Canada
Miraculous 'Gimli Glider' could fetch up to $3M at auction

The Gimli Glider is up for auction, nearly 30 years after its death-defying landing with empty fuel tanks at an abandoned airstrip July 23, 1983.

Credits: QMI Agency files

TESSA VANDERHART | QMI AGENCY

WINNIPEG - Thirty years after it miraculously glided into town with empty gas tanks, the "Gimli Glider" is looking for a new home.

The famous plane is up for auction.

On July 23, 1983, the Boeing 767 ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet.

It was en route to Edmonton, but was safely glided into the former air force base in Gimli, Man.

"It is an incredible story," said Terry Lobzun, spokesman for auction company Collector Car Productions. "At the time that the metric system was being introduced into Canada, that's the error that was made - they only had half the fuel."

The plane humbly returned to regular flight duties for the next 25 years. When it was retired in 2008, the original crew flew it to its resting place in California.

Unfortunately it won't be flying in to be on display at the Toronto Classic Car Auction, April 12-14. But Lobzun hopes someone will share the auctioneers' interest in keeping its history alive.

"Maybe someone who wants to turn it into condominiums or a cottage. But it is quite a large aircraft. Obviously the best place for it to be would be in Gimli or nearby - that's what made it famous," he said.

People have bought cars at the auction for more than the $2.5-$3 million it's expected to fetch.

"I think it was well over $100 million new, so it's a great value," Lobzun said.

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