Tonight’s the night Ice Pilots NWT takes off on History Television (10 p.m. ET/PT). The 13-part reality series follows the adventures of “Buffalo” Joe McBryan, a gruff Northwest Territories coot who owns and operates Buffalo Airways. He flies passengers and supplies across the frozen landscape in old DC-3s and DC-4s and other WWII-era bush planes salvaged from various scrap heaps. Had a ride up in one last week from Yellowknife to Hay River and the flight was one for the books.
C0-starring with Joe is youngest son Mikey McBryan (left), 26, who was in Toronto earlier this week along with BA fly boy Scotty Blue to promote the series premiere. Mikey went off to school and came back with all kinds of big business ideas for dad’s dodgy little aircraft operation. One is a clothing line, with goodies available at Buffalo Mikey showed me all kinds of air wear in a little store attached to the main hanger up north. One T-shirt features Joe’s scowling face where Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s should be. There are hoodies and hats and even baby clothes, but the big seller, in Hay River anyway, are the green and white panties with the Buffalo logo on them. Mikey can’t keep them in the shop.
Joe’s not too sure about the kid’s ideas, dismissing him as “Silver Spoon” and a Ted Kennedy clone whenever I was in ear shot. Hey, nothing drives sales like a curmudgeon.
Check out the store, but mainly check out the show. It makes Ice Road Truckers look like a drive down Bramalea Road on a summer Sunday morning. Read more about it in my CP report picked up in today’s Toronto Star.

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