villages and towns to perform her services.

Background: West, 30, has lived in Juneau since January 1998, and has worked for airlines all over Southeast Alaska for a total of 13 years. She attended various flight safety schools including one in Seattle.

To inspect planes for flight readiness, she has an authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. "You actually have to do so many hours of work a year to keep that (authorization) up; it's pretty detailed," she said.

"My dad is a mechanic in the same business. I worked for him as a shop rat, cleaning the hangar, and eventually became an assistant mechanic in Ketchikan. Then I went to school," West said.

She worked in the Caribbean for a few years, traveling between the islands and Ketchikan. "That was pretty interesting. The weather was totally opposite (of Southeast Alaska). It presented its own challenges for maintaining aircraft - mainly increased corrosion due to the warm, tropical climate," West said.

Quotable: "The goal of Westflite is to continue to improve the overall safety of aviation in Southeast Alaska by providing quality aircraft maintenance to private aircraft owners and commercial operators."

Family: Lana West is married to Larry West, a pilot who is also a mechanic. She has a stepson, 13.

Contact information: The business phone number is 790-2168. "I prefer (potential customers) contact me one-on-one to learn about charges," West said. Queries can also be mailed to Westflite at P.O. Box 32126, Juneau, 99803.a



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