I have currently been working for Buffalo Airways in Hay River, NWT for 2 months now. I am 1 of 2 ground/courier personnel in Hay River. I am resposible for preping the DC-3 in the morning. It is true winter ops here in the north. I have to use Herman Nelsons, Frost Fighters, GPU's, and De-icing equipment. You would be amazed at what I've learned in the past 2 months. We have to make sure the plane is warm enough to start and that the cabin is warm for the passengers. We are also resposible for loading all the cargo for Yellowknife and other northern destinations. We usually have 4000 pounds of cargo to load daily onto the DC-3 and sometimes we have another aircraft come down if the cargo load is too much to take in one aircraft with passengers. I am also familiar with the operation of a forklift since now. Had to learn how to drive one of those as sometimes it is nice to have a forklift to load some of this cargo.
After the Scheduled flight leaves in the morning we do the daily maintence on all the equipment, fuel everything pack up and sort all the Hay River cargo. We also have to hang the engine tents and wing tents so that they are dry for the scheduled flight when it returns in the evening. From about 8:30 to 11:00 every day we are busy delivering all the packages around town. Then from 2pm until 5pm I do pickups in town. I certainly now this town a lot better and have met lots of new people in this job. Unfortunately I have also cought a nasty flu bug being around so many people.
After I finish all the pickups I have to manifest all the frieght, sort it and calculate the total weight and number of pieces that we will be loading on the aircraft for the next morning. We then get all the tents and other equipment ready for the flights return at around 6pm. We offload all the passengers and plug in all the oil heaters and accessory case heaters and make sure the flight crew has all the tents so they can begin wrapping the aircraft for the night. We then unload all the passengers baggage then begin loading all the Edmonton freight onto the truck. After the truck has left we unload the Hay River freight and then we get to load all the freight I picked up onto the aircraft. Our final task for the night is making sure the airplane is configured properly for the passenger load the next morning. We make sure there are enough seats for the morning and then remove the remaining seats for the cargo that arrives the next morning.
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