Wings Magazine

Gimli glider museum highlights amazing event

An Air Canada Boeing 767 that ran out of fuel more than 12,000 metres above the ground more than 30 years ago – and somehow landed without any casualties – has had its story further cemented in history.

June 14, 2017  By CBC News

“Everybody kind of knows the famous story of the Gimli Glider, but up until now there’s never been a museum or exhibit dedicated to this amazing aviation story,” said Steve Bannister. 

He and a group of other organizers have put together a museum in the Manitoba Interlake town commemorating that story.

The Gimli Glider precariously coasted down from great heights and landed on an old runway in Gimil, about 85 kilometres north of Winnipeg, on July 23, 1983. A fuel miscalculation would’ve cost the crew and passengers their lives were it not for the quick thinking and masterful piloting skills of Captain Robert Pearson.

Staff held a soft opening for the new museum on Friday and have already started to receive positive feedback.


“Folks are realizing it’s a quality exhibit – it’s certainly worth the time and the effort,” said Bannister, who is a retired Air Force pilot and flying instructor.

Walls in the exhibit are filled with photos of the plane and rescue crews from that fateful day more than 30 years ago.

Patrons have a chance to step into a mock cockpit or have their pictures taken within a fuselage rebuilt from parts from the actual plane. 

An interactive screen gives museum-goers a chance to watch and read the stories of Gimli locals who were about town that day, and who recount what they saw.

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

A grand opening is planned for June 23 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT.

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

“It’s a good news aviation story . . . it’s one worth preserving,” Bannister said.


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