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Air Greenland inaugurates new route to Iqaluit - UPDATED Print E-mail

Air GreenlandAir Greenland has begun a new connection between Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit.   The summer-only service gives Nunavut residents and tourists a chance to make a quick connection between the neighbouring capitals. The flights run Mondays and Fridays, starting June 15, 2012.  The service was successful enough to warrant a second season in the summer of 2013.  Despite being relatively close together, it has been years since there were direct scheduled flights between Canada and Greenland.

Air Greenland is flying the route with a Bombardier DASH 8. Flying time is estimated to be about 1 hour and 45 minutes. That's a lot quicker than a couple of days - flying to southern Canada, on to Copenhagen and up to Nuuk, which is how that trip is done when these direct flights aren't available.  Tickets can be booked with First Air.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 23:48
Qikiqtarjuaq runway damaged - UPDATE Print E-mail

Part of the runway at CYVM Qikiqtarjuaq was closed this week (June 5, 2012) following damage from a rapid snow melt and associated flash flooding.  The first 1100 feet of the normally 3800 ft runway 21(T) are affected.   Fuel delivery to aircraft is also not available due to the closure of a taxiway because of the flooding. CBC News reports that the runway damage has limited flights into the community to medevac and other emergency flights.  Work is underway to repair the damage, though there may be further flooding possible as another lake breaks up.

UPDATE:  NOTAM was lifted within a couple of days as repairs to the runway were made

Check for updated NOTAM information for CYVM here.


Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:29
Passing of Buffalo Airways legend Arnie Schreder Print E-mail

Arnie SchrederSad news for Buffalo Airways, northern aviation and fans of Ice Pilots NWT. Former Buffalo Chief Pilot Arnie Schreder passed away early on Saturday, May 5, 2012 after a battle with small cell lung cancer.  The long-time northern pilot became internationally famous through his part on the History Television reality series.

History Television had put the full last episode of Season 3 of Ice Pilots up on the web in memory of Arnie, but that's since been taken down. You can find their memorial page here.  And there are some full episodes available on line here.

Arnie was 69 years old.  He had more than 37,000 hours flying time, and trained a great many pilots over his years with Buffalo.

A service was held May 10, 2012 in Winfield, BC.  A memorial service was held at the Buffalo in Yellowknife on May 12, 2012.  Fittingly, Arne's ashes were scattered over Back Bay, in a ceremony captured for the Ice Pilots NWT program.


Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 10:06
Buffalo Electra gear up landing Print E-mail

C-FBAQA Buffalo Airways Lockheed Electra had a gear up landing in Yellowknife, NWT on March 5, 2012. The 1959 Lockheed 188A C-FBAQ was on a flight to CYZF,  from Goose Lake, NT when the crew reported the right main gear did not fully retract.  Several unsuccessful attempts were made to manually retract the gear over about an hour.  Following that, an emergency was declared, and the plane landed runway 34 with the left and nose gear extended.  When the right side of the plane dropped, it departed the runway and came to rest in the airport infield.

Transport Canada CADORS reports that a small engine fire was extinguished when the plane came to rest in the snow-covered infield.  Damage was substantial.  The plane was lifted by crane, and the right gear exended and locked when the gear door was pulled away. The incident closed the runway for a number of hours.


C-FBAQBuffalo Airways owner Joe McBryan told Yellowknife media that the flight crew made a "textbook" emergency landing.

You can see the whole story on the popluar History Channel reality show Ice Pilots NWT.

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 22:46
Inuit government buys Air Labrador Print E-mail

Air LabradorThe Nunasiavut Government in northern Labrador has purchased a 51% stake in the regional airline Air Labrador.  The announcement was made at the Northern Lights trade show and conference in Ottawa on February 3, 2012.  Air Labrador serves the coastal communities of Labrador, and some communities on the Lower North Shore of Quebec. Air Labrador operates Twin Otter, Cessna Caravan and Beech 1900D aircraft.


