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A LITTLE ABOUT US
A LITTLE ABOUT US

Gimli's Avaiation Heritage

"This is the only place you can actually see and hear the local stories from the folks who were actually there," said Bannister.

The museum is located in the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre in Gimli, near the First Avenue and Centre Street intersection.

The founding Committee along with a few private aviation enthusiasts dedicated to the telling of this unique Canadian aviation story, have worked to ensure that some of the famous aircraft has returned to its ‘home’, as so many have referred to Gimli through the years.

Fin #604 flew passengers for another 25 years before ending her service with Air Canada.  This to the delight of many who sat in her seats, telling family and friends they flew on the Gimli Glider.

We have benefited from several donated pieces of memorabilia from the summer’s eve landing and with additional items from Captain Robert Pearson’s personal collection.

Local residents who played a role have written their stories from the night that made world headlines the next morning.  People can often recall exactly where they were when they heard the news about the skilled landing.

We are indebted to the original group of people that donated the funds to secure the parts from the dismantled aircraft. These authenticated pieces were returned to Gimli for the future viewing of visitors who have an interest in learning the entire story and what happened through the following years.

 


Summers Eve

On July 23rd, 1983, at 8:30 a perfect prairie summer evening was underway along the shores of Lake Winnipeg.  The day’s events at the race car strip alongside the Gimli airport were waning down with families sitting alongside their campers and trailers after the final race was held.  Barbeques had finished with the hot dogs and burgers on the grills.  Cottagers were on their decks relaxing and visiting after a summer’s day.  One by one groups of people spotted a very large, very silent aircraft coming along the water.  Too silent, noticeably dropping too quickly it did not take long to realize something was wrong, really wrong.  Still it did not make sense so, bewildered, they just watched the passenger plane descend.

At the decommissioned runway no one was looking skyward, not even the three young boys riding their BMX bikes on the asphalt surface.  There the story begins, the story that would consume world headlines for the next weeks.

Unheard of, a large commercial passenger airliner….what no fuel ?????  How does one land a powerless 115 ton metal behemoth without any controls?

The Gimli Glider Exhibit has accumulated, purchased and received much of relevant pieces, memorabilia and aircraft parts from Gaun 604, possibly the most famous Fin number in aviation history.

Finally on display the history of the event, ensuing inquiry, and impact of the skilled landing within the aviation industry.  Events that have unfolded over the past  34 years from the evening  at Gimli airstrip on the Manitoba prairie will be told for visitors and aviation buffs.

From the outset of the drive to raise funds to purchase significant operating parts from the retired aircraft, the goal has been to educate, enlighten and entertain those who visit the attraction.

 

 

 

 
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