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Contaminated Fuel Causes Engine Failures Print E-mail

Aero Commander lands short of runwayA 1971 Aero Commander was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut on July 18, 2010.

After both engines quit, the pilot attempted to return to the airport, but had to settle for a forced landing on the tundra a short distance from the runway.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board published the report on the incident recently. The report cites fuel contamination as the cause of the engine failures.  It appears that one of two drums pumped into the plane was from a 'slop' drum, containing waste jet fuel among other things.  It is a good lesson in making SURE you've got good fuel.  Here's the CBC story on the report. A copy of the full TSB report is available here.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 March 2011 20:55
The Aviators Print E-mail

The Aviators LogoTelevision shows about general aviation, or aviation in general, are few and far between. The Aviators seems to be doing well, now into their third season.  re's a new one that made its debut last season fall. They're running on a number of networks, including PBS in the United States, and they have episodes of the program available for sale on their site.  You can also join their site, and get on-line access to episodes from the first seasons The website features previews of some of the programs, story lists, trailers and photos.  Some areas require paid membership.


Last Updated on Sunday, 27 January 2013 13:20
Ever thought about learning to fly.... Print E-mail

International Learn to Fly Day logoSaturday, May 19, 2012 is International Learn to Fly Day.  It is a day to encourage everyone who's ever thought they might like to learn to get out and give it a try. Visit the site here for information about how to hold an event, or participate in one. And don't worry if you log in too late for this year's event. You can always get a head start on next year's!

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 July 2011 19:51
Aklak Air hangar burns Print E-mail

Aklak AirAklak Air, a charter and scheduled flight operator in the Beaufort region of the Northwest Territories, lost 3 planes in a hangar fire in Inuvik, NWT, Canada on November 4, 2010.  Read more from CBC News. 

Lost in the fire were a King Air 100, a Beech 99 and a Twin Otter.  All three aircraft were well-known for long service across the north.

The loss cuts the Aklak Air fleet in half.  However, Aklak is jointly owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation and Kenn Borek Air, which should mean it will have access to Borek's larger fleet of aircraft to maintain Aklak's scheduled and charter operations. The Aklak medevac (medical transport) aircraft was not damaged.  It was being stored in a different hangar at the time of the fire.

The Inuvialuit Development Corporation, which owns Aklak, announced in September, 2011 that Aklak plans to begin construction of a new hangar in the spring of 2012.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 22:49
Sikorsky S-38B Flying Yacht Print E-mail

Sikorsky S-38B N28VThis 1928 Sikorsky S-38B (N28V) made a stop in Iqaluit on a flight from the US to Germany in August 2010.  It was quite a sight (and sound...).  We've got more information in the Trip Reports and Visits section of our site.


Last Updated on Sunday, 29 August 2010 15:38
WAC Charts Discontinued Print E-mail

NavCanada is discontinuing production of World Aeronautical Charts for Canada.  They are also withdrawing the existing inventory, effective September 23, 2010. After September 23, 2010, WAC charts are no longer authorized for operational use.

Here's the text of NavCanada Aeronautical Information Circular 17/10, which contains the details. We've added links to the NavCanada site for convenience:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 December 2010 20:20
HeliVenture takes flight Print E-mail

OO-HEYPaul Bossens, and Pete Koekelkoren flew a Robinson R-44 Clipper II (OO-HEY) from Brussels, Belgium to 2010 Oshkosh for the airshow and then on to Los Angeles.  The trip covered more than 9,000 nm, flown over about a month in the summer of 2010.

They made it to LA August 8, 2010.  This was their second attempt at the transtlantic trip.  They started out with the HeliVenture group of helicopters in the summer of 2007 that made the trip to Oshkosh in celebration of the 100th anniversary of helicopter flight in France. Unfortunately, Paul and company had to give up in Iceland due to a technical program.  But this year they made it, including a couple of days flying around the Los Angeles area.

More on our Trip Reports and Visits page.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 March 2011 21:49
The End of an Era... at least for now Print E-mail

C-GOLJ at CYLC Kimmirut, NunavutThe spring of 2010 brought big changes for our little Polar Pilots group.  For a variety of reasons, we sold our Cessna 172 C-GOLJ and hangar at the Iqaluit, Nunavut airport.  While that means we won't be flying locally for the forseeable future, we remain actively interested in general aviation in Nunavut.  And while we're no longer able to provide tie-down space for visiting small planes, we will continue to endeavour to answer questions and provide information for pilots travelling to our unique region.

We'll also continue to actively maintain the Polar Pilots web site.

Over the last 17 years we've met a wide range of pilots from all over the world. And we hope to hear from you, if you're planning a trip up this way.


Last Updated on Friday, 18 March 2011 20:50
Planespotting at CYFB Print E-mail

Qikiqtarjuaq midnight summer VFRWe've added a section on the site to display some of the photos we've taken and collected of different aircraft here at CYFB in Iqaluit, Nunavut.  We've collected quite a few in the last few years, and will be adding them as we have time over the next few weeks. 

This photo was taken after midnight in the summer, near Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut by Paul Nopper. Paul's got more great photos on his website.

Click on Planespotting on the main menu to access the photo gallery. If you have pictures you'd like to add, contact us!

