Next Episode of Ice Pilots NWT is
not planed. TV Show was canceled.
What's it about: This documentary series follows the pilots of the Yellowknife-based Buffalo Airways, which still flies Second World War airplanes to transport people around the north. Reminds us of: Ice Road Truckers in the air. The buzz: Since History Television is using words like "ice pilots," blizzards" and "frozen lakes," I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will be like Ice Road Truckers, but with airplanes. Does that mean I won't watch? Are you kidding?? I'll be glued to the set. The chance to see pilots dealing with crappy weather, loopy passengers and potentially dangerous cargo – all being shipped around in planes made in the 1940s – is a recipe for disaster. And great TV.
Newly minted copilot Jeff Tapper is excited for his first revenue DC-3, but his inexperience shows when he botches the approach and bounces the landing three times, nearly running off the runway. Meanwhile, for new rampie Prefkar Mony to realize his dream of becoming a DC-3 pilot, he needs to first pass the written IATRA test. He's been studying for months, but on his first attempt, he fails. With the help of pilot/mechanic Chris Staples, Prefkar retakes the test and passes, but his victory celebration is short-lived when he's blamed for leaving an expensive shipment of medicine marked "Do Not Freeze" in a courier van during a minus 30 weekend. Later, Mikey and Katie decide to find Joe a new dog and choose Muffy, a three-year-old dog from the SPCA who is ready to leave her pups. They bring her back to the hangar for a test drive. Joe brings DC-3 CUE out of retirement to test fly the plane for Buffalo's summer sked duty and he brings along Jeff—and Muffy—to see if they're Buffalo material.
Mikey talks to a 15-year-old aviation buff in England via Skype, who has discovered that Buffalo's DC3–WZS–flew on D-Day. This inspires Mikey to do something special for the 70th anniversary. He invites Cory to do a tandem parachute jump and finds out that Cory's grandfather was a paratrooper at the invasion of Normandy. Meanwhile, Mikey takes mercy on Prefkar, working the ramp in Hay River, and offers him a chance for some pilot training on the morning DC-3 freighter. But when the time comes, Prefkar learns that he's been bumped for pilot David Alexandre. It gets worse for Prefkar when he's given another chance and this time the fog rolls in. Prefkar might not stick it out at Buffalo. Mikey's D-Day plans get even bigger when he contacts the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, who were part of the Allied airborne forces that dropped behind German lines in 1944. He pitches his plan—a reenactment jump from WZS, an actual D-Day plane. But there's a hitch: the plane needs to pass inspection, and Mikey needs to lose weight to make the cut for tandem jumping. Mikey tries everything he can think of—from juicing, working out with Dan at the gym and even sweating it out in spin class. Cory and Mikey go over what they need to refit DC-3 WZS for a static line jump. Cory is sent on a scavenger hunt for parts in Red Deer and finds a brand-new bracket from the 1940s—but they still need to find the missing rear bracket, and nobody even knows what it looks like.
Mikey shows a veteran Buffalo's DC-3, WZS, Buffalo's very own vintage plane from the Second World War. It is being fitted with a special ‘static' line, which paratroopers will clip onto for a D-Day reenactment jump. But army inspectors tell Mikey a modern military needs a modern line with a winch system in case they need to retrieve a "hung-up jumper". Cory and Mikey scramble to build the retrieval line before the inspector comes back to test it. But with their bumbling and fumbling, it doesn't look like they will make the cut. Meanwhile, Chris Staples and some of Buffalo's pilots head down to Fullerton, California, to Air Combat USA, where pilots get to experience aerial dogfights in real fighter planes. The pilots do yo-yos, spins and pull Gs to out-maneuver their opponent. First up in the dogfights are newly checked-out co-pilot Sam Storm versus longtime co-pilot David Alexandre. Sam wins the fight due to David's inability to hold down his breakfast. Next up is cocky co-pilot Chris Staples versus his C-46 captain Devan Brooks. But Devan's many years in DC-3s and C-46s have left him unprepared for the video game pace of dogfighting and he quickly loses 3-0. Finally, the two top guns return to the sky. Sam scores first, but Chris is not about to get beaten.
The Buffalo boys gather in Red Deer for Mikey's D-Day tribute jump. Joe and Sam scout out the designated military drop zone over Abraham Lake in the Rockies only to discover the canyon is too narrow for the DC-3. So Joe cancels the whole thing—it's too dangerous. Mikey uses Joe's own philosophy against him: at Buffalo, there's always a backup plan. Joe flies out to scout a new location for the drop on the lake but hits bad weather. As Joe is about to scrap the trip, twenty paratroopers from the Canadian and American armies arrive for the big jump and are ready to go. They board WZS and Joe takes off to a site he hasn't scouted, in weather that just keeps getting worse. As they near the drop point, he finally calls it—no jump tonight. They turn back, with all the troops still on board. Mikey's only hope is a narrow window first thing the next morning—but only if Joe gives the final okay.
Adam Smith(Adam Smith)
Rod McBryan(Rod McBryan)
Scott Blue(Scott Blue)
Justin Simle(Justin Simle)
Devan Brooks(Devan Brooks)
AJ Decoste(AJ Decoste)
Arnie Schreder(Arnie Schreder)
Mikey McBryan(Mikey McBryan)
Joe McBryan(Joe "Buffalo" McBryan)
Kathy McBryan(Kathy McBryan)
Ray Weber(Ray Weber)
Christine Povey(Christine Povey)
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