Arctic Foxtrot. And more...

Aviation brings people together. In 2017, when Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, aviation unites the country by bringing the technology and inspiration of airshows to the most remote areas of the country - where people have never seen anything like this in their lives. With 97 airshows North of the 60th parallel, EVERYBODY will have a chance to celebrate Canada's 150. Official website: This is a blog of Anna Serbinenko, the only Canadian female aerobatic performer, embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Three years later. I have travelled, explored, discovered, dared, fell down, got up, did it again, achieved, conquered, enjoyed, loved, remembered, lived... So many experiences are just too grand to keep them to yourself. So i decided to revive and keep up this blog with sporadic postings. Subscribe to get notified about the new articles!

Day 12. Tuktoyaktuk. Fort Good Hope

  I woke up in the anticipation of a very cold water event (swimming in the Arctic ocean), and even right away put the bathing suit on under my flight suit. The weather decided for us differently though. The morning started with low overcast in Inuvik, and IFR ceilings and snow in Tuktoyaktuk. 

Having the unexpected waiting time, we decided to maximize on touristic activities before departure and checkout the local cuisine. The local most recommended place, Alestine’s, is cooking on a school bus on the front yard, and serve in an authentic looking cafeteria.  

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Day 10 and 11. Inuvik, NWT

  This is the first day off! It has been a particularly intense week, and my first order of the day was to sleep in. But I failed. Full blown daylight made me wake up at 3, 5, 6, and 7am, feeling well rested every time. By then I gave up and got ready for breakfast. 

By now, we started getting used to the Northern hospitality. Local sailors whom we met last night at the Legion, invited us on their boat for a tour and lunch. So we headed their way soon. We were totally expecting some small river cruiser, so to find the actual huge vessel took us a moment.  

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Day 09. Aklavik, NWT

  Our schedule for the next couple of days gets a bit more relaxed. We are staging out of Inuvik for a few days, and flying for a day to the communities around, like Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk etc. Today is Aklavik. 

The flight to and from Aklavik is only 15-20 minutes over the same delta of MacKenzie.   

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Day 08. Fort McPherson to Inuvik, NWT

 The (very) chilly morning in Fort McPherson started in a local school – they invited us over for breakfast that they cooked themselves.  

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Day 07. Dawson City, Old Crow, Fort McPherson

  Now that I am officially the slowest airplane on the team, my departure from Dawson City was scheduled 30 minutes prior to everyone else. An authentic local cab driver took me to the airport early, telling me local stories that I learned a lot from. Quick refuel and I was on my way to Old Crow, YT.    

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Day 05 and 06. Whitehorse and Dawson City, YT

That DC-3 put on a pole is actually rotating and turning into wind!

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Day 04. Watson Lake to Whitehorse, YT

 Nostalgic view and nostalgic music “These magnificent men and their flying machines” put us in the mood several decades ago. Planes from the same era make the ambiance complete.

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Day 3. Fort Liard to Watson Lake

Before going to bed last night I asked both the Lead Pilot and the Safety Officer what time do we gather in the morning. The uniform answer was 9.00am. It did not help, because Bud Granley was knocking on my door 8.10 wondering why am I not at the truck! I’m sure by August we will figure out our communication eventually…

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Day 2. Rainbow Lake to Fort Liard

Wow I was tired! We had our departure from the hotel planned for 7.30am (Alberta time! – 6.30am Vancouver). I set the alarm for 6am, never heard it, and woke up in a panic 7.15. I got ready for 7.30, and showed up at the reception – just to find out that our departure got pushed back to 9.00. Tried breakfast – it did not want me. Went back to the room to write about yesterday for you.

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Day 1. Boundary Bay to Rainbow Lake

Tuesday night finished on Wednesday. It was well past midnight when I finally had all shopping done, instructions written, arrangements made and everything packed. Always takes longer than you plan. And yes, of course, everyone comes to you with “just one quick question” ignoring the big note on the door “I am not available”. 

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The North is Calling

Aviation unites people every day regardless of whether it’s a small aircraft or a large jet. With that said, there is nothing more natural than using aviation to unite the entire nation during this very special year where we commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. It is from that sentiment the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour was born, to bring celebration to remote communities across Canada’s Arctic, many of which can only be accessed by flight.

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How Far North is Too Far?

I am curious - how is it there, in the Arctic? I discovered a few things about the Arctic and the North Pole this week i had no idea about!:

  1. North Pole turns out to be actually pretty warm. About 30oC (60F) warmer than the South Pole. Average summer temperatures are around 0oC (32oF), highest temperature ever registered was around 12oC (54oF). I thought if i was crazy enough to look for the top of the Earth, it's would be an icy landing strip... But maybe I should take my swimsuit instead.
  2. I should definitely try the local food (seal?) and get one of those super warm native made winter boots (mukluks)!
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97 Airshows

The map is impressive. The schedule is tight and event-packed. We will be flying around the clock, as we will have the benefit of the 24 hour daylight. And the special treat - it will be the record of the most Northern show ever! Alert is only 400nm from the North Pole!

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