Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonWhy not allow the NetLetter to be your platform and opportunity to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC etal?

and share your experiences with us!

Officials in California working to recover the wreckage of Steve Fossett's aircraft, discovered on a mountainside near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (altitude, roughly 9,700 feet above sea level), succeeded in completing most of the task, but may have to postpone their most thorough efforts due to weather.

Thursday, a bone fragment was found and removed from the site. Officials had said the search would include 50 people and five dogs. That search recovered three more bone fragments. All remains have been handed over to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensics to determine if they belong to the body of Fossett.

Fossett disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, after departing from a private strip in Nevada, in a blue and white Super Decathlon. Initial reports suggest the aircraft crashed and the wreckage slid up the mountainside for about 100 feet with the engine continuing an additional 300 feet.

The first evidence of the crash was discovered by a hiker, Monday, Sept. 29, roughly one-quarter mile from the crash site.
Air Canada - our first 70 years


  • Dec 12th - Air Canada's, and North America's, first a319captianAirbus A319 arrived at Montreal under the command of Capts. Don Simons and Rob Giguere .


  • Mar 6th - Air Canada provided B747 fin 307 C-GAGB hayon wet lease to Garuda Indonesia for the Haj operation of pilgrims to Jedda. The aircraft was fitted with 487 seats the operation was until May 22nd.
  • Unfortunately no id's with this photo.
  • June 28th - Non stop service between YUL-SFO introduced with A319 equipment, making it the 38th new route since Open Skies on February 24th 1995.
Air Canada News
Air Canada
Family Affair Special to Europe
Looking to travel to Paris, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Zurich or Tel Aviv?
Why not take advantage of a great Family Affair special, featuring confirmed travel.

Departures from Canada are permitted until April 30, 2009. This Family Affair discount represents 20% off the current AFAMILY fares.

This offer is only available until December 31, 2008.
Details on Family Affair are available on the Employee Travel Site under News & Policies.

For reservations or inquiries, please contact Call Centres at 1-888-247-2262.

New benefits company for U.S.-based employees & retirees - Air Canada has teamed with Aetna to improve benefit claims processing while providing an enhanced provider network for all U.S.-based employees and retirees.
Effective January 1 2009, Aetna replaces Great-West Life, Air Canada's current administrator for medical, dental, life and disability coverage's.

This week, a communication package will be mailed to the home address of all U.S. employees and retirees including an enrollment form which must be returned to register dependents with Aetna for health and dental plans.

Employees and retirees have until November 26 2008 to return their enrollment form to ensure that they receive their Aetna health and dental cards by January 1st, 2009.
TCA/AC People Gallery

Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier "Horizons", should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Hello  all members, and haligonians of 1954, I am Paul Cormier of Moncton, arrived in Shearwater Jan. 1954, as a radio operator, and our office was on the second floor of an old hangar, and the old Avengers would fly over and we often wondered if they were going to make it, and some of them just missed and hit the ground. But it was a great time with Hosty McMann.

Monctonians who followed me to YFX, are Roger Gallant, Fred Leblanc and Armand Leblanc (deceased a year ago).

I went to YBG as Station Manager and became District Manager 1970 and back to YZV 1972, and in 1978 to YUL, and back to YZV 1988. We were alternate for Goose Bay and had heavy freight so we had Lockheeds, DC-3, Northstars, DC-9, Vanguards, Viscounts and Superconnies.
Air Canada was a great Company and great people working everywhere.

ShirLee Schacter sends this information - 7TH ANNUAL FoFS (FRIENDS OF FRONT ST.) REUNION LUNCHEON.

DATE: Saturday, Nov. 22nd, 2008, from 1200 to 1500+

Same location as the previous 2 reunions: The Royal Canadian Legion 948 Sheppard Ave. W. (approx. 1 block east of Allen Rd. and the Downsview Subway Station).
Look for the Legion sign on the North side of Sheppard - there is a small laneway and the Legion is at the end. For the drivers, there's plenty of FREE parking on site.

The cost per person is $14.00 for a cold buffet lunch of sandwiches, cold cuts, etc.including tea and coffee. There is a Cash bar.

At this time we need to receive your $14.00/person cheque, payable to R. Newson, so would you please take the time NOW to drop it in the mail to Bob's address at 35 Curtis Drive, Brampton, ON L6Y 2J6 or contact ShirLee Schacter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a method of remittance via a web site.

