Upon arriving in Gander we drove around the town to get an idea as to just how big (small) this place is - Most of you will remember the grounding of 50 to 100 international flights (I forget the exact number) due to 9/11 in New York City, Washington and Penn. - This town offered all they had - food, lodging and when they ran out of houses - schools, ice rinks, the community center etc.were utilized for the care of all the passengers - they supplied blankets, pillows, cots, food and whatever else was needed - the amazing thing was that the town has a population of around 6,000 people and the number of stranded passengers far exceeded that number!! With the Canadian and American authorities working together they arranged for the first planes to continue their flights starting on the 3rd or 4th day?? ...........Many life long friendships were formed over this short span of time!! - The people in the Peggy's Cove area in Nova Scotia did much the same thing years later when a Swissair flight slammed into the ocean just off shore!!
Well Gander had their own airline disaster back in December, 1985 - the photos attached show plaques giving the full details as to what happened that infamous day - Where you see small American flags placed in the ground is the actual crash site!! ...We met two American families while we were there - Apparently they have American visitors on a regular basis - relatives and friends of those lost no doubt!!
I remember the news broadcasts back then - they blamed the crash on a few things - the Arrow Airline had a lousy reputation - the crew probably didn't take into consideration that all on board (256 in total) were full grown soldiers (mostly men) - the 101st Airborne Div. U.S. Army returning to the U.S. from Egypt with full luggage and Christmas gifts, the aircraft had full fuel tanks on takeoff, this all added up to a very heavy lift and there was talk that there may have been some icing of the wings!! - A terrible, terrible accident!!
Once back on the road we made a quick stop in a town named "Gambo" - It's claim to fame is it's the birthplace of Joey Smallwood, Newfoundland's first premier when they decided to join the Canadian Confederation in 1959!!
Our next major stop was the town of Bonavista (John Cabot landed there in 1497) - this was a really enjoyable experience for us on the island.
Later - Win