AC745 - C-GIPW
This B737-200 is the last known aircraft in Pacific Western Airlines colours. It was purchased new from Boeing and for many years flew for the airlines, then Canadian Airlines then Air Canada. The aircraft was donated to the Alberta Aviation Museum by Air Canada and currently sits in near flying condition at Villeneuve Airport, AB. Here is the story of how it got there.
Feb 11, 2014 -
Update ON A/C 745 (From T. Champion)
Our B737 sits silent and cold on the ramp at Villeneuve Airport,
west of Edmonton. There is a hangar building process going on
now however this aircraft may need to endure 2 to 3 more years
before an inside home is ready. This is one resilient aircraft and
sitting parked is much better than the alternative.
Dec 9, 2013 - An Update on the last flight of A/C 745.
After the Nov 29, 2013 event
when A/C 745 - a former PWA B737-200 that took flight one last time;
the e-mails that ensued were of congratulations, pride,
thanks, nostalgia and many with
a lump in the throat were clearly emotional. There are a lot
of people who care. One member described it as: ... it
brought tears to my eyes, and flooded my soul with so many wonderful
memories." These emotions were also captured in the videos
of those interviewed as the event unfolded. . Here is another
quote - " I was at this loving occasion and was taken to the
hangar side by Tom Hendricks because of my help over the year. It
brought back a lot of good feelings but also remembering kids
fighting over the controls by make believe young pilots and the
strength of Boeing construction. Both pilots were from the new
Canadian North so didn't recognize them. They were overheard to say
it handled better than some of their regular 737,s. It was enjoyable
to see the old friend leap in the air and snub its nose at those who
tried to destroy her...
Again, its a job well done and probably something that will never
happen again. Yes the B737 will survive but the Muni could not
Here is a sentiment sent by C. Ettinger.
Been checking the website every week to see what's been going on
with Tail 745, I have to say I'm kind of sad to see her leaving the
Muni...don't get me wrong I'm also glad she will still be preserved,
but still.. Do you know if the rest of the museum will stay the same
or will be forced to shut down. You know, I still can't believe the
muni will be gone.. its really sad that airport was such a big part
of Edmonton's history, plus all the company's there like Esso and
the Edmonton Flying Club...It's crazy...Im really glad you guys are
keeping us informed about what's going on, even though I was never
an employee of PWA, The airline will always be remembered by me, I
even have quite a bit PWA memorabilia from old ticket jackets to
timetables from the 70's. Thank you for keeping the website alive as
I'm probably one of your biggest fans!! Thanks again! All my best to
Watch the Global News Helicopter Raw
Video of the 13 minute trip
Dec 9, 2013
Sequence Photos of the A/C 745 Ferry to Villeneuve - Copyright Lech
Nov 29, 2013 - AC
745 takes flight
Right on schedule at 2 PM MST today, A/C 745 C-GIPW departed YXD and landed
13 minutes later at its new home at Edmonton Villeneuve Airport located NW of the City
of Edmonton. It has been over 26 years since the
airline ceased to operate under the PW banner and after 8 Ĺ years
A/C 745 was placed on display as a museum piece our airplane flies once more. It
is a proud moment that validates all of the former PW employees.
Kudos and congrats to the people at the Alberta Aviation Museum and
their Executive Director Tom Hinderks plus Capt T. Champion, Capt R.
Reaville, Capt R. Schoults, AMEís Dale Hyrve and Rick Kuzyk, Canadian
North and all their support plus the flight crew and technical
specialists, There are many others to be thanked also. It was
a great day for Pacific Western Airlines.
Here are some media
On Final at Villeneuve Airport
The story of the fate
of A/C 745 goes way back to a decision by the City of Edmonton to
close the downtown airport. Six months earlier, a study of the
land use plan boundaries had left space for the museum but there was
no parking for the B737. Months of discussions and planning
evolved into a plan that would see her flown out of the "Muni" to
Villeneuve. The Alberta Aviation Museum, many PWA alumni,
Canadian North management, flight crew and others worked around the
clock to have the A/C inspected, checked and recertified so it could
fly again. And fly it did! -Click the links above to hear the
engines roar one last time. Read some of the time line below
Nov 28, 2013 - AC
745 will take flight
We have received news that A/C 745 will fly from the Edmonton Muni
to Villeneuve at around 2 PM on Friday Nov 29. Very exciting and
good news. Pacific Western Airlines flies once again.
Our grateful thanks to all involved in this project.
Nov 27, 2013 -
approval for the planned move of A/C 745 has been received.
