Story of Gimli Glider set to take flight on the big screen
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:17PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:56PM CST
It has all the elements of a Hollywood movie: action, humour and love.
Now the story of the ‘Gimli Glider’ is poised to become a feature film on the silver screen.
Captain Bob Pearson, 82, and his co-pilot First Officer Maurice Quintal, who has since passed away, had dozens of people on board an Air Canada passenger jet when the engines failed mid-flight due to a fuel miscalculation on July 23, 1983.
They managed to land the plane on old runway in Gimli without anyone on board or on the ground being seriously injured.
Pearl Dion, 76, was a passenger on the flight and now Pearson's partner.
They reconnected in Gimli at the landing’s 30th anniversary, fell in love and live together near Ottawa.
“I thanked him many times for saving my life, saving our lives,” said Dion. “It just made for a really good match.”
The pair said last February, an American filmmaker approached them about making a movie.
“They emailed us an 11-page contract and we only understood one page,” said Pearson, laughing.
Pearson and Dion have signed a contract and say two script writers have been scouted to work on the project. Both are excited to see the Gimli Glider on the big screen.
Los Angeles based Inkubate Entertainment tells CTV News it’s an amazing story and it’s excited about the movie.
“I'm not that handsome. I hope they don’t get anyone too handsome. That would be too unrealistic,” said Pearson with a laugh.
Former Gimli RCMP Sgt. Bob Munro was one of the first people on scene.
"I turned and looked out the right side of my window, and the plane was ready to touch down; that's how much warning we had,” he said, adding he could see wood and metal debris flying as the plane landed.
Munro thought the story would be fitting movie.
"We have enough tragedies in our world and this is one that's a successful and people survived," he said.
Barbara Gluck is the president of the Gimli Glider Museum and has been researching the story for close to a decade.
She said the story works well for a Hollywood movie because it had such a tremendous ending.
She also said it paved the way for pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberg to save the day.
"What he learned after here in Gimli allowed him to perform what he did on the Hudson River, so pretty affirming this was a significant event,” said Gluck.
This summer marks the 35th anniversary of the historic landing.