Fokker passenger jet makes triumphant return to Lethbridge

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Triumphant return to Lethbridge for Fokker passenger jet
An old passenger plane has arrived in Lethbridge and many people are hoping it’s the start of something special. The Fokker jet, one of only 241 ever built, made its way from Saskatoon to southern Alberta this past weekend and was officially brought down to the ground by a crane on Tuesday near the Lethbridge Airport. Micah Quintin reports – Apr 30, 2024

An artifact of aviation history has made its way to Lethbridge following a long journey.

It’s approximately 85 feet long with 65 seats and now the Time Air Fokker F28-1000 passenger jet is back in the city it used to fly in.

It was bought by the Time Air Historical Society in 2019 from a company in Saskatoon and sat in that city for 22 years before it received a new home.

“The aircraft itself is one of four that we currently own,” says Rik Barry, the chairman of the Time Air Historical Society.

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Members of the historical society left Saskatoon on Friday and made their way to Lethbridge, driving into the city on Monday morning.

According to Barry, it took around 800 kilometres to complete the trip, with work being done to disassemble parts of the airliner before the drive.

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“To move the aircraft, you have to remove the wings. There are approximately 300 bolts per side to take it apart, but it’s old-school technology as far as how it was built. So, that’s the whole reason we were able to do it,” Barry added.

The non-profit organization is made up entirely of volunteers and despite work on the plane not being finished yet, they are happy to see the aircraft make its way back to Lethbridge.

“Being able to bring this one here after so many bumps in the road, I don’t even know how to explain it. There’s not enough paragraphs to write it,” said the historical society’s board director, Jesse Millington.

There’s no timeline but the group has a long-term goal of building an aviation museum in Lethbridge to display planes like this one.

“We want to make it so that it can bring aviation to everyone,” Millington said.

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