Flight from Qaanaaq to Copenhagen

25, 27 April 2007

The weather is still beautiful throughout the west coast in Greenland, so the flight from Qaanaaq to Ilulissat via Upernavik and Qaarsut (Uummannaq), as well as the continuation to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq, offers unforgettable views over spectacular polar scenery. I get this opportunity to take beautiful pictures of Greenland from air.

Air Greenland Dash-7 Air Greenland Dash-7 cargo pax
Dash-7 Nipiki The Air Greenland Dash-7 is ready to leave Qaanaaq bound for Ilulissat via Upernavik and Qaarsut (Uummannaq). The airplane has a mixed cargo and passengers configuration (normal capacity without cargo is 50 seats)."Nipiki" means "silent". The Dash-7 is a robust airplane, capable to operate from short runways (STOL) and is the ideal equipment for use in extreme places like Greenland.

 

Qaanaaq from air
Picture of Qaanaaq from air.

 

Inglefield Bredning Inglefield Bredning
Inglefield Bredning Flying over Inglefield Bredning, previously crossed by dogsledge.The weather is beautiful throughout west Greenland and the cruise altitude of just 8000 feet lets me to fully appreciate the wonderful and incredible landscape passing below me.The first segment, flight Qaanaaq - Upernavik lasts about two hours.

 

Greenland from air Piedmont glacier
Piedmont glacier
Greenland from air, on this Qaanaaq Ilulissat flight. Above, a beautiful piedmont glacier picture.

 

Greenland from airplane The airplane flies over inland ice too (Greenland ice cap). It appears like an endless cloud reflecting lot of light.
Greenland from airplane Greenland ice cap from air

 

Flying over Melville bay Melville bay
Melville bay, Greenland Flying over Melville bay, with hundreds of icebergs trapped into sea's ice and glaciers flowing into the bay.

 

Sea ice
Sea ice Sea ice from air
Sea ice from airplane Flying towards south, more open water appears. Coming north, the pilots have seen two bears here, but unfortunately in the meawhile they went away.

 

Upernavik Upernavik airport
Landing in Upernavik. Upernavik airport was built on an artifically flattened hill above the town, enough to contain a runway good for Dash-7 flights.

 

Upernavik, Greenland Upernavik, Greenland
Upernavik, Greenland Upernavik seen from the airplane.The stop here lasts for 30 minutes. The next flight, Upernavik to Qaarsut Uummannaq, lasts about 50 minutes.

 

Greenland from airplane Greenland from airplane
Greenland from airplane Greenland from airplane
Greenland from airplane More pictures of Greenland from airplane. Still wonderful arctic scenery.

 

Qaarsut Uummannaq airport Dash-7
Qaarsut Uummannaq airport has a nice terminal and a gravel runway, where the Dash-7 can takeoff and land without any problem.

 

Qaarsut Uummannaq
On the left: Qaarsut seen after takeoff. On the right: Uummannaq (this word means "hearth shaped" because of the mountain's shape as seen from the town).

 

Hanging glacier
Flying the last leg to Ilulissat (about 45 minutes of flying time). The sea is now almost free of ice.

 

Just befoe landing in Ilulissat. As there are no connecting flights to Europe, it is necessary to spend a night in Ilulissat before continuing the trip.

 

I leave Ilulissat two days after, flying over Kangia soon after the takeoff. Today the fjord is full of ice, because of strong winds from the east on the past days, that has carried lots of icebergs from the glacier.

 

Greenland from aircraft Greenland from aircraft
Greenland from aircraft Greenland from aircraft
Glaciers seen flying from Ilulissat to Kangerlussuaq.



 

Landing in Kangerlussuaq
After about 50 minutes, I land in Kangerlussuaq on an unusual brown ground without snow.

 

I then board the Air Greenland's A330 bound for Copenhagen, flying over a frozen fjord soon after takeoff.

 

Grrenland Grrenland
Greenland Greenland
Greenland The last views on Greenland wonderful glaciers and spectacular scenery.

 

Flying over Greenland ice cap
I am now flying over the icecap, saying goodbye to this wonderful adventure.

 

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