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THE GIMLI GLIDER CONNECTION
Volume 1 / Issue 1  October 2020

2020 will certainly be recorded in world history as memorable for the challenges that the world has had to overcome.  The pandemic is still ongoing and each of us in the Tourism sector have found the need to adapt and welcome our visitors in an atmosphere not encountered before.

We had an opportunity to meet many, many more of our Provincial “neighbors” in encouraging numbers, throughout our fourth summer of operation.  The Travel Manitoba “staycation” promotion provided us with the opportunity to tell the history of the famous Gimli Glider story to Manitobans of all ages who were unfamiliar with the event.

The verbal and written feedback from many was spirit lifting as our 2020 will certainly be recorded in world history as memorable for the dedicated volunteers put in their hours behind masks and sanitizing constantly. It was impressive to hear how everyone was enjoying discovering their home Province and doing several “firsts” visiting other towns and villages. 

When our borders were opened to Western Provinces and Western Ontario, we were delighted to hear from visitors how the first thing they wanted to do was to make the trip to see us.

It is likely during the winter months approaching we will continue to be in the midst of a different experience.

We have now closed the Exhibit until future notice.  We will reopen when our increasing Covid-19 positive cases once again head back to the lower numbers.  We enjoy our time with visitors and as hosts we want to provide the best experience within the smaller area of our simulator flight feature.

 

   EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN & ENTERTAIN


The three words above have been our Motto since our original Committee was established.  They set a clear vision that continually guides us on the experience we offer to our visitor.

 

Giving Tuesday - December 1st 2020

A popular feature for Charities happens once a year in early December.  We can now participate with the addition of Canada Helps.  We provide Official CRA Tax receipts for any donation over $20.00.  If you wish to support our continued operation please consider participating in this event, we value all donations of any size.

 

NEWEST NEWS:  
WEBSITE NEW LOOK......

Many of you have seen our just released revamp and re-styling of our Gimli Glider website.  It also has now been changed to the domain of www.gimliglider.org, reflecting our non-profit charitable status.  We have responded to your request to make donations easier by installing a Canada Helps donation link with a button.  We have secondly responded to requests to have our Gift Shop items on line for those that are seeking a Glider Exhibit keepsake.

We will be making changes to the site more frequently than in the past as our commitment to keeping it fresh and responsive to immediate needs.  We hope you like the new styling and appearance.

Speaking of Gift Shop, one new item in very limited numbers is there.  Many of you recall our limited numbers of fuselage tags, numbered and registered with Authenticity Certificates.

Each of those tags had cutout replicating the outline of 767 aircraft.  The craftsmen that created these tags were asked to keep the metal from that cutout.  Now, set within a resin dome we have only the best of those cutouts in a paperweight style keepsake.  These will also sell out so, get your order in now. This is last of the metal from our fuselage 3 window panel; green paint on the underside of the white skin of the 604 plane accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and registered.

DID YOU KNOW?......................

Every Newsletter we will publish a lesser known fact about the world-famous history of the Gimli Glider event.  Many of these “factual tidbits” are found within the Exhibit.  This is one that most visitors are surprised to learn.

Air Canada AME’s (Mechanic Technicians) told us that there was an ovular patch on the front underside of Fin 604. The distinct patch was in the area of the collapsed front landing gear, destroyed as the aircraft impaled itself upon the metal strip dividing the racetrack.  They commented that all they had to do was glance upward at the underbelly, if they saw this patch, they knew instantly it was the famous Gimli Glider.  The repair to this area was made here at Gimli during the 4 days it was on the decommissioned runway and the repair remained on the aircraft for her 25 years of flying the skies.

One of the pilots that flew Fin 604 into Winnipeg for the additional months of repair recently sent us his photos of this repair area.  Visitors are impressed to hear that the skill of those Air Canada technicians remained on the plane for the duration of her time in the air.

