Ice Pilots NWT is back. The hit docu-series following the adventures of renegade Arctic airline Buffalo Airways set ratings records in its debut last year. Now it’s back for a second season of nail-biting challenges and intimate stories featuring the pilots, engineers and crew who put it all on the line flying vintage warplanes across the last frontier on Earth. Our favourite faces and some new rookies show up for another season of thrills, tension, laughter and our most personal stories yet.
This season on Ice Pilots NWT: "Buffalo" Joe McBryan tests a new batch of rampies desperate to become Buffalo pilots, Mikey travels to Venezuela and England in search of prized planes, Rod's wife Sasha gives birth and hockey fever spreads through the hangar as the DC-3 flies the iconic Stanley Cup on a tour of the North. Once again Buffalo's crew battles a host of obstacles. Devan and Scott struggle to maintain their cool as engines act up on the C-46. Crusty Mr. Fix-it Chuck faces off with a stubborn Electra and the team of crack mechanics mount the DC-3 on skis just in time for Arnie and AJ to land on a lake of rapidly thinning ice.
Ice Pilots NWT is a 13-episode real-life docu-series about an unorthodox airline in the Canadian North. Yellowknife-based Buffalo Airways flies WWII-era propeller planes – big old aircraft built by "Rosie the Riveter" that have remained virtually unchanged over the years. Rookie pilots defy bone-chilling temperatures to fly cargo and passengers through blizzards, breakdowns and transatlantic journeys. It's an impossible job in a merciless place.
New recruits come to slog it out on the ramp in -30°C weather to earn a chance to fly planes that most airlines scrapped long ago. Classics like the Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 and the Curtiss C-46 Commando – the very planes that once ferried troops and supplies in WWII.
Few newbies make it. As they compete to rise up the ranks, they cope with ice storms, forest fires, treacherous landings and legendary owner "Buffalo" Joe McBryan's famous temper.
Buffalo Airways is literally a lifeline to the North. As Joe's son Mikey McBryan puts it: "You can't separate the North from flying. It's the same thing." Without Buffalo Airways, food and supplies wouldn't reach the many northern communities cut off from the rest of the world during the long, harsh winter.
Ice Pilots NWT gives viewers a rare look at life "North of 60." Welcome to the world of Buffalo Airways. “Hang onto your hats, boys
I don't imagine you will see the show on any other channel besides History Canada until after the 13 episodes air each week. I would however think that someone would make the shows available for download shortly after each episode airs.
Did anyone watch Episode 1 of Season 2 last night on History Channel? If so what did you think?
They did a good job with this first episode and accurately portrayed the challenges of arctic operations in the winter. They do tend to over dramatize the situations...
One minor misjudgment of the DC-4 captain to not bring along a Herman Nelson and cost the company time and money. Plugging all those heaters into a single plug was a bad idea. They did bring extra drums of fuel which probably saved them after missing in Gjoa Haven. Joe did say they could have left the extra rampy behind and taken the fuel and the heater.
There is a very limited supply of Avgas in these communities. If they chose to stay legal taking only fuel to destination + alternate + 45 min reserve they might have been in big trouble. The only place near Gjoa Haven where they seem to keep a small supply of Avgas is Cambridge Bay. That would have taken them 230 miles west in the wrong direction and the weather was down in that area.
Waking up to a frozen airframe and trying to heat up those 4 engines/oil with a frost fighter at -40C must have been a nightmare!
I saw season one through a link from FlightInfo. That link is now gone, and I'm eager to find a way to see season 2. I saw episode 1 of the show on Era Aviation this evening, and though it's not "Ice Pilots", it's pretty good, and all us folks 'south of the border' will get for a while.