My intention was to make it to Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland (BGSF) today to make more good time but the time zone change and super slow service meant we didn't make it to Greenland.
Lessons of the day:
- Take careful note of time zone changes and closing times of airports.
- Get an earlier start than you think is needed (this one comes up a lot).
- Don't expect wifi or phone service to be available at far northern airports.
CYKL - CYVP (Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Canada)
|No fuel taken
|No fuel taken
|No fuel taken
Shefferville airport is devoid of wifi, and neither of our cell phones had service, but the clerk at the airline counter said I could use his computer when the cabin crew using it was off on their next flight. So I killed time while waiting to file a flight plan and we ended up with a much later start than desired.
|Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Canada
Here's a video including cockpit audio of our approach and landing into Kuujjuaq:
CYVP - CYFB (Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada)
|55 gal drum
We did not get fuel since it's available in drums only and I had planned to arrive in Iqaluit (our next stop) with enough reserve and enough room to buy a full barrel there. I filed a flight plan via fltplan.com and we put on our survival suits since the next flight leg would be mostly over (very cold) water. Man are those suits tight and uncomfortable. But we look like characters from Star Trek.
|Space suits on, life raft ready for action behind us
We also passed a number of small icebergs floating seemingly in a line from west to east. Our first iceberg sightings!
ATC was mostly in French on the radio at this point which was fun to listen to. There was not much other traffic up there but we were still talking to Montreal Center even that far up north.
The air got bumpy at this point off and on for the rest of the trip and we hit some clouds eventually. Our arrival into Iqaluit was in and out of IMC at 13000 ft. Picked up some light rime ice at -1C OAT but the TKS system handled it nicely.
We had intended to quickly get going from Iqaluit and make it to Greenland but the slightly late start, loss of an hour due to time zone change, the slowest wifi ever, and 20-30kt headwinds meant we wouldn't make it before the end of operational hours at 5pm local time. Opening fees for afterhours operations are $1062 so we decided to spend the night in Iqaluit. Lesson learned here is that going east with the time zone changes makes it really tough to make good time.
Getting avgas took forever, and in retrospect, we wouldn't have made it to Greenland anyway. We found the fuel drums but then had to literally wander around the airport ramp looking for help for a while. A friendly fellow in a nearby hanger chatted with us for a bit and then flagged down an airport service truck and eventually got us the right people.
|Waiting for fuel in Iqaluit
|100LL fuel drums in Iqaluit with drum pump
Now... about Iqaluit...
|Control tower or alien space ship in Iqaluit
|Menu at the Storehouse Bar & Grill in Iqaluit
Iqaluit apparently means "place of many fish" in Inuktitut and has always been an Inuit fishing location. It later took a role as a US Air Base and has been developed for strategic purposes. Now it is the capital and only city of the province of Nunavut.