The town and municipality of Gimli are located in the Interlake region of south-central Manitoba, Canada. Situated on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg (the 13th largest freshwater lake in the world) and about 75 kilometres north of the provincial capital Winnipeg
Gimli has a thriving commercial fishing industry, which began 120 years ago. In 1875, when the first Icelandic settlers arrived in the Canadian West, Manitoba was a tiny "postage stamp" province approximately 33,280 square kilometres (13,000 square miles). To the north of Manitoba's boundaries lay the vast unsettled wilderness of the North-West Territories, an area that originally included most of present-day Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Into this area the newcomers from Iceland went to found a colony on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg. Called "New Iceland", the colony was one of the earliest group settlements in the West. Today, the reserve of land originally homesteaded by the Icelandic pioneers is part of Manitoba's Interlake region.
It features the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, the longest running ethnic festival in the country, attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year.
Gimli will not only fulfil your craving for great food and unique shopping, it does however offer fresh offshore breezes, recreational boating, angling and nature hikes. If action is what you want, get into the fast lane and drop by the newly renovated Gimli Motorsport Park in Industrial Park, just one mile west of town.
Gimli Industrial Park Airport, is a former military field located 2 NM (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) west of Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. The field is now operated as a civilian airport, with one of the original parallel runways decommissioned and now a significant portion of Gimli Motorsport Park. Current flying-related activities here include use by Manitoba Provincial Government's water bomber squadron, the Regional Gliding School (Prairie), and two private flying schools. Gimli is also used by No. 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based out of No. 17 Wing Winnipeg, for training purposes, and as a skydive drop zone by Skydive Manitoba.
The RCAF station Gimli was first used during 1943 by the No. 18 Service Flying Training School (No. 18 SFTS) to train aircrew for Second World War operations using the Avro Anson. No. 18 SFTS ceased operation on May 30, 1945. During the Cold War period, many Second World War air stations were reactivated. Gimli was one of these, and was reopened in 1950 to become a jet aircraft training station. Flying training schools located here include No. 2 Flying Training School, No. 3 Advanced Flying School (re-designated in 1964 to No. 1 Flying Training School), and No. 1 Advanced Flying Training School. Most commonly aircraft used was the T-33 Jet Trainer.
The Gimli Glider is the nickname of an Air Canada aircraft which was involved in an infamous aviation incident. On 23 July 1983, a Boeing 767-200 jet, Air Canada Flight 143, ran completely out of fuel at 41,000 feet (12,500 m) altitude, about halfway through its flight from Montreal to Edmonton. The crew was able to glide the aircraft safely to an emergency landing at Gimli Industrial Park Airport
Since a couple of years FNT First Nations Transportation Inc. had set up base at Gimli airport, mainly operating a fleet of Douglas DC-3s and Curtiss C-46s freighters. Together with its sister company SASCO Ltd, operating as First Nations Trucking, FNT serves all of the remote communities in Manitoba and northwest Ontario with intermodal truck-air service and truck during the winter roads season.
CF-QHY (14560/26005) C-47B-5- DK
This airframe was delivered by Douglas Aircraft Company with c/n 14560 but due to duplication of serials it was re-serialled c/n 26005 and delivered as 43-48744 on 16 September 1944 to the USAAF. It was transferred as 977 to RCAF 3 TC Dakota 4ST on 21Sep44, operated though a series of units & locations. Its tail number changed to 12958, with the Canadian Armed Forces, and served with 402 CFTSD at Saskatoon It entered the civilian register, first with Bradley Air Services of Carp Ontario. (15Oct71) but CF-QHY soon changed hands to one M. Carter of Hay River, NWT (registered 14Aug72). In 1975 it went to Northwest Territorial Airways, but returned as C-FQHY to former owner M. Carter of Hay River in 1977. Sioux Narrows A/W Ltd (of Winnipeg, Manitoba) had it registered to its name on 08 February 1979. CF-QHY was registered to Plummer's Arctic Lodges of Great Bear Lake from February 2002 until 2005.
CF-FTR (16095/32843) C-47B-25-DK
C/n 16095 was first assigned, but re-serialled to 32843 and as 44-76511 delivered on 17 March 1945 to the USAAF, transferred as KN417 to RAF Montreal that same year. It served with various units, first with 525 Sqn (08Apr45), then 238 Sqn, 22MU (12Nov47) and was struck off charge on 05 September 1950. CF-GBH was its first civilian tail number, for Babb (Canada) Ltd (was ferried from Cairo, Egypt) in 1951.
But it returned to military service, as 10916, for the RCAF (Dakota 4MFP) on 05Jun52. It also served with ADC 104 Flt at St Hubert (28Jan53), later also with other units at Trenton, Rockcliffe Vancouver, Cold Lake and Saskatoon.
As N6677 it was registered to Priority Air Transport System Inc. of Redwood City CA who had bought it on 07August 1968. In April 1970 it went to World Weather Inc. where it had a spray gear fitted. CF-CTA became its new tail number for North Canada Air Ltd of Prince Albert, Saskatoon (registered 21Mar72), which was revised to C-FCTA during 1978.
