UPDATE: This guide is now void. What you see below is how Northrend Flying Mount Skill was acquired originally in closed beta. Once the game hit stores, this questline’s reward was completely removed. Northrend Flying Skill is now acquired from a trainer at Krasus’ Landing in Dalaran City for 1700 gold.
Original Closed Beta Questlines
At level 77, players are able to finally obtain an item that let’s you learn flying in Northrend’s cold weather using your Outland mount: Gryphon, Wyvern, Hippogryph or in the case of engineers their Gyrocopter, and the WoW TCG Rocket; or the DeathKnight’s skeletal Gryphon. Hope I didn’t miss any other.
Alright, let’s give you a tour through how to obtain this ability to fly in Northrend. You don’t need to pay 5,000 gold to learn the riding skill. You don’t pay any money at all. So, how do you learn the skill? In a very cool way … through a series of quests.
First thing you should do optionally to get some extra XP and unlock some quests is to visit Dalaran. By the flightmaster in Dalaran is Archmage Pentarus. He gives you the quest Where in the world is Hemet Nesingwary?. He will set you away on his personal gyrocopter and magically you get teleported into the center of Sholazar Basin region crossing the sky aboard this gyrocopter. Shortly after, you will see some missiles shot at you. The Venture Co. is here in Sholazar Basin and are shooting down any aereal traffic that brings supplies or otherwise threatens their business there.
I don’t know how we will repay Archmage Pentarus for losing his gyrocopter like a noob, but the Venture Co. Goblin flying behind you shoots you down. Your character immediately falls down with a parachute. Within your mini-map you will notice the question mark pointing you toward the person Archmage Pentarus sent you to talk with. The dwarf pilot is in a embarrassing momentum hanging off his parachute which is stuck on the branches of a tree. He tells you where to find Hemet Nesingwary and ask you to kindly tell him to send a team to get him off the parachute.
I recommend to get a flightpath point before heading to Nesingwary Base Camp. Just go east of where you are. Follow the river until you arrive to the edge of a cliff which is sorta like a waterfall. That huge hole in the ground is where all the rivers go: River’s Heart. Go down there. You will find the Lakeside Landing. There is a flightmaster point there. Why take this detour? One of the quests will send you this way anyway, so next time you just fly there. Return to where you were by the dwarf with the parachute and follow the river to the west toward the Nesingwary Base Camp.
Turn in the quest before Hemet Nesingwary to get your free XP. If you wish to bypass those couple of quests that start in Dalaran, simply go straight to Sholazar Basin and find Weslex Quickwrench at the Nesingwary Base Camp—this is the gnome engineer that starts the quest chain to acquire the ability to fly in Northrend.
He will ask you to search for a gyrocopter that was shot down recently in the quest titled: Need an Engine, Take and Engine. Its engine might be useful to repair his personal gyrocopter: The Spirit of Gnomeregan. Hey, there I found two easter eggs already (Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? and Spirit of Saint Louis airplane). You can find the crashed gyrocopter here.
The next quest by Weslex is titled Have a Part, Give a Part. You are asked to go to Swindlegrin’s Dig. It is not too far. Ride northeast of Nesingwary Base Camp toward the northern area of The Suntouched Pillar. You are to collect 7 Spare parts from the ground all spread through the Swindlegrin’s Dig. The items glow with sparks to let you know where to find them.
After you turn in the quest back to Weslex, guess what? Remember those annoying: “WHERE CAN I FIND A FLIGHTMASTER POINT IN SHOLAZAR BASIN?” on general chat? With this quest you just unlocked a flightpoint. The Spirit of Gnomeregan spawns on the left side of Weslex and now you can use it as your flightpoint.
Now that you unlocked the Spirit of Gnomeregan flightpoint, the next quest is titled: Aerial Surveillance, this time given by Professor Colvert (female human) who asks you to take the Spirit of Gnomeregan flightpath to—where else?—Lakeside Landing, to meet Pilot Vic. They wish to investigate a strange weather pattern on the northeast.
Pilot Vic will ask you to find his key which he thinks he lost in the lake in the quest titled: An Embarassing incident. He gives you a oxygen tank to submerge. I found the key barely 30 yards away from him, unless it spawns in random places. There are some Threshadons swimming in the water, so be careful.
Once you return the key to Pilot Vic he starts the next quest titled: Reconnaissance Flight. After talking to Pilot Vic, he mounts a heavy-assault gyrocopter and your character is auto-mounted on the back of that gyrocopter as a co-pilot. Enjoy the tour as it is a scripted flight. You find out the strange weather pattern is an avalanche of snow that poured down from the Icecrown, with dozens of Scourge mobs surrounding the cliff. By the way, don’t explore that area riding on your horse, if you don’t want to die an embarassing death.
Suddenly, the aircraft is hit and set ablaze. Pilot Vic asks you to take control of the aircraft and to return to Lakeside Landing on your own. You only have some seconds to arrive before the aircraft explodes, so open your map and guide yourself toward the River’s Heart (The very center of the map).
Upon landing successfully in the circle of crystals press the “X” button on the UI to cancel. It will dismount you from the airplane. Pilot Vic thanks you for getting both back in one piece, and gives you the awesome reward item: Cold Weather Flying. Open your Spellbook and you will find it on the boot-icon. It looks so neat there, right? Tooltip: Use of Flying Mount in Northrend Unlocked.
Click your flying mount icon to summon your gryphon/wyvern/etc. Enjoy the ride!
(Note: As of Beta build 8719 you can’t fly on Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord yet. So make sure not to fly off Sholazar Basin unless you wish to take a dive from the sky to the ground as your character gets auto-dismounted. That will be fixed in upcoming beta patches).