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Aviation Museum’s 737 closer to take off

Nov. 28, 2013, Edmonton - The race to fly the Alberta Aviation Museum’s Boeing 737 to its new home in Villeneuve before the City Centre Airport’s last runway closes has received a big boost.


November 28, 2013
By The Edmonton Journal

Transport Canada gave approval late Tuesday to proceed with the
thorough safety inspection needed before the plane is allowed to take
off. The airliner must be flown out of the airport before 4:49 p.m. on
Saturday. That’s when the last runway closes as the airport prepares for
redevelopment into a residential community.

 

“Right now, all the personnel and equipment are coming together to
get the inspection done,” said Thomas Hinderks, executive director of
the museum.

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“Some are already on-site working and we’re waiting for equipment
now. It’s still touch and go because we’ve got to get the inspection
done. Hopefully, there’s no issues during the inspection and the flight
permit will be issued and hopefully, it will launch.

 

“It’s a big step, but we’re not there yet.”

 

Airline professionals are volunteering from Canadian North airline to perform the inspection work.

The stakes are high. If the $1.6-million jet can’t be flown out by
the Saturday deadline, it may have to be destroyed because the museum
cannot afford to dismantle the plane and move it by truck.

 

It’s also too big to move in one piece because overpasses block the
routes to its planned new home at the Villeneuve Airport northwest of
Edmonton where the new Alberta Flying Heritage Museum is to be located.

 

The museum was left scrambling to move the plane because it
discovered in late July that the new property line under the airport
redevelopment didn’t allow enough space to keep it on-site.

 

The 737-200 model entered service at City Centre Airport in 1979 by
Pacific Western Airlines. It later flew with Canadian Airlines
International and Air Canada, which donated the aircraft in 2005. It has
played a role in educational programs, police and aviation training and
movie production since then, while still being maintained in working
condition through the years.

Volunteers are lining up to fly the plane on its last takeoff from the airport.

 

“Pilots will be selected today,” Hinderks said. “There’s a quite a
list from which they’ll be chosen from and they’re all highly
experienced 737-200 pilots — line pilots, guys who are currently flying
them.”