Flying a DC-3 to Greenland, Engine Won’t Start

– We’ve got 802 gallons of gas, 25 gallons of oil on each side, and this morning, we’re
going to Greenland. (gentle music) (upbeat music) -[Pilot] Landing runway
zero eight for approach. Start nav to runaway, zero eight. Informing TCI international contact we’ve received that information echo. -[Eric] Clearance
delivery, Douglas, November, three, three, six, one, one. We’d like to pick up our IFR clearance
to Narsarsuaq – [Matt] We just fired up, and we were kinda troubleshooting
some sat phone issues. Watching the weather, it was a low IFR in
Narsarsuaq this morning, but forecast to improve. We wanted to see some
improvement before we get going. -[ATC] November three, three,
six, one, one cleared, Narsarsuaq airport by the Goose Bay. Three departure, direct ENZO. Direct coordinates five, seven north, five, five west, direct five-niner north, five-zero west. Direct Sierra India,
direct November Alpha. Speed one-four-five knots. Squawk code seven-two, seven-three. – And now we’ve got about three hours… We’ll have about three hours after takeoff until we get to our equal time
point between here and there where we decide if we’re gonna continue. -[ATC] Three, three,
six, one, one, good day. Just confirm, looking for niner thousand, speed one-four-five, and
are you HF radio equipped? – We are not HF equipped. We do have an HF waiver,
though, we are set com equipped. – There’s no alternate in Greenland, so we get halfway, then we have to decide. Once we’re fired up, we’re
getting our oceanic clearance, and we’ll be underway here shortly. – Flaps are up, flood panel’s
up, flat panel neutral, transponder on and altitude, doors. – Closed. – Brakes?
– Checked. – Altimeters? – Are three zero zero seven. – Three zero zero seven. – Set crosscheck. – Set crosscheck, flight instruments. You showin’ about a three
zero zero, right now? -[Rob] Uh, about two nine nine. – Two nine nine, set. -[Rob] Checked. – Flight controls. – Free and correct. – Taxi checklist complete. – We’ve got two mechanics and six pilots. We’re just kinda rotating
through everybody. It’s gonna be a long flight. No autopilot, about six
hours over open ocean. -[Eric] Cleared for takeoff
zero-eight from Delta, Douglas 611, departure airborne
one-one-nine decimal five. Good day. Pitot heat’s on, enunciator
is checked, flaps are up. We’re to the line, clear right. – All right. – Exterior lights are
on, com flaps are trail. Fuel boost pumps are on,
we are to the tail wheel. Before takeoff check is complete. All right, here we go – Ready to go. (plane engine revs) Looks good. (engine revs) 60 knots. Power set. V one, rotate. Positive rate, gear up.
– Gear up. -[Eric ] Goose departure Douglas three-three-six-one-one, off runaway zero-eight, 500 climbing. – [ATC] Douglas three-three-six-one-one
radar identified, one east through 400 feet. Continue to climb to niner thousand while under controlled airspace. At your discretion, you’re
clear direct to ENZO. – direct ENZO, cleared to climb
niner thousand, Douglas six-one-one. -[ATC] Douglas
three-three-six-one-one be advised the MSA over the icecap
today is one-zero-thousand. – Douglas six-one-one thank you. (engine roaring) – [Rob] I’ll take the airplane. – You have the aircraft, going for 2500. – 2500. – Alcohol pumps are on the props. – Rog (music intensifies) – Light mixed right now it looks like. – Not liking that shake. – What is that vibration. – I’m guessing it’s ice on the prop. That’s why I turned the alcohol on. – Now that I feel it, it’s
still not dissipating. – Okay so we know we
have a different problem. We’ve got um a frozen trimwheel. – Ah that’s gonna be a little difficult. – Yeah. – We got some oil streak
on my side here too. – Do you? Is it coming from
that, you know that little drain below the vent
below the filler cup. – Uh no? No – So uh? Cowl flaps. – All right so we got about
six different things right now that are all kinda adding up. – Yep. – So I’m gonna recommend we
start level off the cruise and start solving them one at a time. – Kay. – So we must have more
ice than we realize. – Is it trim or is it in the airplane? – Not sure. That’s frozen. – Okay. – Wonder if we got a bunch
of water in the um trim. – Anything yet? – Nothing. – It’s just running hard? – Nothing, try it. – There it is. It broke loose. Try it, I don’t wanna mess
