CYWG-CYRT Beech 200 King Air (pics),
After some absence from A.net (TR writing, because I read all your reports regularly) I'm back with a rather short trip report from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic with a Beechcraft King Air 200. For various reasons, I will leave some details out and hope that everyone's fine with that.
A few months ago, after a medivac mission, it was time to head back up North and reposition our aircraft in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The small hamlet is on the western side of Hudson Bay about 1500 km North of Winnipeg, Manitoba and serves as a commercial and cultural centre for the Kivalliq Region. The only access to the community is by air, and during the summer months there is a brief window where supply ships can bring much needed cargo, such as construction equipment, heavy duty machinery, cars, etc. The airport has a single paved runway 13-31 (6000 ft x 150 ft) with a VOR & NDB. It has no ILS. Regular passenger service is provided by Calm Air, First Air and Canadian North to various destinations in the North and to Southern Canada. Regular aircrafts there are B737-200, ATR42/72 both pax and cargo versions, Boeing 767F and Dornier 328J. All communities in Nunavut are accessible by air only, and Air Ambulance is the only viable methods of efficient and rapid transport of patients that require immediate medical services.
Google map showing our route from Winnipeg to Rankin Inlet:
Our route super-imposed over a Canadian High IFR map:
Our B200 prior to departure, parked near a Calm Air Dornier 328 Jet:
It was the beginning of my rotation so I was dropped off by my wife at Winnipeg airport. Our aircraft, a B200 was parked on the ramp and ready for departure. The captain and the other first officer that I would replace were already at the airport, the captain finish up his flight planning for the return leg to YRT and the First Officer was finishing up his duties so I could take over. The plane was already fueled for the return trip. We had a brief chat about the aircraft and how it performed and he handed me the cell phone and keys to the crew apartment. I was now the F/O and he was on his way to some tropical island (lucky bugger) for a well disserved 2 weeks off. I proceeded outside, did a walk around and pre-flight cockpit checks while the captain wrapped up his pre flight duties. We had a brief chat about the weather en-route and he informed me that the plane was good to go and there were no issues. In the meantime, the flight nurse returned from the hospital, where she transferred the patient, and soon we were ready for departure. I removed the engine tents and prop ties / engine plugs. For this leg the captain would be the PF
(pilot flying) and I would assume the duties of the PNF (pilot not flying) which means I would work the radios and perform the non-flying duties as per company SOPs. (standard operation procedures)
Winnipeg Airport Diagram:
Departure procedures from Winnipeg International:
The captain assumed his seat in the flight deck and I remained outside to remove the chocks and close the door. Once the signal was given the parking brake was on, I un-choked the plane, got in the aircraft, secured the door and the back cargo area. I assumed my seat, fastened my seatbelt and started with the checklists. The captain started the PT6 engines and the ground agent removed the GPU (Ground Power Unit). We completed the "After Start" checklist, and proceeded with the required items on the checklist. We obtained the ATIS and I contacted Winnipeg Clearance Delivery to obtain our IFR clearance to Rankin Inlet. Today would be runway 18 departure then turning North to intercept our course.
After obtaining our clearance, I requested taxi clearance to the active runway. We were given Hotel, Foxtrot, Tango to runway 18. This is quite a long taxi from ramp IV
, where we were parked, on the South side of the airport. Once we arrived short of runway 18, we were cleared for take-off. Once on the runway, we performed the "Line Up checks" and we started our take-off roll. The captain advanced the throttles and I set them to their required torque setting. We accelerated to Vr and the captain eased on the controls, climbing away. The B200's PT6-42 engines are each rated at 850shp so they have quite the pull, especially when we're light. After take-off, I contacted Winnipeg Departures and they vectored us North, towards our course and gave us a higher Flight Level, though not our final cruising altitude. We did our 10,000 ft checks and continued our climb...
Line up checks:
Starting the take-off roll:
Setting T/O power
Climbing away from the runway:
Turning West after taking off runway 18
Setting climb power:
Checking "externals" (wings, fuel caps, wing lockers)
Required paperwork items (time up, etc)
Not long after that we were asked to contact Winnipeg Centre. They cleared us to our final cruising altitude of 27,000 ft (FL270). At FL180 we switched the altimeters to Standard Pressure and made sure our O2 was as required. We kept climbing. Once we reached our cruising altitude, we performed the cruise checks and got the aircraft ready for cruise flight. I set the appropriate torque and RMP for cruise and started on the required paper work. The 3+ hour flight to Rankin Inlet would bring us over Island Lake, Gillam and Churchill Manitoba. All along we were in contact with Winnipeg Centre, though we had to change frequencies a few times. Once North of Churchill, we contacted Edmonton Centre.
Climbing away to our cruise altitude:
Con-trails at near our cruising altitude. I think it was from a Calm Air D328J (but I may be wrong)
Checking out the right wing:
View out my window:
Cruising toward Rankin Inlet:
About 85 miles South of Rankin Inlet, we requested descent and clearance out of high level control airspace. Since we were in the Northern Domestic Airspace, we had to report to Edmonton Centre leaving FL230. Once below that, we switched to the en-route frequency of 126.7 . Shortly after, we contacted Rankin Inlet Radio and informed him that we were inbound to the field. YRT does not have a control tower, so we only need to broadcast our intentions. The Radio operator gave us the latest weather and traffic information for the airport. More checks were performed, the altimeters were set to the required setting, etc; We performed the Approach checks and Final Checks.
Approaching Rankin Inlet:
Rankin Inlet Approach plate for Runway 31:
Not long after, we were on final for runway 31. Since it was clear we did a visual approach. For landing we confirmed the gear was down and we had 3 green indicator lights, props levers were to the full forward position and flap was in the full down (LDG) position. By the time we landed it was getting dark. The captain touched down smoothly applied reverse and I retracted the flaps. I performed the After Landing checklist and we backtracked to the apron. I reported cleared of the active runway and the captain taxied to the parking spot.
The hamlet of Rankin Inlet and the airport can be seen in the "sea of snow"
Final runway 31:
Once we shut down the engines, I got out of the aircraft, chocked the plane and put on the prop ties / engine plugs. The fuel guy was already there and started filling the plane for the next medivac mission that would come. After putting the aircraft in the hangar and finished our post flight duties we all went to our designated crew apartments and started our rest period. This would be the start of a another two week rotation for me, of a very rewarding job... playing a small part in saving lives.
Fueling the aircraft:
I'll leave you off with some various photos of Rankin Inlet (taken throughout my extensive stays in the hamlet)
And finally a picture of Rankin Inlet and its airport taken after off... (I took this when I was deadheading back to Winnipeg after my rotation)
Thanks for taking the time to read my report. Comments are encouraged and def. welcomed.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.