Ice Pilots NWT

Ice Pilots NWT (known in the UK and the US as Ice Pilots[1]) is a reality television series broadcast on History Television that portrayed Buffalo Airways, an airline based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.[2] Buffalo mainly flies WWII-era piston powered propeller planes as well as Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft year-round in northern Canada. The show ran from November 18, 2009 to December 17, 2014, comprising six seasons.

Ice Pilots NWT
Ice Pilots Logo.gif
Created byDavid Gullason
Written byTodd Serotiuk
Mark Fuller
Directed byLionel Goddard
Brad Quenville
John Driftmier
StarringChuck Adams
Jeff Schroeder
Sean Barry
Scott Blue
Devan Brooks
Gord Cooling
Corey Dodd
Jynelle Glenn
Duane Hicks
Joe McBryan
Mikey McBryan
Justin Simle
Arnie Schreder
Kelly Jurasevich
AJ Decoste
Jeremy Dow
Audrey Marchand
Wilf Darr
Ray Weber
Narrated byMichael Daingerfield
Opening theme"Fly Away" - Lenny Kravitz (Canadian broadcast)

"Airplanes" - David Usher (American broadcast)
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes65 (list of episodes)
Executive producersGabriela Schonbach
Michael Chechik
David Gullason
ProducerDavid Gullason
Production locationsYellowknife, NWT
Hay River, NWT
EditorsDiana Bodnar
Larry Raskin
Peter Steel
Deane Bennet
Al Flett
Running timeApproximately 45 minutes
Production companyOmni Film Productions
DistributorCanwest Broadcasting
Original networkHistory Television
Original releaseNovember 18, 2009 (2009-11-18) –
December 17, 2014 (2014-12-17)
Related showsIce Road Truckers
External links
Production website
Mike McBryan of Buffalo Air
Filming C-FIQM for Ice Pilots at Cambridge Bay Airport. Temperature −33.3 °C (−27.9 °F)
Buffalo DC-3


Ice Pilots premiered on November 18, 2009.[3] The show was renewed for a second season with filming completed on August 2, 2010. The season premiere was aired on History Television January 12, 2011. Season 3 was greenlit on August 18, 2010 and began airing on October 12, 2011.[4] In the UK, series 2 was shown on Quest commencing May 2011. The episodes in season 4 have been shown on the Discovery Channel in the UK.[1] Season 1 of Ice Pilots began airing on the National Geographic Channel in the US on April 22, 2011. Both Season 1 and 2 have aired in Australia on National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Channel HD, and currently air on the digital channel 7 Mate.[5]

On February 2, 2012 The Weather Channel announced that it was adding Ice Pilots to its primetime lineup. On March 5, 2012 the show started airing on The Weather Channel, starting with seasons 1 and 2.[6]

The National Geographic Channel no longer airs the show regularly, though it does occasionally broadcast episodes.[when?]

Ice Pilots NWT has been recognized with two Gemini Awards in 2011 for Best Original Music for a Lifestyle/Practical Information or Reality Program or Series and Best Photography in an Information Program or Series.[7]

On July 27, 2012, Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, flew up from Edmonton to Yellowknife with Buffalo Airways. On July 28, Dickinson, who holds an airline transport pilot's license, flew a Douglas DC3 to Yellowknife and spent a day being filmed as a guest star for a season four episode.[8]

On September 24, 2013, the Ice Pilots NWT Facebook page aired the first season 5 trailer, as well as the season 5 premiere date of October 23, 2013.

On January 15, 2014 the season 6 production was announced. Promos for season six stated that it would be the final season. It premiered on October 29, 2014. The final episode aired on December 17, 2014. The final episode covered a parachute jump over the D-Day remembrance period of June 2014.[9]


The cast/crew of Ice Pilots NWT consists of the following people:[10]

