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A Rescue From The Ice

by John M. White |

Aviation continues to be a dangerous profession even with all of the today's modern technology.  Sometimes we pilots take things to casually and the results can be a disaster.  Take for example being a ferry pilot.

Earlier this week two pilots were ferrying a Cessna 337 to Europe and while over the North Atlantic first one engine died followed quickly by the other engine.  As the pilot's scanned the Hudson Strait for a safe place to land they were forced to land just south of Baffin Island on the ice pack.  As the aircraft landed on the ice it quickly gave way and sank just as the two pilots exited the aircraft and moved away from the ever growing hole in the ice. Icecrash800big

The pilots stood there and watched the aircraft quickly sink taking with it their life raft and all of their survival gear.  Fortunately they were wearing their insulated survival suits and had radioed a Mayday call just before the crash.  With nothing to make a fire with the men had to keep walking in order to stay warm enough to survive the plummeting temperatures as night fell.  After 18 hours of pacing around the ice pack a fishing vessel came into view and rescued the two.

The Australian pilot and a Danish pilot living in Sweden were ferrying the aircraft to a new owner in Sweden when the aircraft went down during their 2-3 hour flight from Labrador.  The whole story can be read in the Globe and Mail newspaper.  This story reminds me of the story my friend Maurice Hovious told me of his survival in Antarctica.  Brrrrr..., I sure don't care for the cold.  It is cold enough here in Michigan so I really don't care to go to the Arctic or Antarctic.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.

— Kurt Wien

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