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Rick Mercer, Ice Pilot?

Adrian Lysenko
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Rick Mercer was in Yellowknife to hang out with the pilots and crew from Buffalo Airways on Sunday.

NNSL photo/graphic

Rick Mercer arrived in Yellowknife to be part of the crew at Buffalo Airways on Sunday. - Adrian Lysenko/NNSL photo

While in the city, the comedian and television personality was put to work by the crew featured on the History Television series, Ice Pilots NWT.

"Rick Mercer decided he wanted to be a rampie for the day so he's come North to Buffalo Airways and he's going to spend a few days with us," said Justin Simle, captain with the airline.

"I think they're going to take him in a ride in an airplane and get him pulling engine tents and running heaters around, stuff like that."

The team started Mercer's initiation into Buffalo Airways at 7 a.m. on Monday with temperatures nearing -45 C with the windchill.

"We got him doing the coldest stuff possible... we really put him through the wringer," said Mikey McBryan, general manager of Buffalo Airways.

"He's a champ though, anything we came up with he would do."

The footage will not only air on Mercer's show, the Rick Mercer Report, but also on the new season of Ice Pilots NWT.

As to whether the comedian could make a career out of working for Buffalo Airways?

"Straight out from his words, he said, 'I would last a day,' so we only made it a day," said McBryan.

The comedian said he likes to experience unique jobs such as being a rampie with the crew of Buffalo Airways but at the end of the day enjoys returning to host his show.

For Mercer this wasn't his first visit to Yellowknife.

"I came here a couple of times with (Peter Gzowski)," said Mercer, referring to the Peter Gzowski Invitational golf tournament.

"I've done a couple of private gigs here and with the TV three or four times maybe."

Although the celebrity's visit to the city generated much attention on Twitter, there was no time set aside for the comedian to meet with the general public.

While Mercer departed the territory on Tuesday, McBryan said he thinks the comedian enjoyed his time in the city.

"He speaks very highly of Yellowknife," said McBryan.

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