Person Role Seasons Notes
Chuck Adams Mechanic/in-flight engineer 1 – 6 Resigned from Buffalo early in season 3 but returned in season 4
David Alexandre First Officer 3 – 6 DC-3, C-46 and Electra Co-Pilot
Sean Barry First Officer 1 – 4 Resigned from Buffalo in season 4 to work for First Air. Electra and DC-4 Co-Pilot
Scott Blue First Officer 1 – 5 C-46 and CL215 Co-Pilot, Electra Flight Engineer
Ian Bottomley Captain 1, 4, 6 DC-3 Captain, C-46 Co-Pilot
Devan Brooks Captain 1 – 6 Resigned from Buffalo after season 4 for farm work in Ontario, but returned to Buffalo in season 5 for contracted operations. C-46, DC-3, and DC-4 Captain
Gord Cooling Captain 1 – 3 Resigned from Buffalo and joined First Air. DC-3 and C-46 Captain.
AJ Decoste Chief Pilot 1 – 6 Succeeded Justin Simle as Chief Pilot in season 6. DC-3, C-46, DC-4 and Electra Captain.
Corey Dodd CL-215 lead engineer 1 – 6 Trained to become an Electra flight engineer in season 6
Jeremy Dow Ramp hand 1 Laid off after season 1 taping
Jules D'Souza Ramp hand 3 Resigned late in season 3 and joined Wabusk Air
Laurent Dussault Ramp hand and co-pilot 3 C-46 Co-Pilot
James Dwojak Aircraft engineer AME 1 – 6
Cliff Dyson Mechanic/in-flight engineer 2 – 6
Jim Essery Mechanic 1 – 3 Featured in season 3 episode 11. Died on September 1, 2012 in a drowning accident[11]
Graeme Ferguson Ramp hand and co-pilot 2 – 6 DC-3, DC-4 and Electra Co-Pilot
Jynelle Glenn Courier manager 1 – 3, 5 Married to Devan Brooks (have a child in season 4), resigned early in season 3; made an appearance in season 5 visiting Yellowknife with their son
Brian Harrison Captain 1 – 6 Electra Captain
Duane Hicks Senior manager 3 – 4 Finished at Buffalo late in season 3; assisted Mike McBryan in season 4 during an auction
Kelly Jurasevich Cargo manager 1 – 4 Resigned from Buffalo in season 4. Died on January 10, 2017.[12]
Audrey Marchand Ramp hand and co-pilot 1 – 3, 5 Resigned early in season 3 to work as a Westjet cabin crew member (eventually worked at Air Creebec); co-piloted a DC-3 with Devan Brooks to Buffalo's maintenance facility in Red Deer, Alberta in season 5 after getting a few days off her job
Joe McBryan President of Buffalo Airways and captain 1 – 6
Kathy McBryan Hay River manager 2 – 6 Middle child of Joe McBryan
Mike McBryan General manager 1 – 6 Youngest child of Joe McBryan
Rod McBryan Director of maintenance/ Accountable Executive 1 – 6 Oldest child of Joe McBryan; became Buffalo's accountable executive (in charge of ensuring the airline adheres to all Transport Canada regulations), taking over from his father
Christine Povey Co-pilot and Ramp hand 4 – 5 Trialed at Buffalo in season 4 after quitting her job as a dental assistant back in Toronto; returned to Buffalo on a full-time basis in season 5
Arnie Schreder Former Chief Pilot 1 – 4 Retired late in season 2, but returned in seasons 3 and 4. Died on May 5, 2012 of small-cell lung cancer[13]
Justin Simle Chief Pilot 1 – 5 Became Chief Pilot in season 3 after Arnie Schreder's retirement; left Buffalo after season 5 to start his own airline. DC-3, DC-4 and CL215 Captain.
Tyler Sipos Ramp hand 3 – 5 Resigned from Buffalo in season 5 to fly for Air Georgian
Adam Smith Mechanic/in-flight engineer 1 – 6
Sophie the Dog Mascot and co-pilot 1 – 6 Died in season 6
Raman Srivastava Ramp hand 1 Resigned during season 1 to return home to India
Chris Staples Cargo Manager / Apprenticing Mechanic / First Officer 4 - 6 C-46 First Officer. Appeared in several episodes.
Alex Wagner Co-pilot, bird dog pilot 1, 3 DC-4 and Beech Baron Co-pilot
Ray Weber Captain 1 – 4 Retired in season 4. Electra Captain.
Andrew Weich Ramp hand and co-pilot 1 – 4 Resigned in season 4 to fly for Cathay Pacific