Musings from "Horizons"

Issue dated October 1996 - we pikstaffhave this photo of the PIK staff circa 1960.
The photo in "Horizons" had no identities so in order to have some identities, we contacted Jim McCall who sent this information - this is believed to be the gathering to celebrate the 25th service anniversary of  JR Gilmore, then Station Manager PIK.

The players are: Back Row - Matt Miller, Ranald McDonald, Ian Ritchie, Ian Gardine, Bill Holman, George Brodie, Andy Taylor, Ernie LaphamHenry Thow.

Middle Row: Andy Marshall, Dallas FurgussonPat Morrison (later married name), John Johnston, Gordie Aitchison, Gayle Gray, Betty Furgusson, Nancy Conlin, Bill McLellan, C.S -Stan Hewett - First Station Manager PIK and JR's predecessor Jimmy Farquahar, Sandy McGregor, Jimmy Douglas.

Seated: Mary Holman, Pat Fraser, J.R.Gilmore with anniversary cake,  Jane McCreath, Ray George, Marion MacDonald, Anne Johnstone. Jim

Issue dated March 1997 -acra
Here we have a photo of the ACRA executive for 1997

Issue dated April 1997 service-
Here we have a photo of service on a Viscount in 1955.

mailAnd here we have a baggage agent in Vancouver in 1941.

resyyz Reservations dept in 1960 and 1949.

Conclusion of the DP story from NetLetter nr 1041 as related by Gordon (Gordie) Aitchison

Come the day of the first flight, the airport was well staffed with police, covering not only the ramp area where the aircraft would arrive, but also the wide corridor leading from the Customs Hall to the hotel, and the hotel dining room and accommodation area.

Every attempt was being made to prevent interview or photography by our recalcitrant reporter but the attempt did not succeed. Our reporter had his own photographer and he did succeed in getting off at least one flash in the corridor leading to the hotel and that was enough.
Front-page headlines that evening in the Evening Times in 2-inch high letters read "40 MEN IN SECRET PLANE" and a large photograph with, in the background a poor distant view of a couple of the DPs but, more importantly and impressively in support of the accompanying story, a clear close-up view of a policeman with his hand in extreme close- up, attempting to block the view of the DPs from the camera lens! Between the size of the headline over two lines plus the large photograph, there wasn't a great deal of room for supporting story but what little was said made it quite clear that something secret was going on at Prestwick that day, that an attempt had been made to stifle the press and prevent them from doing their job, and that the freedom of the press would not be allowed to be subjugated!

More often than not, events have predictable sequels but sometimes the unexpected happens and this was one occasion when the totally unexpected subsequently took place.

Our freedom-fighter reporter, Steve Anderson of the Daily Express, was later transferred away from Prestwick, nothing to do with the above incident, as far as is known.
It is indeed believed that he was promoted to Fleet Street but it is a matter of record that he later left the newspaper industry to become the U.K. Public Relations Officer, based in London, of an international airline. It would hardly be expected that the airline would be Trans-Canada Air Lines after the way he had handled the DP flights of TCA at Prestwick some time earlier. But fact can be stranger than fiction and it is a fact that he was hired subsequently by TCA in London to be their PRO in the UK, a job he held with them until his death some years later.

Gordon (Gordie) Aitchison.
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustI'm a little bit off topic this week but I thought that most of our readers (especially our male readers) would enjoy a trip back to the 50's and 60's by visiting the web site described below. You can see from the photo below the "aerodynamic fins" that were popular in the late 50's and I guess that's as close to airline related that I can get... <VBG>

Someone did an awesome job putting this together. Make sure you turn up the sound as there are some great songs included as well.

Right at the very end of the video you will hear the song "Thunder Road" sung by the star of the movie for which it was the theme! This isn't uncommon except that this is the one and only song ever recorded, for publication, by Robert Mitchum!
(Thanks goes to Alan Watson for sending this to me)

Cars of the 50s and 60s Just click on the image to view the flash slideshow or click on this link.

Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier in-house magazines, should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

1942 - May - Regular service inaugurated between Montreal and Quebec City.

1949 - Apr 19th - CPAL crew, in a borrowed RCAF North Star, took off from YVR on the first familiarization and survey flight to Tokyo, Shanghai and Hon Kong via Anchorage.

surveyHere we have a photo of the crew. Note the smaller picture of the runway at Hong Kong's Kai Tak built during WW2 by British and Canadian prisoners of war.

