MARCH 2, 2008


Born in Bedford, Virginia in 1959, Paneok moved to Anchorage with her mother after her parents’ divorce, but at age 12 went to live in a series of foster homes.  At 15, reading a flying magazine she found her calling.  Ellen did artwork and scrimshaw work to pay for flight lessons.  At age 20, she earned her private pilot’s license.  By age 23, Paneok was a commercial pilot and flight instructor.  She was also one of only a few pilots authorized to fly the vintage aircraft of the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum.  She was published widely and featured in books such as Bush Pilots of Alaska and Women Pilots of Alaska.  Ellen was featured in both the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Women in Flight and the Chicago Air System’s Heroines in Flight exhibits.  She was active in numerous aviation and civic groups.  In March 2008, Paneok was honored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Congressional Record.  In 2012, she was entered into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.      

Source:  “Ellen Paneok,” Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.  Retrieved 6/28/2020,
Photo:  Courtesy of Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.

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