Last Updated on Friday, 26 March 2010 19:44
New Trip Reports Print E-mail

Check out our Trip Reports and Visits pages for some new additions.  We have links to a trip report from Washington State, USA to Europe by Gary and Alice Nelson; the blog from another Cessna 182 trip from Vancouver, BC to Europe, and a link to blog of an ultralight pilot who took is Challenger from Montreal to the Arctic Coast community of Kugluktuk.

Have you made an arctic trip in a small plane?  Send us your story!

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 December 2009 14:11
Private Cessna lands at Alert Print E-mail

Gerd and Dorothy Wengler at CFS AlertGerd and Dorothy Wengler have joined a very elite group. That, of course, is the group of pilots who have landed their private aircraft at Canadian Forces Station Alert, the most northerly airport in North America.

Alert is a restricted military site, so just getting permission to go there takes a lot of work.  And then there's the flight to the top of Ellesmere Island, some 4000 kilometers north of their home near Toronto, Ontario. Making that trip is not something or the faint of heart.

There is only one small civilian community on Ellesmere - Grise Fiord, about 700 kilometers south of Alert. And there's a weather station about halfway up at Eureka. There also used to be a science station at Eureka, but that was closed in 2012.

Gerd and Dorothy made the Alert trip in mid-August 2009, from their home in southern Ontario.  And from this article on the Canadian Forces website, it sounds like it was quite an adventure.  They made the trip to mark the Centennial of Powered Flight in Canada.

This wasn't their first trip to Canada's Eastern Arctic in their Turbo Skylane.  They visited Iqaluit in the summer of 2005 on the way to Europe. They were back in 2007 for a sightseeing trip to Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq and Greenland.

Here's a report on their trip to Alert.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 13:12
2009 Iqaluit Air Show a Success Print E-mail

One of many enthusiastic young air show visitorsIqaluit's first Air Show was quite a success.  It brought together a number of static displays, plus a fly-by featuring two Canadian Forces CF-18s, and a show by the Canadian Forces Skyhawks parachute demonstration team.

Overcast skies and cooler temperatures didn't stop hundreds of people from coming out on Saturday, August 22nd to the north apron at CYFB in Iqaluit.

There was lots to see.  On display were First Air's new Boeing 767 cargo plane and an ATR42; four aircraft from the Canadian Forces (CF-18, Aurora, Twin Otter and Seaking helicopter), Transport Canada's ice surveillance DASH-7; a Canadian Helicopters Bell 212; a Canadian Coast Guard BO-105-CBS helicopter; and Cessna 172 C-GOLJ.

Canada's Defence Minister Peter MacKay dropped by, along with then Chief of Defense Staff General Walt Natynczyk. They were in town to observe the Canadian Forces northern military exercise, Operation Nanook, which was underway that week.

C-GOLJ, TC DASH-7, and CF Twin OtterAlong with the static displays came a chance to see local aircraft at work. Throughout the show, just about everything was on the move: charters, scheduled flights and medevacs: including Kenn Borek Twin Otters, King Airs and DC-3, Air Nunavut's King Airs (which did a fly-by mid afternoon); a Canadian Forces Hercules, a Canadian Forces Challenger jet, and the First Air and Canadian North B737s, DASH-8s, and ATR-42s.

We had a couple of hundred kids (and quite a few adults, too!) visit OLJ during the show.  As you can see from the photo above, the chance to get behind the controls of even a small airplane was irresistible to many.  As one child was heard to say, while pointing across the tarmac at OLJ,  "Mom, I want to go and see the kids' plane!".

Credit for the event goes to Iqaluit Airport Manager John Graham, and Eric Leuthold and his crew at Frobisher Bay Touchdown Services. It was an excellent volunteer effort that brought rave reviews from those who attended.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 October 2015 23:43
New Aviation Document Booklet Print E-mail

Aviation Document BookletIt's here!  That simple paper pilot license you've carried around for years is being replaced.  Transport Canada has made significant changes to the document, adding more details, including pilot photograph, ratings, machine-readable bar codes and a number of security features.

Most classes of current Canadian commercial and private aeroplane and helicopter pilots and ATP holders should have applied for the new document by now. The deadline for applications was  June 30, 2010. If you haven't obtained your new pilot document yet, you can't fly until you get it.  Transport Canada says applications are taking 4 to 6 weeks to process.

Glider Pilot, Balloon Pilot, Gyroplane pilot permit, recreational and ultra-light licence holders can also apply now for the new document.  Those categories of existing licences will expire on December 31, 2010.

The application form is available on-line for the new Canadian Aviation Document Booklet. Want to know more?  Check this FAQ at the Transport Canada site.   More information about the new license document is also here on the Transport Canada website.

The Advisory Circular from Transport Canada is here.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 12:56
Kimmirut added Print E-mail

CYLC Kimmirut, NunavutAirport information, along with photos and tourism info have been added to the articles under COMMUNITIES/KIMMIRUT.  The photo at left shows approaching Kimmirut from the east (from Iqaluit).

The airstrip is the horizontal line in the centre of the frame.  Click on the photo to enlarge.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 December 2009 16:41
Pangnirtung added Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 October 2008 19:31

We've added a new pages and information for the community of Pangnirtung.  Click on the link under communities for more about the airport, community, accommodation, and tourism info.


Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2008 19:33
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