with it while you’re flying. – Yeah. – Probably just a piece
of ice that had turn buckled or something. – But that shakes getting worse though. – [Casey] How’s it going? – It’s going okay. – So right after take off
we’ve got this little vibration I don’t know if you could feel it. – Little bit. – The more we focus on it,
the more severe it seems. It kinda seems to come and go a little bit. Um we’re almost wondering if. At first we started
thinking it was probably it was ice on the prop
so I ran the prop alcohol for a little bit. No change at all and now we’re kinda debating if
whether it’s engine or maybe some ice on it you
know in a flight control some place. And now it’s funny as
we sit here and we talk and we focus on something
else, it goes away. – Yeah – As soon as I started– – I can feel it kinda come and go. – Feel that? – Yeah, everything looks
good instrument wise? – Yeah. – CHTs are matched. – I mean we need a bunch
of com flaps or anything? – I mean let’s close them see if that… – In trail. Gone. – It was the cowl flaps. (upbeat music) – [Eric] Dude we’re going to Greenland. In a DC3. How cool is that? – It’s amazing! – It’s flipping awesome! – [Rob] The uh the good news is. We’ve got an updated TAF We were able to get it
through Matt’s uh device. – [Matt] So I was just saying uh that
will be the last METAR that we get before the equal time point
that we’re coming up on here in 20 minuets. – [ATC] November three three
six one one Gander radio position report is received – Douglas six one one thank you. And that is an international
oceanic position report. – Nice!
– We’re on our way now. – Just a question for me to ask
Rob, how big is the lav tank (laughs) – We keep filling it up we
gotta unload it at some point. – Yeah. – I’ll just ask, are you flushing? (music stops) Not every time?
Okay. (music continues) – No. – We shouldn’t need to. – Just pee in it – Just a bunch of dudes peeing in it – Yeah. – [Matt] But the difference here is
that we got two engines so we have a problem that’s
gonna put us in the water. – And we have coffee. – And we have coffee. And a hundred pounds of snacks
to throw into the life raft. – I think we’ve done about 90. – Okay, I think it might
be lower than that. – Oh? – Yeah we’re out of sour
cream and onion pringles. -[Rob] How’s it flying? – [Kyle] Beaut as always. – [Rob] – [Eric] Awesome having an autopilot this good. (laughs) – I bet you the autopilot’s not
gonna work quite as well for me I got a sneaking suspicion. Guthmiller just taught me something new – Oh yeah? – Yeah he’s coming in pretty handy. – Yeah you know. -[Chris] How far out do they have radar coverage for us? Or are we out of it now? – We’ve been long out of radar coverage. – Got it. – Radar service was
terminated about 10 minuets after we got off the ground. – Yeah we’re out here over the
ocean, they don’t have radar so uh actually we’re getting
kind of close with ADSB and now Canada has
some satellite stuff so maybe in the future but for
now it’s just position reports so we report roughly about every hour over each fix. -[Eric] Gander
radio, Gander radio Douglas November three three
six one one on one two zero decimal five five position. (airplane engine roaring) – Gander radio Gander
radio Douglas November three three six one one position
one two seven decimal niner. – I’d give them just a minute. It’s possible there’s someone
else on another frequency. – Sure. – And they’ll get back to you in a second. Did they say anything about
either of those frequencies or did they say try both? – They said hey try on
this one, try on that one. – Okay. They didn’t said try this one,
this ones a little closer? – No they didn’t, they just
said try us on this one first. If not, try us on this one. – Okay, you know the other easy
thing is you could broadcast in the blind, there might be
someone else monitoring this uh on the HF. – Any station any station
Douglas November three three six one one one two three
four five looking to do a relay through Gander. -[United 4] United four, go ahead. – Yes we are trying to
get a relay for a position through Gander if you
could find a relay for us? -[United 4] Yes sir,
stand by let me grab a piece of paper here. What’s your number again?
