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Time Air Historical Society hopes to land rare plane in Lethbridge

Time Air Historical Society hopes to land rare plane
WATCH ABOVE: A group of Alberta aviation enthusiasts are hoping to raise enough money give a decommissioned Fokker F28 jet a permanent home in Lethbridge. The plane used to fly for Time Air, a former regional airline with roots in southern Alberta. Tom Roulston has the story.

A group of Alberta aviation enthusiasts is hoping to buy a decommissioned jet and give it a permanent home in Lethbridge.

The plane is a Fokker F28, which was once flown by Time Air, a now-defunct regional carrier with roots in southern Alberta.

“Time Air was formed in 1966 by Stubb Ross,” said Rik Barry, chair of the Time Air Historical Society.

“It started as Lethbridge Air Transport, became Time Airways, then shortly after became Time Air, which served Lethbridge and area until approximately 1992.”

This particular jet currently sits in Saskatoon.

READ MORE: Alberta Aviation Museum looking for help to restore historic wartime military plane

The society is in the process of raising $10,500 to buy the plane before it is sold for scrap.

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Barry said they have until Jan. 31 to secure the purchase of the aircraft, and if bought, it would need to be moved from Saskatoon to Lethbridge no later than March 31.

A company has already agreed to transport the plane for free if the society can make the purchase on time.

“It’s a beautiful aircraft and it’s very, very rare in a museum,” said Arnold Begeman, a board member of the Time Air Historical Society.

“There’s actually none on public display in North America.”

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If the plane can be purchased, the society hopes it can be ready for public display during the next air show in Lethbridge scheduled to take place Aug. 1-2, 2020.

READ MORE: Lethbridge air show postponed until 2020

“This was the silver-anniversary Fokker aircraft,” Barry said. “The 25th-anniversary logo for Time Air was placed on the aircraft.

“It was the only aircraft in their fleet of Fokker F28s that had that particular livery.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the society with its fundraising efforts for an opportunity that may never come to pass again.

“We cannot go buy another one somewhere else. They’re just not there,” Bergeman said.

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There is another plane with historical value that the group has already secured.

That aircraft is a Shorts SD330, currently sitting in Milwaukee, Wis.

A Shorts SD330 previously flown by Time Air currently sitting in Milwaukee Wis.
A Shorts SD330 previously flown by Time Air currently sitting in Milwaukee Wis. Time Air Historical Society
A Shorts SD330 previously flown by Time Air currently sitting in Milwaukee Wis.
A Shorts SD330 previously flown by Time Air currently sitting in Milwaukee Wis. Time Air Historical Society

It was donated to the society.

Barry said Time Air was the launch customer for the plane, and this particular one is the only original SD330 of the Time Air fleet that still exists.

The same company willing to transport the F28, if bought, has also agreed to transport this plane to Lethbridge.

The society hopes to have it on display in time for the 2020 air show too.