Back it went to the USA, registered as N142JR for Jarex Corp (of Columbus OH), who bought this DC-3 on 22 October 1985. It went to Rhoades Int'l Inc on 17 March 1987 and was found stored at Columbus during May 2001. It was registered to J&T Aircraft Leasing LLC of Columbus OH on 08Nov03 but this was cancelled on 23August 2005. It found a new career up North and was registered on 15 June 2006 to TAC Air Services of Gimli Manitoba, and later joined the First Nations Inc fleet at Gimli.
CF-OOW (13342) C-47A-25-DK
C/n 13342 was produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company and as 42-93431 delivered in May 1944. It was transferred as 970 to the RCAF, initially to 3 TC on 01 June 1944. It served with various units and was re-serialled to12954 in June1970 and served with 402 CFTSD at Saskatoon (04mar71) It took on a civilian identity as CF-OOW for Atlas Aviation Ltd, which bought it on 10 September 1971. A few years later it moved to Air Dale Ltd, of Sault Ste Marie (21Feb76). The exotic tail number 8P-OOW was assigned for Tropical Air Service (registered in Nov79), but as C-FOOW it returned to Air Dale Ltd on 21Feb80. Great Northern Freight Forwarding of Ocala, FL registered it on 15Dec88. Enterprise Air became owner on 21Feb96, which changed it name to Triumph Airways Ltd and as such registration was revised on 23Jun05 CF-OOW / C-FOOW.
C-GIBX (22472) C-46F-1-CU
Delivered in 1945 with military tail code 44-78649 It was first registered civilian as N74171 and flew for Pan American World Airways from September 1948 – January 1953. Transocean Air Lines bought it on 29Jul55, Aviation Finance Inc purchased N74171 on 11Sep61, Ortner Air Service leased it at first in 1961, but decided to buy it later.
Active Air became the new owner on 27Aug75 and C-46 Parts Inc bought it on 15Nov75. Then it went to Ferrer Aviation 1979.
Then this C-46 moved to Canada as C-GIBX for Northland Air Manitoba Ltd of Winnipeg (1985-1988). Then GIBX moved to Nunasi-Northland Airlines in Aug88, leasing it back to Northland Air Manitoba in Nov89, and then bought by Air Manitoba Ltd in 1994.
For a brief spell it moved abroad, to Kenya, as 5Y-IBX for Relief Air Transport (Aug94 - Mar96, returned to Air Manitoba from lease).Most recently Commando Air Transport Inc. of Gimli was registered as owner (bought Nov96) which lasted until 2003, when apparently CAT was shut down Currently C-GIBX is still going strong with FNT First Nations Transportation Inc (headquarters in Winnipeg), registered 01Sep04.
C-GTPO (c/n 22556) C-46F-1-CU Curtiss Commando
Built as 44-78733 for the United States Army airforce and delivered during August 1945. Two years later she was transferred to the United States Air Force, based at Boeing Field Seattle (WA). She was bought by Wings Inc. and was based at Fairbanks Alaska. (Another source mentioned being leased to Flying Tiger Line during 1950 as N1258N prior to Wings Inc) She was then leased to Wien Alaska Airlines during 1957. The Commando suffered an inadvertently raised undercarriage at Fairbanks on the 4th January 1957. Returned to Wing Inc on 7th July 1964. Several years later during 1969 FA Conner, based out of Miami International, bought the Commando. Then several companies used the venerable C-46. Shamrock Airlines (Division of Douglas and Lomason Co.) based at Atlanta (GA) bought her in 1970.
Most of their Cargo operations were done at San Juan, PR. Followed by Plymouth leasing Company who bought her in 1974. That same year she was leased to Ortner Air Services. She was sub leased to Trans Continental Airlines during 1976 and based at Ypsilanti (MI). Atkins Aviation Inc. was the next company who purchased the C-46 during March 1985. She was reregistered as N519AC with Atkins Aviation Inc. April 1986 she travelled northwards to Canada and joined the Northland Air Manitoba fleet as C-GTPO. Buffalo Airways Inc. became the proud owners of this Commando when they purchased her in August of 1993. Air Manitoba was the last big Canadian operator of the C-46. After many years the airline decided in 1993 to streamline into an all HS-748 operator. Four of the Commandos were sold; three went to Kenya to fly on the United Nations relief contract in to the Sudan. A fifth C-46, C-GTPO, remained in Canada! Several years ago, during October 1989, C-GTPO developed engine trouble on take-off and aborted. She overran the runway at Pickle lake airstrip in the Northwest of Ontario and was left behind ever since. Joe McBryan president of Buffalo Airways had a soft spot for C-GTPO and decided to repair the stricken Commando. He send a crew from Winnipeg and repaired the a/c's landing gear, propeller and engines. She was ferried to Seattle for refurbishment and joined the Buffalo's fleet during 1994. She was sold to First Nations Transportations Inc in August 2004. Currently she is used as a freighter flying out of Gimli (Manitoba) still in her basic white and green Buffalo color scheme.
DC-1/2/3 the First Seventy Years by Years J Gradidge – Air Britain publication 2006
Tahs – 2002 Piston Engined Airliner Production List