November what? – November three three six one one. -[United 4] Okay go ahead. – Position five seven north
five five west at one seven two zero, flight level nine zero. Estimate five niner north Five zero west one eight four six Sierra India Next. – When was the last time you
had to make a position report over radio? – A long time. Just for practice actually
when I was doing OE on the seven six back in ’06. (laughs) -[United 4] Flight four three
six one one United Four. – Go ahead for United Four. November six one one -[United 4] Gander said
that’s the boundary call Nuke on the VHF 121.3. – That’s boundary 121.3
Douglass six one one thanks guys appreciate the help. -[United 4] Have fun. -[Untied 4] Douglas what’s your type? – DC-3. – Outstanding. – We’re going over to
celebrate the 75th of Normandy. – Oh outstanding
have fun, be safe! – Thanks appreciate it! – [Rob] So we just passed our equal time point you can see that behind us. – So we’re officially passed EGANN? – We are passed EGANN. – When you pass your equal time point you are committed to
land, it does not matter what you see when you get there you must land the airplane there because we don’t have fuel
reserve to go anywhere else. – Right. We have no alternate so
that’s why the weather was so incredibly important and uh you know if you keeping
track of the equal time point and stuff. – For anyone who has
read ‘Fate Is The Hunter’ and if you haven’t read
‘Fate Is The Hunter’ and you’re watching this, you
should probably go get the book and read it. Ernest Gann flew this type
of airplane into Greenland at the very beginning of of
the opening of this route in 1942 and he has three chapters writing about how difficult it is to get here. It is some of the most incredible writing What he writes about is
what we’re seeing right now and what Matt’s about to show
you so I highly recommend ‘Fate Is The Hunter’ um you can
skip right to the chapter of Valhalla and that’s that
he named this place. So it’s an incredible place
and you’re about to see just how difficult it is to get here. (upbeat music) – Oh what’s going on?
Talk to me. – I just started the descent now. We are 20 miles from. Simiutaq – What about the brief? What would you like sir? – So we’re gonna go up the fjord and do a visual for runway two-four so we’ll just kinda hug the. – We’re gonna make a right pattern? – Yeah right traffic around. – Okay. – Stabilize configured
five hundred above down the touch down
zone gonna be 2,000 feet if we get unstable or have to go missed, just straight out we’ll just
go take a slight left and just climb out by the fjord,
come around and do it again. – All right understood. – I got no questions.
Exterior lights are on Hydrolic quantity is checked, hydraulic pressure is checked Nav radio is set, passenger sign is on, approach briefing, I have no questions. That is complete. – Rodger that. – And. – Nuuk Douglass November three
three six one one position Sierra India. – [ATC] All right, still estimatimating
November alpha at time 1948. – Affirmative. – Status copied. Two zero nautical miles out of November alpha. – Two zero miles out of November
alpha Douglas six one one. – I wanna make sure we
get the right fjord here. – So there looks like it’s
one straight ahead here. – Yeah this one. – We’re gonna follow the water it’s gonna go to the
right around the island. – Right. – Never seen anything
like this in my life. – About time you did.
– Look at the iceburgs. – Holy smokes! I’ve been reading about this place since I was 18 years old. This is unbelievable. All kidding aside, we could
turn around tomorrow, go home I’m done. We’ve, you know I gotta fly the airplane now. – Time to fly. – 3,000 for 2500. You know what, let’s turn
these on just in case we need to escape. – Alright. -One less thing to worry about. Alright – Time to slow us down a little bit. – Rog – I set power to 24. – Okay so you get up to
those rocks up there you’re gonna make a
right turn and go around. – Yeah. – Which is the three fjords
Ernie was talking about. – So one two and three. – Douglas November
three three six one one two zero miles inbound for landing. – [ATC] November
three three six one one runway in use two four, two five two zero six magnetic seven knots. Visibility more than one zero kilometers, three thousand eight hundred
feet, temperature is 11 dew point one QNH 1017 hectopascals, transition level 100. – Understand Douglas
six one one, Runway two four -[ATC] November three
three six one one option is Runway zero six wind is two two zero magnetic niner knots. Tailwind niner knots. – Six one one thank you we will
plan on runway two four. -[ATC] Rodger. – I think you’re coming
over that terrain so. – I see two choices. I see tuck it down near
the terrain and just kind of do a right turn. – Right. – I see go over that
ridge over the glacier turn around and just
come down the glacier. – Problem is you’re coming
over the ridge there at a very steep angle. – If we go over the glacier
and sort of feed down across. – Okay.
