Back to Squawk list
  • 34

Gander 9/11 - The Kindess of Strangers

Video of how a tiny village in Newfoundland welcomed the passengers from the aircraft forced to land on 9-11. Canadians already know of Newfoundland hospitality, but this is the story of individuals who received first hand exposure to man looking after their fellow man in distress. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

matt jensen 12
Newfies are among my fav people. Always welcoming and a joy to be around. The people of Gander made us proud to be Canadian.
canuck44 7
I could not agree more on both your points. You can add equipped with amazing senses of humour to go with their generosity. Our favorite alternate was Torbay on the many occasions Shearwater had disappeared into the fog.
I think you can add Goose Bay, Moncton Halifax to Gander as Canadian cities and citizens who opened their hearts and homes on 9/11. Not a lot has been written or talked about on this issue but they willingly took strangers in to their homes and cared for them in a time of need. Thank you to all of them. We will not forget.
I agree, there were many cities big and small that helped out, without any hesitation. It was really an endeavour from east to west, from Gander to Whitehorse, Yukon. What sets Gander and area (the effort was not limited to Gander proper) apart is the fact that their population doubled within a few hours, and they still brilliantly managed to feed, house, console and entertain everybody.
canuck44 18
In Gander the school bus drivers were on strike for higher pay. They immediately returned to work at no pay.
Thanks Wolfgang. I did not know about the western cities. I was in Halifax about a month after 9/11 and saw a whole page ad from a lady from NY city who thanked the people for their kindness.
Were there other western cities as well as Whitehorse?
As far as I remember there were several, Vancouver among them, but to be sure you may have to look it up.
Here's a detailed report, with the list of Canadian airports that took in the flights, including the number of planes for each. In all there were 17 airports with a total number of 238 aircraft.
I remember two stories in particular that were in an issue of Airways Magazine, where one was from the FO's perspective. I want to say that it was a DAL flight.. anyway, the pilots found out what happened about 1/3rd to 1/2 way through their RJAA-KLAX flight, and were worried about what they should do. They knew that US airspace was closed, and they were just past the point of no return for their flight (ETOPS, B772). Either way, they decided (no other choice) but to divert to CYVR, but had to maintain calm heads, as they didn't want to cause panic among the passengers. They even went as far as finding the cables to the flight map portion of the IFE and ripped them out. It wasn't until they were on final before they thought about what to tell everyone. IIRC, the article ended with, "ladies and gentlemen, if you look out your windows, you will see that we currently are not at our destination..."

There was also a KAL flight from RKSI to KLAX that ended up diverting to CYXY (Whitehorse), but was one of the last flights to enter Canadian airspace, as the US was closed. However, they had no radio contact with the flight for a while. I'll try to find that article as well, but it all ended well (relatively speaking for that day).
My fault.. it was a RKSI-PANC-KJFK flight that was diverted to CYXY, not one going to KLAX.
Jad Khoriaty 3
The reason why Gander is talked about a lot more than the other Canadian cities is for a couple of reasons:
1- Their airport is not designed to handle that many airplanes due to its size but also due to the personnel that work there (CBSA, RCMP, ground and tower crew...)
2- All (or at least most) of the trans-Atlantic flights (which are generally bigger airplanes) landed there)
And like you mentioned the population doubled because the town is not designed and made to handle that many people.
This was definitively Newfies at their best. The two times I went to Newfoundland are memorable not only because of the wild beauty of "The Rock" and the great food, but also because of the genuine kindness and friendliness to strangers. As an example. we were having a picnic lunch at the memorial to John Cabot's landing when a guy came along walking his beautiful Labrador dog. I just told him how nice his dog was, the ensuing discussion lasted over two hours.
I'm so very glad that I had the occasion to watch this. Truly an uplifting and powerful story that needs to be told again & again.
gerardo godoy -2
Most people in the world behave like this when they see others having problems. It's no miracle.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Do you have a source for this statement? I ask, because it is completely contradictory to everything that happened on 9/11, as ATC went to ATC Zero, per FAA JO 1900.47.

Under that, all normal flights are suspended, aircraft in the affected airspace transition to VFR, communicate with ATC/piltos on frequency, then as PIC, decide if they are going to land ASAP or divert to an airport outside of the affected airspace.

Can you provide an example where a flight under charter from the Saudi Government circumvented this order? because what you are suggesting sounds completely preposterous.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Wow.. what a conspiracy theory tangent you are going off of, while totally avoiding the question.

You state and imply that flights on 9/11 were brought down, except for those American aircraft under the charter of the Saudi Government.

that is a very bold and preposterous statement. Back it up. List american flights that were "under the charter of the Saudi Government".

I'll give you even the slightest hint of an answer; it is similar to the answer to your question about if there are any STARs into KWHP: there are *none*.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.