Flying to Extremes by Dominique Prinet
Published by Hancock House
Contains 280 pages, 180 colour pictures and 15 maps!
Describing some of most memorable adventures -- and misadventures -- conducted in the Canadian Arctic with bush planes, Flying to Extremes covers the era of the late sixties and early seventies from a base at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.
Writing with clarity, humour and precision, Prinet flies us into a world of endless snow and ice and dim grey winter days over a sparsely settled tundra. Stories range from flying through bad weather, his single-engine plane icing up and heading down, while Prinet wonders if he should tell the sports fishermen snoozing in the cabin amid boxes of fish and fishing gear they are about to crash - perhaps not! Or while rescuing his bride from their plane sinking through the ice, he meets an Indigenous trapper who drove his dogsled through the bush to find out why a plane had landed but not taken off. Other adventures range from the near sinking of his Cessna 185 along the Arctic coast to a particularly stressful, weeklong flight near the north pole with a Single Otter on skis in February, in the dark at minus 55°C.
Beyond the many near mishaps, this book is also about people; the trappers, the prospectors, the miners, the adventurers and the gold-ingot thieves who constituted the fauna at the main bar in Yellowknife at the time. And, for those who wish to dream, there is always the flight to the Nahanni River, with its Deadman’s Valley, the Hot Springs, the lost or dead prospectors, the many airplane crashes in the search of gold, and all the affiliated Nahanni lore.
This entertaining book provides a summary of Prinet's adventures and captures some of the humour, surprises, danger and history of northern communities, in the ever- changing landscape of the Canadian Arctic. Readers familiar with the area will undoubtedly find this title to be both a nostalgic and a captivating read.