THE GIMLI GLIDER CONNECTION
Volume 2 / Issue 1  January 2021

A Brand New Year 2021 – going forward in continuing difficult times:Like most in

teractive venues our doors have been closed with the Provincial guideline restrictions since November 1st, 2020.

We were busy prior to Christmas with our successful Giving Tuesday event and pleased to receive orders for Gimli Glider merchandise through our online gift shop. Thank you to all of our website visitors that made our continuing operation successful with these ongoing purchases and donations.

We have also received some financial support through Government programs that will allow us to continue being a popular Manitoba tourism destination. We are grateful for the assistance.

With the reducing numbers of the Covid-19 cases within our Province, we are hopeful that more normal times will return especially once the vaccine will be made available to the residents. The staff misses meeting visitors from around the world and is looking forward to being back at the Exhibit.

 

   EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN & ENTERTAIN


The three words above have been our Motto since our original Committee was established.  They set a clear vision that continually guides us on the experience we offer to our visitor.

 

2021 Events: The planning for 2021 activities are underway and once it becomes clear to what we can do and when, we will be sure to post all our news on the site and through this Newsletter.

LATEST GIMLI GLIDER ARTIFACT ACQUISITION:

We will be announcing shortly the arrival of another artifact from the Gimli Glider fuselage and access to 604 material that will allow us to provide some additional authentic souvenir items for our gift shop. Restoration of the item and design and prep of the items will take several months before all arrive in our Exhibit. We will keep you updated on this progress and we are excited to continue this development of our display.

 

Here is an example of Fuselage tags that were created from metals of the Gimli Glider, Fin 604.

These are currently sold out.  A Certificate of Authenticity was included.  The tags were serial numbered and a register of owner is kept.

WHAT’S COMING: SPRING!!! And the welcome opportunity to see the re-opening of our doors and announcing what we have in mind for the public activities through 2021….stay tuned!

DID YOU KNOW?......................

Every Newsletter we will publish a lesser known fact about the world famous Gimli Glider Event. Many of these “factual tidbits” are found within the Exhibit. This month we will take the opportunity to introduce our readers to more of our local colourful aviation history.

We have always intended to expand as we can manage, to tell the other two aviation stories of Gimli area that are of interest to history and aviation buffs. Both of these local histories played significant roles in our economic growth and character. Gimli’s colourful history is well covered in a coveted hard cover book called the “Gimli Saga”. As written “next to the arrival of the Icelanders in 1875, it is possible that no other event had a greater impact on this community than the establishment of an air base”. “For 28 years this based contributed much to Gimli”. Keeping in mind that the safe landing of the Glider was accomplished on the decommissioned airstrip.

THE GIMLI GLIDER CONNECTION         
 
Volume 2 / Issue 2  April 2021
A Brand New Year 2021 – going forward in continuing difficult times:

 The continuing challenges remain with us as we enter the spring quarter of the now second year of the pandemic. Our Exhibit remains closed until further notice. Our volunteer staff is beginning to get vaccinated and this remains one of our determining factors to resuming our Open Status.

We will keep the notice posted. You can be assured we will resume welcoming you to our Exhibit as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, staff are being trained with the “Clean it Right” program ensuring visitor safety is a priority.

You will see on the News page a link to the latest and exciting update on construction of the new Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC) in Winnipeg. Manitoba is exceptional in the quality and variety of the Aviation Museum’s within our Province. This is certainly a tribute to the extensive role in aviation history the Province played. The development of flight travel within the western and northern part of Canada and the high-level training for pilots during WWII, taking place within the Province out of Brandon, are revered in books, films and news articles. Trans Canada Airlines was head quartered in Winnipeg and became a major airline as Air Canada.

We speak of the colourful aviation heritage of Gimli often, with more news to come as we develop these histories.

It has become very apparent to visitors to the GGE that aviation buffs are interested in all things “aviation”. You will find here over the next weeks links to all our aviation Provincial Museums. You may plan your visits knowing you arranged time to take in all you should see.

