This season opens with a meltdown when the C-46 suffers a major gear collapse on the runway, sending the entire Buffalo crew scrambling. As the coldest winter in decades grips Yellowknife, every pilot and mechanic in the company faces the huge challenge of keeping the aging fleet in the air. Buffalo's livelihood falls heavily on Joe's Lockheed Electra until a freak accident threatens to ground the plane. Hearing of an Electra up for sale, Joe heads on an urgent mission across the Atlantic. As the record-cold winter stretches on, a young hotshot pilot journeys all the way from Australia to earn a place in Buffalo's DC-3. And a longtime member of the Buffalo family leaves for good.
Buffalo Airways is still reeling from the recent accident – especially mechanic Chuck. Mikey tries to lift spirits by setting up a hockey shootout against a squad of NHL players that the airline is transporting around the north. He drafts a team and Buffalo's best players – including Chuck – test their shots against Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. Young DC-3 co-pilot David flies farther north than he's ever been, facing a mysterious landing gear problem on approach to a remote Arctic airstrip. When his captain gets flustered, the rookie has to keep his cool.
Joe preps for a race in an antique snowplane – a 1940s ancestor of the snowmobile, powered by an airplane engine and devoid of brakes. No one knows what will happen when he unleashes it on frozen Great Slave Lake. The water bomber crew, led by Justin and Cory, try to move their two fire-fighting planes from Turkey to a maintenance facility in Wales, but get tangled up in red tape, threatening to ruin their chance of meeting up with Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson. Rampie and cocky aspiring pilot Chris Staples pushes his way onto a C-46 flight, where he makes a critical mistake. AJ makes a last-second overshoot.
After a breakdown uses up the last of Joe's spare DC-3 engines, he enlists former Buffalo pilot Devan Brooks to ferry another plane all the way from Quebec. Flying 3,000 kilometres in a DC-3 that's been mothballed for 7 years, Devan faces a critical hydraulic leak at the worst possible moment. As a massive cold snap paralyzes the hangar, a major landing gear problem strikes the nightly passenger flight to Hay River. Captain Justin Simle has to make a snap decision with a full load of passengers on board – including his own newborn son.
Following almost a year of repairs after its crash landing, Buffalo Airways' Electra returns home to take on an urgent mission – returning to the very ice strip that set off the problems last year. It's the ultimate test for the plane and the crew. DC-4 co-pilot Tyler makes a major decision about his future, but now he has to face Joe. A pilot shows up out of the blue – all the way from Australia. Will Dyer has ten times the experience of a normal novice and quickly works to win a seat in a Buffalo cockpit. But the company throws him a curveball that puts his future in doubt.
It's Joe's 69th birthday and he's never flown a helicopter before. So Mikey plans a special gift of chopper flight lessons, complete with surprise pickup in front of the Buffalo hangar. Mikey jumps in for the ride as Joe struggles with the unfamiliar beast – and both McBryans will learn if they've finally found an aircraft that Joe can't master. Another cold snap has cut off heat and power in a small northern town. AJ and James battle a frozen engine before they can head up with a load of supplies. On the way home, an engine fire forces the crew into an emergency shutdown.
The Electra has become Buffalo's winter workhorse – the one plane they need to keep flying. During a High Arctic delivery mission, a 5,000-pound power unit tips off the forklift and crashes to the ground, smashing the fuselage – and sending Mikey into crisis management mode. With no backup Electras, Joe races to Atlantic Airways in Coventry, England on an urgent mission to scoop one up from other potential buyers while back at Buffalo, Mikey tries to prove he's really management material.
Co-pilot Graeme Ferguson gets the biggest opportunity of his short career when Buffalo needs to train a second Electra crew. But none of Buffalo's piston-pounders have prepared him for a plane this big and this fast. When Graeme fumbles a landing, he has to prove he's ready for his big chance after all. Meanwhile, Chris Staples gets to take the test he's been dreaming about – to qualify as a co-pilot in the C-46. But he'll have to take it with one of the toughest captains on the crew. When the C-46 breaks down in Deline, Adam Smith rushes to the rescue and Chris might finally get his chance to shine.
The Electra is still working around the clock and Buffalo is ready to pick up another, the second of its new British acquisitions. Joe and Mikey head across the Atlantic to fly home their new baby, ending an era of British aviation. Devan preps for fire season with some wild target practice in the DC-4 to see if his aim lives up to his cockiness. When James' son enters the local soapbox derby, James builds a Buffalo-style racer and finds out how his ugly green machine stacks up against the slick and pretty competition.
Mikey and Joe visit the Hamilton air show where Mikey has planned a major surprise for Father's Day. Joe is going to ride along in a CT-114 Tutor Jet with the famous Snowbirds. While Joe prepares for the big event, Mikey decides to conquer his fear of heights. He travels down the highway to Toronto and tries out the CN Tower "Edgewalk." But he's determined to go even higher. After all the bonding he and Joe have done in Hamilton, Mikey takes his first pilot lesson with Joe as the teacher. It turns out there are some heights Mikey still fears. As spring warms up Yellowknife, a longtime member of the Buffalo family announces a surprise departure.
It's been a wild five years for ICE PILOTS NWT. To celebrate the milestone, we pull back the curtain for an inside glimpse into the production of the TV show, and allow the cast of Buffalo characters to reflect on how it's affected their lives, for better or for worse. And we meet the cameramen who navigate prickly personalities and brave minus-forty conditions to capture the footage that has made ICE PILOTS NWT a cult phenomenon.
Greenland's Narsarsuaq airport – known as one the world's most dangerous approaches – looms on the horizon as Cory and Justin begin a trans-global journey to deliver two CL-215 water bombers to Turkey. Christine pushes to become a DC3 co-pilot, but Joe throws a wrench into her plan. Mikey travels to Denmark, for the new Polarland attraction at the Legoland theme park, featuring exhibits inspired by Buffalo Airways, including Lego versions of Joe and Mikey.
Joe and Mikey hire a helicopter for a salvage mission to retrieve the rare tailpiece from a Lockheed 10A that crashed in the Yellowknife woods forty years ago. It's a personal quest for Joe; he flew that plane at the beginning of his career. Justin and Cory battle severe icing that threatens to send them plummeting into the frigid North Atlantic on the longest ocean leg of their CL-215 water bomber journey to Turkey.
Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson flies Buffalo’s planes, Mikey goes for a ride in a CF-18 fighter jet, and Justin and Cory complete their epic mission to Turkey