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Ice Pilots

Ice Pilots

Ice Pilots NWT is a 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.

Viewers will also watch the drama unfold as pilots fresh out of flight school pay their dues as "rampies," anxious for a chance at flying. Rampies load cargo, sweep snow off the wings and log hours as flight attendants, competing fiercely with one another for the next coveted co-pilot position. Friendships among pilots are also tested as they compete for enough flight hours to make captain.

Ice Pilots NWT gives viewers a rare look at life "North of 60." With the economic downturn, a dwindling supply of specialty aviation gas and the high cost of flying vintage aircraft, the very future of Buffalo Airways hangs in the balance.
(Source: History)
  • Currently 8.5/10
8.5/10 (2 Votes cast)

Episode Info

Next: 6x01 -- Season 6, Episode 1 (Oct/22/2014)

Prev: 5x13 -- Five Seasons (Jan/29/2014)

It's been a wild five years for ICE PILOTS NWT. To celebrate the milestone, we pull back the curtain for an inside glimpse into the production of the TV show, and allow the cast of Buffalo characters to reflect on how it's affected their lives, for better or for worse. And we meet the cameramen who navigate prickly personalities and brave minus-forty conditions to capture the footage that has made ICE PILOTS NWT a cult phenomenon.

  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (1 Vote cast)

Joe McBryan
As Himself (President & Owner)
Mikey McBryan
As Himself (General Manager)
Rod McBryan
As Himself (Director of Maintenance)
Kathy McBryan
As Herself (Hay River Manager)
Justin Simle
As Himself (Chief Pilot)
Scott Blue
As Himself (Co-Pilot)
Ray Weber
As Himself (Electra Captain)
Sean Barry
As Himself (Electra Co-Pilot)
Devan Brooks
As Himself (Captain)
Christine Povey
As Herself (Rampie)

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Recurring Guests

Warning: Ice Pilots guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Reality
Genre: Action | Adventure
Status: Returning Series
Network: History ( Canada)
Airs: Wednesdays at 10:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: November 18, 2009
Episode Order: 13
• Ice Pilots NWT (Alternate title), (Used In USA)
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