Arctic Flyer

In 1926, Richard R Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to make the journey to the North Pole by air, but they flew in an enclosed three-engine Fokker. Amateur pilot Gustavus McLeod eschews any such luxury. He is determined to make the flight in an open cockpit. This may sound crazy but he is not completely mad. He has designed a suit for himself - as well as one for his plane's engine - to insulate against temperatures as low as minus 65°C.

The owner of a liquor store and a surgical supply business, amateur pilot McLeod has cherished the dream for years. He had a friend who shared his dream - a fellow pilot who died before he could attempt the journey. So McLeod decided to take his friend's ashes with him on the flight, and to bury them at the North Pole.

The adventure, which is part sponsored by the National Geographic Society, takes McLeod up the western shore of the Hudson Bay, allowing him to alight at small villages for fuel and supplies along the way. National Geographic Channel follows him on this gruelling odyssey. He encounters mechanical problems and frostbite before he meets with triumph... and then disaster, as his 61-year-old plane finally gives up the ghost on the Arctic ice.

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 30 minutes (approx)