Ice Pilots NWT is a reality television documentary series that portrays Buffalo Airways, an airline based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Buffalo flies WWII-era propeller planes year-round in the Canadian North.

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 Himself (70 episodes, 2009-2014)
Joe McBryan ...
 Himself - Buffalo Joe / ... (67 episodes, 2009-2014)
...
 Narrator (66 episodes, 2009-2014)
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Ice Pilots NWT is a reality television documentary series that portrays Buffalo Airways, an airline based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Buffalo flies WWII-era propeller planes year-round in the Canadian North.

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pilot | cargo plane | arctic | airport | See All (4) »

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Documentary

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18 November 2009 (Canada)  »

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Ice Pilots  »

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Well worth watching, if you love 'mature' airplanes
28 February 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is clearly a show for aviation enthusiasts, and particularly for that specific subset of those enthusiasts who really like older (rotary engine) aircraft. I am, and I do, so I am positively biased. Honestly, it is probably not the best viewing choice for people who don't understand or appreciate that mindset. The show also offers an example of how many people make their living, and the effort they put forward, the hardships they endure, and the sacrifices that they make, to earn that living. It possibly could serve as a lesson for many young people, although I doubt that those who might benefit from such a lesson are included in the target demographic for the show. :) This series is not a video game, and may not be appealing to them.

Any reality show must rely on a certain level of artificial drama, and Ice Pilots NWT is no exception. At times, the contrived drama is a bit much. But, the reality of the flying, business, social and personal environments nonetheless comes through. I, for one, am delighted that such an airline can continue to function, and not be squeezed out of existence by needless, and oppressive regulation. Frankly, I would consider it money well spent to travel all the way to Yellowknife, just to take a flight on the 'sched'. I love flying on DC-3's anyway.

I agree with other reviewers, that Joe McBryan would not be a boss that I would ever care to work for. Or, for that matter, a pilot with whom I would care to share a cockpit as a right-seater. But, guess what? It is a REALITY SHOW, and I think viewers are seeing a taste of reality - I seriously doubt McBryan put on an affect just for the cameras, while in 'real life' he is a tender, thoughtful, considerate manager, who regularly gives hugs to his employees. Unfortunately, I have seen more than a few instances where regulatory agencies such as the FAA (and TC), not infrequently populated by a number of overzealous bureaucrats, target individuals such as a Joe McBryan because they just can't stand the notion of the kind of independence he displays (rightly or wrongly). Don't misunderstand, I have high regard for many things that the FAA does, particularly their aviation safety education initiatives. But, people like Joe McBryan do rub some regulators the wrong way, and they respond inappropriately (and unfairly at times).

There are only so many unique and broadly interesting situations that such an operation faces that can be turned into dramatic moments for a show such as this, after which repetition inevitably sets in. But, the seasons that were produced are nonetheless well worth watching.


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