There is now 2 or 3 days and possibly more time to complete the
checks and related requirements. This one will go right down
to the wire. On Nov 23, 2013 - AC
745 was moved to Building 39 (old PWA hangar) to
thaw out and drip dry plus took the Kelly D to the hangar. B737 AME
and Canadian North are working hard at getting this work done.
Nov 20, 2013 -
Update on Future of A/C 745
I had previously advised that the
target date for moving the 737 from City Centre Airport to
Villeneuve Airport was 23 November 2013. As of tonight the
probability of that target date being met is extremely low. Moving
the aircraft remains the only viable option to saving this Edmonton
historic service aircraft.
Itís beyond anything the Museum has under its control or influence.
As the City Centre runway will close on 30 November, everything that
can be done is/has been done on our side. Iíll advise
further as the world unfolds.
From the Alberta Aviation Museum
Nov 14, 2013 -
Update on The Closure of the Muni and the Future of A/C 745
The possibility of ferrying 745 to Villeneuve is very much up in the
air, so to speak. The runway will close at civil twilight on
November 30th. The Air Museum is working on a day long program for the
30th - More info to follow. It seems fairly certain that we will have a
second location at Villeneuve as Edmonton Airports has offered a 50-year
lease on 13 acres there. The MOT hangar on the east side of XD
(that once belonged to Pocklington) is a 21,000 sq ft metal structure
that must be removed by March 30th. They have offered it to us on the
basis that they will have it dismantled and delivered to Villeneuve at
their cost and we would be responsible for re-assembling it. The
museum is not moving the present operation to Villeneuve. We have 4
years on the lease and hope to sign a feasible extension for 20 years or
so. The operation at Villeneuve would be controlled by our organization
but would be operated as the Edmonton Flying Heritage Association.
2013 - Edmonton Airport Closure Update
On Sat Oct 12, 2013, the Alberta Aviation Museum at the Edmonton City
Centre Airport arranged a fly-in rally with the theme being the closure
of the downtown airport which is scheduled for later this year. Several
hundred attended along with the press media. A cool and sometimes sunny
day brought together approx 25 former PWA staffers. The B737 looks great
and has been kept in near running condition by the Museum and retired
AME's from the airline. An engine run up was done on the aircraft 2
weeks ago. The APU runs regularly.
The political side of the airport closure has seen talks that might
foresee our B737 taken out of Edmonton but recent information
suggestions some favourable arrangements might be made to allow it all
to stay. The best answer we can hope for is to preserve the memory of
the airline and the people who worked for PWA. Many younger visitors
asked "who is Pacific Western" as they read the bright red letters on
the fuselage. For them it is a new topic. Our airline stopped flying 26
1/2 years ago.
CHED news radio and several others covered the event.
You can read the
article and more pictures here.
Oct 10, 2013 -
From C. Ettinger - This thought I am sure is shared by many
Just wanted to say I was really saddened to hear that Edmonton will be
shutting down the Edmonton Municipal/City Center Airport (CYXD). My
first memories of YXD was when I was around 2-3 years old when my father
and I flew a Cessna 172 over the city. Then when I was 4 we flew on a
PWA 737 to YYC - the Airbus service, I was so excited. I remember the
stewardess handing me candy while waiting for the rest of the passengers
were boarding. My family moved to Calgary when I was 5 and I didn't
return until my teens to see the old airport. Back then Canadian
Airlines/Canadian Regional and Air BC was serving City Center. in my
late 20's I returned again only to see the terminal closed and only
light traffic now flying in and out. It's a part of Edmonton history and
to see it close is disappointing. Also to hear that the ex PWA 737 at
the museum will be leaving is a big blow as well. I really believe it
should stay as it was a big part of the airport and for Pacific Western.
I hope that people will notice these events and possibly post old photos
of YXD so that we will always remember what was there in the heart of
Edmonton. Good Bye Muni...
update photos from YXD where AC745 resides and she still
Air Canada donated a Boeing 737-200 aircraft registration C-GIPW to the Alberta
Aviation Museum. Air Canada also painted the aircraft in 1970 Pacific Western
Airlines colors. The Edmonton aviation people and the PWA Alumni are extremely
grateful for the thoughtfulness of Air Canada. Please visit the Air Museum
located at the City Centre Airport, Edmonton where this aircraft is now proudly
on display and is also used as a technical trainer for aircraft maintenance
AC745 was re-painted
in the 1970 paint scheme and after the rudder had been painted the aircraft will
no longer be certified for flight. Here are a few pictures of that memorable
Capt T. Champion
(ret) presided at the Ceremony upon the arrival of A/C 745 at the Alberta
Aviation Museum - YXD