North Pole Journey 2010

2010 Route

image92

The following path taken in 2010 covered 7,976 Statute miles in 9 days.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

049 53'58" N 097 08'21" W (CYWG)

Winnipeg was initially known as Fort Rouge in 1738, and is now a city of 663,617 inhabitants. 

image93

Hawthorne Aviation

Global Aviation Services

image94

Winnipeg International Airport

This airport served 3.4 million passengers in 2011.  It is the most iconic airport terminal in the world.

Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

058 46' 09" N 094 10'09" W

Churchill is near the Hudson Bay, with a population of 813, first settled in 1619.

image95

The Town of Churchill

 Churchill was a critical stop for refueling.  I arranged for the purchase of 220 gallons of 100 LL fuel here at $12/gallon.  It was delivered, as promised, in four 55 gallon drums.  ​

image96

Polar Bears Everywhere!

Churchill is the Polar Bear Capital of the World.

Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada

74 41'51" N 094 49'56" W (CRYB)

 Located above the Arctic Circle.

image97

The Hamlet of Resolute Bay

The hamlet of Resolute Bay from a neighboring hilltop with the Northwest Passage in the background. Located above the Arctic Circle the record high temperature here have been recorded at 65.3 F and a record low of -62.0 F.

Eureka, Nunavut, Canada

79 59'20" N 085 56'27" W (CYUE)

 Founded in 1947, only 600 nautical miles from the geographical North Pole  

image98

Eureka Research Facility

Eureka is the second-northernmost permanent research facility in the world.   At it's peak in the 1970s there were 15 staff. Today 8 staff rotate in the facility.  Only 600 nautical miles from the geographical North Pole with a record high temperature of 69.6 F and a record low of -67.5 F.

image99

Midnight Sun

 The settlement sees the midnight sun between April 10th and August 29th.   

image100

Landing Approach at Eureka

After 12 hours of flying, I make my approach to the gravel runway at the Eureka Weather Station on Ellesmere Island.  

image101

Eureka International

The staff of eight work at this facility.  I'm greeted by a stout gentleman who announces he is the Mayor, Sheriff and Undertaker.  We load up and head to the Weather Station by pickup truck.

THE GEOGRAPHICAL NORTH POLE

90 00'00" N (BINP)

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole. 

image102

Ten minutes after launch

 Resolute Bay weather conditions: 400 foot ceiling. The visibility was like I've never experienced. Here is an image on top of the undercast as I broke out at 6,000 feet.  

image103

DESTINATION: 90 DEGREES NORTH

 A view of the Arctic ice cap, from the starboard side of my plane as I circled the North Pole on July 27, 2010. 

image104

Compass Behavior Passing Magnetic North

My compass swings wildly as I pass the Magnetic North Pole several hundred miles to the West.  Magnetic variation here renders the compass useless.  Fortunately my Garmin 430 GPS provided reliable navigation all the way to the North Pole.