  • Jun 1st -  CP Air introduces the "SkyBus", a B747 service linking YYZ-YC-YEG- YVR. This is a no-frills service - a new concept for the travelling public.
cartoonHere is a cartoon by Ben Wicks.

  • Jul 2nd. CP Air inaugurated its first non-stop service between YOW-YVR with DC-8 equipment.
  • Jul 30th -  CP Air non stop service between YOW-YWG started.
lodestarThis is a photo of a Lockheed Lodestar CF-CPE in the 1940's at an unknown location.

convairAnd this photo is of a Convair 240 serving Whitehorse during the '70's.

watsonDavid Welham sent us this photo of the terminal at Watson Lake, Yukontaken sometime in 1975.
Readers Feedback

Your issue 1039 contained a Jim Burford Captain Bulletin. I am attaching one (Inside and outside) from 1957 when I was the F/O with Jim on a flight to YWG from YYZ.



Retired Captain Tom Thususka
(The bulletin is dated January 31st 1957 over Fort William. Flight Attendant was B.Gabruk - eds)

Gordon (Gordie) Aitchison -has sent us this information -
A mention was made in NetLetter nr 1041 regarding the first CGTAS/TCA flight to arrive in Prestwick.

I am enclosing a photo of the same aircraft CF-CMS about to depart from Dorval.

lancThis photo has been published before and I took it from a Horizons issue of 1984.

One passenger is C.S.Hewett. He was enroute to PIK to take up the position of TCA Station Manager there, the first manager to be appointed to a station outwith the North American  continent. He subsequently became Assistant Operations Manager, Atlantic Region, the Company's first overseas region and on retiring, settled somewhere in the south of England.
(He was a Brit)

The navigator was Sqdn Leader J.R.Gilmore who  later also became a Station Manager at PIK.

TCA had no navigators when the Atlantic service started up in '43 and they had to go to the RCAF for them which explains why he is still in RCAF uniform. John Gilmore at some unknown later date left the RCAF and joined TCA as a navigator, before giving up flight and becoming Station Manager at Nassau before coming to PIK and then later to Windsor, Ont where he died.

Regards, Gordie

atpikJim McCall sends us this photo of a Lancaster CF-CMS after its arrival at Prestwick - I joined AC in 1968, at PIK, and knew of my parents involvement with the airport but that was it.
In 1993 when we researched the 50th anniversary of CGTAS/TCA/Air Canada,
I eventually tracked down a photograph from an independent source of 'supposedly' an early CGTAS Lancastrian at PIK. When I received the photograph I was amazed to find out that not only was it the arrival of the FIRST flight (same people standing by aircraft as boarded in YUL) but my father marshalled the flight on stand and my mother offloaded the bags/mail, and are both in the photograph.

My mother is the lady behind the baggage cart full face with her head showing above the bags. You can see the entourage at the rear steps having just called for a stiff whisky after the journey.

regards Jim McCall
This & That
Enerjet is now the name of Canada's newest airline venture. The new airline plans to begin charter operations during the first quarter of 2009, but no specific start date was mentioned.

Two 737-700s with winglets have been acquired ( ex AirTran Airways) for startup. The second aircraft is (msn 34480) and was purchased via SkyWorks Leasing CT.(Source www.yyznews.com)

Airframe maintenance appears to be losing its allure not just in Europe, but in the US: Delta Air Lines' maintenance unit Delta TechOps has entirely sub-contracted its heavy maintenance, with Aveos (formerly Air Canada Technical Services) among the *beneficiaries*.
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerEffective November 1st Continental Airlines (CO) is reducing the size of bag allowed for a carry on from 51 linear inches to 45 linear inches. from www.continental.com

All locations, except India and the United Kingdom 1 bag and 1 personal item (see description below)

- For travel on or before Oct 31, 2008 51 linear inches or 130 cm (L + W + H)
- For travel on or after Nov 1, 2008 - 45 linear inches or 115 cm (L + W + H)

My question, is 45 linear inches the size of a normal roll aboard bag? or is this to force people to check a bag and pay the fee? Also is this reduction in size consistent with the other major carriers?

SmileyFastener problems latest Dreamliner nightmare - Boeing's chances of flying the 787 this year took another hit after the company acknowledged further fastener problems with the first aircraft on the production line. (Seems like it is back to the good old duct tape eds)

"787 first flight date now officially up in the air" - Boeing confirmed that the 787 will not fly in 2008.
(Another strange heading for this press release - eds)

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