Aircraft featuredEdit

Airplane Seasons
Curtiss C-46 Commando 1 – 6
Douglas DC-3 1 – 6
Douglas DC-4 1 – 5
Lockheed L-188 Electra 1 – 6
Canadair CL-215 1 – 5
Beechcraft Baron 1 – 6
Beechcraft Travel Air 2 – 5
Beechcraft King Air 6
Consolidated PBY Catalina 3
Cessna 150 4
Douglas DC-6 5

Episode listingEdit

Seasons 1 through 5 each have 13 episodes. Season 6 only has 8. It was explained that season 6 has fewer episodes than other seasons because the filming decision for a season 6 was made later than the others, leading to less footage and materials being available.[14]

Season Episodes Channel Airdate
1 13 History Television November 18, 2009 – February 13, 2010
2 13 History Television January 12, 2011 – April 6, 2011
3 13 History Television October 12, 2011 – January 19, 2012
4 13 History Television November 7, 2012 – February 6, 2013
5 13 History Television October 23, 2013 – January 29, 2014
6 8 History Television October 29, 2014 – December 17, 2014


Ice Pilots NWT won several Leo Awards, Gemini Awards, and was nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards.

List of accolades
Award Category Episode Result
Gemini Awards (2010) Best Sound in an Information/Documentary Program or Series "The Crash" Won
Leo Awards (2010) Best Cinematography in a Documentary Program or Series "Transatlantic Crossing" Nominated
Best Direction in a Documentary Program or Series "Transatlantic Crossing" Nominated
Best Documentary Series N/A Won
Best Overall Sound in a Documentary Program or Series "Suspension" Nominated
Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series "The Crash" Nominated
Best Screenwriting in a Documentary Program or Series "Transatlantic Crossing" Won
Best Screenwriting in a Documentary Program or Series "Thin Ice" Nominated
Best Sound Editing in a Documentary Program or Series "Suspension" Won
Gemini Awards (2011)[15] Best Direction in a Lifestyle/Practical Information Program or Series N/A Nominated
Best Original Music for a Lifestyle/Practical Information or Series N/A Won
Best Photography Lifestyle/Practical Information Program or Series N/A Won
Best Sound in an Information/Documentary Program or Series "Under Pressure" Nominated
Leo Awards (2012) Best Screenwriting in a Documentary Program or Series N/A Nominated
Best Short Documentary Program N/A Won
Canadian Cinema Editors Awards (2013) Best Editing in Lifestyle/Reality "Crash Landing" Won
2nd Canadian Screen Awards (2014) Best Documentary Series N/A Nominated
3rd Canadian Screen Awards (2015)[16] Best Factual Program or Series N/A Won
4th Canadian Screen Awards (2016)[17] Best Factual Program or Series N/A Nominated
Best Direction in a Documentary or Factual Series "D-Day" Won
Best Writing in a Factual Program or Series "D-Day" Won

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Ice Pilots at Quest TV
  2. ^ "Ice Pilots NWT nominated for another Canadian Screen Award". My Yellowknife Now, Mike Gibbins, Jan. 21st, 2016
  3. ^ "Ice Pilots NWT". Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  4. ^ Ice Pilots News at History Channel
  5. ^ Nat Geo US picks up Ice Pilots NWT
  6. ^ "Newsroom - The Weather Company". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Ice Pilots NWT, Nazi Hunters score at Gemini Awards". 2011-08-30.
  8. ^ A maiden voyage for rock star Archived 2013-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "D-Day". Ice Pilots NWT. 17 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Ice Pilots NWT". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Drowned Yellowknife man believed to be airline mechanic". CBC. 2012-09-04.
  12. ^ "Buffalo Airways - We lost a great friend and family member". Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Memorial service held Saturday for Ice Pilots' Arnie Schreder". CBC. 2012-05-12.
  14. ^ "Ice Pilots NWT - Frequently Asked Questions (Facebook Notes)". December 16, 2014.
  15. ^ Benzine, Adam (2011-08-30). "Ice Pilots, Nazi Hunters win big at Gemini Awards".
  16. ^ Kennedy, John R. (2015-01-13). "Shaw Media earns dozens of Canadian Screen Awards nominations". Global News.
  17. ^ Gibbins, Mike (March 9, 2016). "Ice Pilots NWT picks up another two Canadian Screen Awards". My Yellowknife Now.

External linksEdit