Last Updated on Sunday, 05 February 2012 15:31
Arctic Air Print E-mail

Arctic AirCBC Television has a new dramatic series called Arctic Air. It tells the story of a fictional northern airline, based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.  The series stars Adam Beach, Kevin McNulty, and Pascale Hutton.  The website features on-demand full episodes, and more.   The series also features a major tourism sponsorship by the Northwest Territories.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 22:15
Victim's families file lawsuits on First Air crash at CYRB Resolute Bay, Nunavut Print E-mail

First Air flight data recorder

Five lawsuits have been filed in Nunavut courts following the August 2011 crash of a First Air 737 near Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Families of a number of the crash victims are suing First Air, Nav Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND).  The families of the First Air flight attendants and the pilot and co-pilot, who all died in the crash, have also filed suit. And First Air is suing DND and Nav Canada. The various suits allege DND and Nav Canada were negligent in the operation of air traffic control at CYRB at the time of the crash.   A military exercise, Operation Nanook, was getting underway at the time of the crash

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board released a progress report (Jan 5/12) on their investigation into the crash of First Air Boeing 737-200 C-GNWN at Resolute Bay, Nunavut on August 20, 2011. CBC News story here. On April 5, 2013, the TSB told CBC News that they have a draft final report on the crash prepared, but that it will be some time before the final report is complete and released. The final report was released on March 25, 2014. More detail on the report and links are available here.

The plane crashed on approach to CYFB, the Resolute Bay airport. Fifiteen people were aboard, including a crew of 4.   Twelve died in the crash, including all of the First Air crew members. Three passengers were medevaced to hospital in Iqaluit, Nunavut, from which they were sent on for further treatment to Ottawa, with non-life threatening injuries. Members of the Canadian Forces who were in Resolute for Operation Nanook, along with local volunteer firefighters, were involved in the rescue of the survivors.

A number of the those who died in the crash were employees of Aziz Kerhaj, owner of the South Camp Inn in Resolute.  Aziz and his wife also lost a granddaughter in crash.

Crash survivor Michelle Willamson told her story of what happened that day to CBC's The National. Video and transcript here.

Pilots and airlines in Yellowknife, where the flight originated, held a memorial fly-by a few days after the accident. The video is here. You'll see Buffalo Airways DC-3, DC-4, C-46; a Dehavilland Buffalo, Twin Otters, DASH 7 and 8, Beech 18,  Dornier 228, and others.  The fly-by finishes with a Canadian North B737.

The original CBC News story from August 20, 2011 is here.

Some photos, IFR approach plate and other information regarding conditions (METAR CYRB) at the time are available in the Aviation Herald article here.

More information was posted at cbc.ca/north on August 22/11. And again on August 23/11

There is also an extensive pilots discussion thread available at AvCanada, including IFR approach chart information.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 20:51
Ice Pilots NWT Print E-mail

Ice Pilots NWTIce Pilots NWT has had three successful seasons on Canada's History Television channel.  And fans are looking forwardto season 4 this fall. The reality series tells the story of Buffalo Airways, an airline based in the Northwest Territories. Buffalo is renowned for its fleet of classic rotary engine planes, and for their ability to deliver the goods to many small communities in northern Canada. Video of full episodes of the show is available on-line at the History Television website.

Ice Pilots/Buffalo Airways fans might want to check out the new book about the McBryan family and their airline.  It is called "The Ice Pilots: Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North."  It is written by former Up Here magazine editor Michael Vlessides. It is published in Canada by Douglas and McIntyre.  And you know these guys are big international stars... the Ice Pilots roller coaster is now open at Legoland in Denmark!


1944 Curtiss-Wright C46AIqaluit resident Ron Wassink managed to catch the crew of Buffalo's Curtiss-Wright C46a C-GTXW when they were in Iqaluit in March, 2011.  They ended up here for a couple of days due to weather, while trying to deliver a generator to Qikiqtarjuaq.   Ron's blog features some great photos and information about Iqaluit. Photo used by permission.



Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:28
C-GEGG from BC to Grise Fiord Print E-mail

Grise Fiord airportIt is pretty rare to find a Cessna 172 in Canada's high arctic. But that didn't put Werner Koch off.  He flew his 1968 172I C-GEGG to Grise Fiord, Nunavut in July of 2011.  See Grise Fiord by 172 in our Trip Reports and Visits section.  Here's his photo of the terminal building at the Grise Fiord Airport.  That's something very, very few people have actually seen!  Grise Fiord is Canada's northern-most permanent settlement, at the south end of Ellesmere Island.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 20:25
Twin Otter hard landing at Kimmirut Print E-mail

Twin Otter hard landing Kimmirut, NUA Kenn Borek Twin Otter had a hard landing at CYLC - Kimmirut, Nunavut, Canada on Tuesday evening December 6, 2011.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board reports that the landing collapsed the right main gear.  The cargo flight landed around 23:30 UTC (18:30ET) that evening.  The two pilots were the only people on board, and the TSB says they were not injured.

