the last trip to the site, N124DG returns with a serious mechanical problem,
one that puts everybody's safety in jeopardy. It lost partial power on
the right engine and it was thought it was probably a cylinder problem,
and when they arrived, they found that it had a stuck exhaust valve, and
it was hitting the top of the piston, and it need a cylinder to get out
of here with any kind of safety at all.
The winter finally hits,
bringing gale force winds and freezing rain. The temperature plummets.
Soon, life here will be impossible. If they don't get out now, they never
will. The first of the winter snow is settling on the camp. After two months,
time has beaten Darryl and his team. Work on the Kee Bird stops, as everyone's
attention focusses on N124DG. The Caribou was their lifeline, team struggle
to fit a spare cylinder. Despite inadequate tools and freezing fingers,
they manage to do it, but the engine still has a serious oil leak, and
there's no guarantee it won't give out altogether as they fly over the
glacier back to Thule.
Every flight of the Caribou
is a flirtation with death. This is ever more so. As ice is knocked off
the Caribou's wing, Darryl faces up to the fact that they can go no further.
The B-29 is essentially ready to fly. They leave the B-29 where it
has been for nearly fifty years. Halfway through the flight, the Caribou's
right engine loses power, but they manage to struggle on one engine into