Ordeal in the Arctic is a made-for-television film, written by Paul F. Edwards and directed by Mark Sobel. The film stars Richard Chamberlain, Catherine Mary Stewart, Melanie Mayron, Scott Hylands and Page Fletcher.
The accident that Ordeal in the Arctic depicted, occurred on October 30, 1991, when Canadian Forces Lockheed CC-130E Hercules (130322) from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron (a part of Operation Boxtop 22) was flying from Edmonton, Alberta via Thule Air Base, Greenland on a bi-annual resupply mission to Canadian Forces Station Alert. At night, while on final approach to the airstrip, the pilot apparently was flying by sight rather than relying on instruments.
The aircraft struck a rocky slope and crashed on Ellesmere Island, approximately 16 km (9.9 miles) short of the runway, resulting in the death of four of the 18 passengers and crew. Subsequent rescue efforts by personnel from CFS Alert, USAF personnel from Thule AB and CF personnel from 440 Squadron, CFB Edmonton, Alberta and Trenton, Ontario, were hampered by a blizzard and local terrain. The pilot also died of exposure while awaiting rescue.
^ "Accident description: Lockheed CC-130E Hercules, 30 October 1991." Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved: September 26, 2014.
^ Lee 1993, p. 18.
^ Lacroix, Matthew. "BOXTOP 22 survivor remembers fatal crash." Aviation.ca, October 30, 2008. Retrieved: September 26, 2014.
^ Troyanek, Jim. "Canadian Forces Station Alert: CC130 130322 Crash." Troywoodintarsia.com, 2010. Retrieved: September 26, 2014.
While heading to Alert in the far north on October 30, 1991, pilot Captain John Couch (Richard Chamberlain) misjudges his altitude and crashes 10 miles from the base. Master Corporal Roland Pitre (Blair Haynes), the loadmaster, is the first to die while three others would also not survive the impact: Warrant Officer Robert Grimsley (Larry Yachimec), Master Warrant Officer Tom Jardine (Nathan Fillion) and Captain Judy Trépanier (Cecily A. Adams).