We will keep you updated on the Grand Opening plans and date for this world-class Winnipeg Museum through this site.

 

   EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN & ENTERTAIN


The three words above have been our Motto since our original Committee was established.  They set a clear vision that continually guides us on the experience we offer to our visitor.

 

LATEST GIMLI GLIDER ARTIFACT ACQUISITION:

Fin 604 Fuselage News: We are thrilled to announce that we have acquired the First Observer’s Chair from the cockpit of the Gimli Glider!

There is a role this seat played with the person occupying it, when the event started to unfold. The seat requires restoration and preparation for the display area with informative signage. Stand by for updates and news on when it will be within the Exhibit.

Along with the Observer chair we have acquired two fuselage windows, several metal formers from the fuselage and the ‘push rods’ for the throttle display area. We are seeking a skilled craftsman who may make the metal fuselage tags that were so very popular and sold out immediately. These were from the metal around our 3-window fuselage panel section. 2021 Tags will also be numbered and accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity. More updates to come.

 

Here is an example of Fuselage tags that were created from metals of the Gimli Glider, Fin 604.

These are currently sold out.  A Certificate of Authenticity was included.  The tags were serial numbered and a register of owner is kept.

WHAT’S COMING:

And lastly for news, but exciting for us is two items. We have plans once again to hold a larger Fundraiser once it is safe to do so later this summer. This Fundraiser will be a dinner show with a well-known entertainer – more to come

Secondly, we are hoping that once Provincial travel is open and we can welcome more into our venue, Capt. Pearson will host an evening of limited numbers for a unique opportunity for this smaller group. You will spend one on one time with him within the Exhibit answering all your questions and using our Simulator Experience under his direction on the flight path into Gimli.

 

Saunders ST-28 Operation Scale Model:

For a period of Gimli’s aviation heritage Saunders Aircraft Company was headquartered here at it’s peak employing 500. The Saunders ST-28 was developed with a vision to produce a commuter/taxi aircraft.

1975 saw the first flight of this locally produced aircraft, but shortly after funding was discontinued from the Government who had originally supported the operation within the community.

We have been fortunate to receive the scale operational model crafted by a former employee of Saunders, Wilf Ansel upon his passing. It will be displayed within the Exhibit to introduce to visitors this history. The accompanying photos show Ansel and retired Air Canada AME Dave Goddard preparing it for a short display time in July 2019, just after the model was completed.

The photo of Wilf Ansel and his newly completed model was taken at the Gimli Airfield.

Provided by Ken Kalynak who is doing a book on the Saunders history and writes a blog – link here:  https://saundersaircraft.blogspot.com/

DID YOU KNOW?......................

Every Newsletter we will publish a lesser known fact about the world famous Gimli Glider Event. Many of these “factual tidbits” are found within the Exhibit. This month we will take the opportunity to introduce our readers to more of our local colourful aviation history.

The Gimli Glider story remains of high interest to those with aviation interests. Just this past year two American podcasts; Plane Crash and Business Travel 360, magazine articles and another U-tube production (The Mentour) on Fin 604 history have been made.

Request for permission to use a Fin 604 photo in a chapter about the skilled landing within a coming Textbook on safety procedures has been received. Canadian Aviator’s June/July 2021 edition is featuring an interview with Capt. Pearson.

Capt. Pearson and Pearl Dion were invited last March to New Zealand where they gave two lectures at The Museum of Transport & Technology (MOTAT) and the New Zealand Air Cadets 4th Squadron at Auckland’s training airport. While there, Bob and Pearl were approached for an interview by “TV New Zealand” Channel. The (MOTAT) staff gave Pearson a personal tour of the interior of their Lancaster Bomber, a “rare and special occurrence”. An honor for sure. This visit is covered in the pages of the Air Pilot Magazine, author Mike Zaytsoff, June 2020, Issue 39. Emails from outside of Canada to our in box are a frequent occurrence.