The plane came to rest just off the 1900 foot runway, near the midpoint. Poor weather conditions on December 7th prevented moving the plane. That caused the closure of the airport all day on December 7th. The plane was finally moved late in the afternoon on December 8th, after which the airport was opened.

CBC News has an initial report on the incident here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 December 2011 21:41
Air Tindi flight down near Lutselk'e, NWT Print E-mail

An Air Tindi passenger plane crashed on a flight from Yellowknife to Lutselk'e in the Northwest Territories on October 4, 2011. Three passengers and one pilot were on board.  Pilot Matthew Bromley, 28, died in the crash, as did passenger Tim Harris, 54. Passengers Bernice Marlowe and Sheldon Catholique survived the crash.

The 1992 Cessna 208B Caravan, C-GATV,  was on a scheduled flight which left Yellowknife at 11:00 MT and was scheduled to arrive at 11:45 MT (October 4, 2011). It crashed about 25 nm from Lutselk'e.  The initial CBC News story, updated, is here.  Aviation weather information for the Lutselk'e area at the time was collected by this site.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.  Their initial incident report is available here.

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 October 2011 17:15
Arctic Sunwest crash in Yellowknife Print E-mail

C-GARWAn Arctic Sunwest Charters Twin Otter float plane crashed in the "Old Town" area of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories shortly after 1pm Mountain time on September 22, 2011.  The plane was apparently on a landing approach to the ASW float base at the time.  Reports indicate the plane clipped a power line, crashing between two buildings.  There were 9 people on board.  Pilots Trevor Jonasson, 36, and co-pilot Nicole Stacey, 26, died in the crash. Six survivors were taken to hospital in Yellowknife.  Another was transferred to hospital in Edmonton.

The plane was a 1973 deHavilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter C-GARW, registered to Arctic Sunwest.

Initial news and photos from CBC News  here.  You can also find early reports here, and here.  There is also a discussion forum at AvCanada here.  The blog Three Miles Final has collected some of the weather information from around the time of the accident.  This GoogleMaps link shows the float base area in Yellowknife.  And Kathryn's Aviation Report has collected an extensive set of photographs.

Friends and family of the pilots have set up a Facebook site in celebration of their lives. You'll find it here.

The Transportation Safety Board released their full report into the accident on January 9, 2013

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 January 2014 17:40
Flying Wild Alaska Print E-mail

Flying Wild Alaska graphicThe Discovery Channel has a new reality show called Flying Wild Alaska. The program featuring Era Alaska, an airline based in Unalakeet, Alaska, flying everything from Cessna 180s on tundra tires to the C-23 Sherpa, to Beech Metroliners.  The Discovery Channel US website features lots of information about the show, and some great video clips.

The show feature quite a bit of flying, and some interesting story lines about life in northern Alaska.

And you'll find the soundtrack music intriguing as well.  Check out Pamyua, the Alaskan group whose music is featured on the show. Great stuff.  And you'll find more groups featured on the show at ThunderCloud Radio.


Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2011 21:01
2011 Iqaluit International Airshow Print E-mail

2011 Iqaluit International AirshowThe Iqaluit International Airshow is back this year, and promises to be a fun afternoon for local aviation fans.  It takes place on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at the north apron of the Iqaluit airport (CYFB), from 10am to 3pm.

The show provides a chance for people in Iqaluit to see up close a number of working aircraft that currently call Iqaluit home.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. The show is being organized again this year by Eric Leuthold and his team at Frobisher Bay Touchdown ServicesAnd here's our story about the 2009 Airshow.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2011 21:15
Air Canada Jazz drops Iqaluit route Print E-mail

Air Canada Jazz on taxiway Bravo at CYFBAir Canada Jazz announced recently that it is discontinuing service on its Montreal-Ottawa-Iqaluit route.  The cancellation takes effect August 1, 2011.

The daily Bombardier CRJ-705 jet service ran for a little over a year.  Air Canada Jazz started the route on March 28, 2010.  But, the airline says it just wasn't making enough money to continue the route.

Iqaluit is currently served by two northern airlines on the Montreal-Ottawa-Iqaluit route.  First Air and Canadian North are both Inuit-owned airlines, who also serve most Nunavut communities.  For more information on these and other carriers, visit our Airlines, Charters and FBOs pages.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2011 21:03
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