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Polar Pilots

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Polar Pilots are a group of six private and student pilots who promote recreational flying across the southern half of Baffin Island in Canada's Northwest Territories. Operating off of the eight thousand foot hard surfaced runway at Iqaluit (YFB), we fly our 1971 Cessna 172, CG-OLJ, across a three hundred mile radius from our home base. Polar Pilots recently constructed a three thousand square foot hangar. Cold storage space is available for visiting flyers.

Bert Rose talking with friends and waiting to take OLJ flying

We are interested in supporting recreational flying in Canada's Arctic. We are available to consult about sight seeing flights to Pangnirtung and Broughton Island, gateways to Auyuittuq National Park; York Sound home of the Terra Nivea and Grinnell glaciers; Lake Harbour, access point to Katanalik Territorial Park and Cape Dorset close to the Mallikjuak Territorial Park.

Mitch and Mary camping "under the wing" at Yorke Sound

Summer flying in south Baffin is glorious - 24 hours of light from the beginning of June until the end of July encourages flying at all sorts of odd hours. Visiting pilots have quickly learned that Baffin's communities are separated by long distances and offer virtually no flight services. Briefings are advisable before considering flying to Baffin Island. Flights north from mid-June through mid-July offer the best opportunity for uninterrupted travel in light aircraft. The month of April may provide excellent, if frigid, flying weather.

Cam ( on the left) gets OLJ ready for an early spring flight

Iqaluit is a frequently used stop-over point for Trans-Atlantic flyers. Community facilities support both the overnight visitor en route to Europe and visitors to the Eastern Arctic. Iqaluit is a plane watchers delight - annually we see everything from C5As to fleets of European airshow teams.

Iqaluit hosts a permanent Forward Operating Location in support of the Canadian military. Canadian F-18's visit the community several times per year.

What are Iqaluit's Facilities?

Click for pictures taken around the ramp at CYFB

The Iqaluit airport was constructed by the American military in fifties as a component of the North American Defence Strategy. The runway 00/18 is equipped with ILS approach systems. Available fuels include 100ll, jet A-1 and jet A-2.

Three commercial airlines, First Air, Kenn Borek and Air Baffin, are FBOs. First Air offers daily flights to Ottawa and Montreal on Boeing 727s with connections to Greenland and the western arctic. Northwest Territorial Airlines and Canadian Airlines currently offer twice weekly service from Edmonton on Boeing 737s.

Iqaluit is a community of 4,000 comprised roughly of 2,500 Inuit and a mixed non aboriginal anglophone and francophone population of 1500. Of particular interest to visitors are the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre with its multi-screen audio visual diplays related to life in the Eastern Arctic, the Nunatta Sunaqutangit Museum with an extensive collection of Inuit art and the Iqaluit Centennial Library featuring the Manning Collection of publications relevant to the North. The headquarters and Nunatta Campus of Nunavut Arctic College, the Canadian Arctic's only post secondary institution with its library featuring the Pilot and Hochelega historical collections are important historical sources for researchers and visitors. Retail services are provided through nearly a dozen stores and restaurants. Accommodations are offered by four hotels and two bed and breakfast operators. For the hardy, the Sylvia Grinnel Territorial campground is a 25 minute walk west of the airport. Taxi service is readily available around town. Several local galleries offer excellent selections of world famous Inuit sculpture and prints.

Pat runs through a pre-flight before going flying

Our members are:

Other recommended Flying Links include:

Canadian Aviation Web Page

Opportunities Flying Club, Alaska

Arctic Weather Services

Canadian Owners and Pilots Association ( COPA)

For information about Nunavut, which in 1999 will become Canada's newest Territory have a look at:

Nunanet Home Page

Nunavut Implementation Commission Home Page

This page was last updated; May 9. 1997.