RCAF Station Gimli

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RCAF Station Gimli / CFB Gimli
(closed September 1971)
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Canadian Air Force
Location Gimli, Manitoba
Elevation AMSL 753 ft / 229 m
Coordinates 50°37′41″N 97°02′36″W / 50.62806°N 97.04333°W / 50.62806; -97.04333
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14L/32R 6,858 2,286 Asphalt
15R/33L 6,788 2,068 Asphalt
Elevation and coordinates from COPA.[1]

RCAF Station Gimli was an air station of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) located near Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.

On September 6, 1943, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan established 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 (redesignated in 1964 to No. 1 Flying Training School), and No. 1 Advanced Flying Training School.

After unification of the three services in 1968, RCAF Station Gimli became a Canadian Forces Base (CFB). CFB Gimli closed in September 1971 and the flying schools moved to other Canadian forces bases. Part of the aerodrome is now used as an industrial park and a racetrack. Flying related activities include use by Manitoba Provincial Government 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 at 17 Wing Winnipeg, for training purposes.

Air Canada Flight 143 (Gimli Glider)[edit]

The Gimli airfield became the focus of international attention on July 23, 1983, when Air Canada Flight 143 made an emergency landing there after a 17-minute powerless glide due to fuel exhaustion. On that day, the runways were being used for race-car activities on 'Family Day' for the Sports Car club from Winnipeg. Flight 143's captain executed a sideslip, before touching down on the tarmac. None of 69 people on board the Boeing 767 aircraft was seriously injured, because the impact with the ground was minimized by the reduced landing speed provided by the slip that increase drag and caused the airplane to quickly reduce speed and to lose altitude.[2] This maneuver is commonly used with gliders and light aircraft but was a first with a commercial aircraft.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Places to Fly - Gimli Industrial". Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA). 
  2. ^ Wade H. Nelson (1997). "The Gimli Glider Incident - From an article published in Soaring Magazine". Math Courses - Math 100. University of Hawai'i. Retrieved 8 January 2016. "(The dragstrip began in the middle of the runway with the guardrail extending towards 32L's threshold) Pearson applied extra right brake so the main gear would straddle the guardrail.