– You see what I mean? – Yep. – That work you for you? – Yep. – The other choice here
is to set up a nice wide a nice long base descending
through that groove And make the turn for the final. – Can you get it around
the corner and everything? And if you go up the glacier right now you’re gonna have to go above three. Make that turn. – That is pretty damn high. – Uh the airports over here. – Yep. – Where’s the right down wind
that you’re going to? – Uh I think we need more time I’m not sure that’s gonna work. – Look through this gorge up here Spit ya out on the other side. – What I would like to do is get a look at. You know what, let’s just do runway six. Alright. Narsarsuaq Douglas three three
six one one we’re gonna be setting up for
runway zero six at this time. -[ATC] November three
three six one one roger, runway zero six wind is two two zero magnetic niner knots. tailwind alpha niner knots Report turning final. – Six one one. – Let’s go flaps one quarter. – Flaps one quarter. – Gear down. – Gear down. – Landing checklist to
the line, landing gear. – Down latch, handle
neutral, air pressure is up green light, gear’s down. – Down and latched, handle neutral. Pressure’s up, green light, landing. – Down. – Misture’s coming out auto rich. Boost pumps are on, we are to line. – Roger that. – Uh this visual approach slope
does intersect with terrain so we will be above it – Alright -My plan is, this is our down wind I want to turn the base to
parallel that ridge line and then turn final. – Okay. – That work for you? You will not be stabilized by 500 feet you’ll be making the turn below 500 feet. That’s fine though. – Yeah. – 23 hundred feet right now. Flaps three quarters. – 90 knots. And slowing slightly. 22 hundred feet. – Alright starting down. – Roger, you’re still at three quarter flaps 90 knots. – My plan is I’m gonna have
you dump the rest of the flaps once I’m pretty certain
I’ve got the energy equation nailed down. – Okay – Okay coming left -17 hundred feet, 95 knots. Flaps full landing checklist from the line – Flaps full. – Landing checklist from the line. Props are set, flaps are set,
landing checklist complete. Good to call, turning final
15 hundred feet 95 knots. – So we’re gonna have to
appear high and getting push from behind. – Correct. – Two and a half miles out
should be about seven fifty so you’re slightly high, 87 knots. – Narsarsuaq, Douglas three three six one one turning final for runway zero six. -[ATC] November three three
six one one roger, wind two three zero magnetic quantity
went up, tailwind one zero knots no traffic on the runway. – Six one one thank you. All right you’re 200 feet high 95 knots. – Put 23 hundred RPM for me. – Roger that 23 hundred coming up. Aye I got a PAPI that’s awesome. And it says you’re low, interesting, 95 knots. Still 95 knots. 90. 85. 80. (laughs) Best one of the bunch. -[ATC] November three three six one one on ground time zero one one, you
can vacate via taxiway Bravo – All right I can smile now. – Look at them. – I know. – Welcome to Greenland! (upbeat music) – Hey guys we’ve made it to Greenland the weather is awesome we
got a bunch of fuel so we’ll be ready to go in the morning. We’re gonna go grab a bite to eat. Explore a little bit and get up there and do it again tomorrow. We just had an awesome meal,
checked into our hotel. Hotel of Narsarsuaq, it’s
really the only option here but it’s really cool because
it’s this World War Two barracks like everything in here is
basically just left over from World War Two, this is
where the United States came and built their base so
we could get into Europe and, now the old barracks is the hotel the cafeteria is the restaurant the chef stayed late till like
ya know six or seven o’clock When we got here we had this
fantastic like pork potatoes it was great and we were hiking around. It’s just awesome here. So the hotel is literally a
World War Two army barracks. There’s a couple beds,
probably original furniture sink, bathroom is shared
with one other room. If you were here in 1942, this is where you would’ve stayed. – [Eric] (reading checklist) (plane engine starting) We’re having a little trouble getting one of the engines started so they’re trying to figure out why. (dramatic music)

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