The NetLetter #1270

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


September 3, 2013 - Issue 1270
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Air Canada News
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
Terry's Trivia
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Terry Baker
Welcome to the NetLetter!

We welcome you to allow the NetLetter to be your platform, and opportunity, to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC, Wardair, etal and share your experiences with us!

The Netletter

Terry Baker and the NetLetter Team

Air Canada News
Air CanadaEurope follows Canada's lead on Honeywell ELT checks. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has adopted Transport Canada's airworthiness directive (AD), mandating all airlines with aircraft that carry particular types of Honeywell Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) to check the units' wiring. Air Canada says it is studying the CSeries as part of its overall evaluation process for expected 100-aircraft narrowbody order. Air Canada, together with Airbus took top honours as Eco-partnertship of the year at the Second Annual Eco-Aviation Awards ceremony on September 12th, 2013.

TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada  LogoBelow we have musings from the "Between Ourselves" and "Horizons" magazine, Air Canada publications from years gone by, as well as various in-house publications.

The NetLetter has been fortunate enough to have our readers donate vintage Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada publications from as far back as 1941 to share with you. These have been scanned and are being prepared for presenting in a special area of the ACFamily Network for archival and genealogy research.

1978 - Jan 6th - Company signs intent to purchase Nordair Ltd.

Issue dated - January 1978
Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.
 Voluntary early retirement program, 363 management employee retired in 1977, most of them at year-end 1977. The group total, more than 11,000 years of allowable service for an average tenure of slightly more than 31 years.
Some 72 retirees and spouses attended the sixth annual meeting of the TCA Alumni (Retired) held in Brownsville, Texas in the fall of 1977. The turnout indicated "that age, decreptitude, distance and other factors can't always stop people from making the effort to meet with friends and renew previous acquaintances" said Bob Williamson in his report of the event. "You sure can't do that sitting in your den worrying about your dividends!" An informal organization "without constitution, bylaws, secretary, hot coffee and other devices or modern business." The TCA Alumni was established in 1971 to preserve the social association of the company's pioneers. (Does the Alumni still exist or has it been absorbed into the Pionairs organization? - eds)

In 1977. the Refunds test team for the Western Region in Winnipeg consisted of, from the left: Lesley McDonnell, Sue Aitken, standing behind: Kim Hatch, Shirley Labchuk, Art Pope, Janice Johnson, Ray Foster, Supervisor; Luci Mauro and Carolyn Smith.

Issue dated - February 1978
The headline read "New Air Canada Act become law".
The long journey through Parliament was over and bill C-3 of the House of Commons Order Paper had become the "Air Canada Act - 1977". Technically is wasn't in force until it had been proclaimed and that happens when the text is published in the Canada Gazette after Royal assent which was given by the Governor General on Thursday February 2nd 1978.
A Century of Service
During an Ottawa visit, President Claude Taylor took time out to offer best wishes and thanks to three long-term employees who retired at year-end 1977.

Flanked by Ottawa District Manager Roger Legault, left, and Mr. Taylor, right, the retiring trio consists of, from the left: Don Graham, Personnel & Administration Manager; Ken Tamlln, Duty Manager and Danny Holmes, Aircraft Services Supervisor.

The 1978 year's London ACRA committee is shown, from the left: Norman Moores, Social Secretary; Gerald White, President; Betty Heffernan, Passenger Office Representative; Keith Merry, Sports Secretary; Vic Foster, Cargo Representative; Eve Riley, Commissary Rep. and Darts Rep.; Colin Williams, Flight Dispatch; Lorraine Williams, Membership Secretary and Robert Neilson, Vice President and Acting Treasurer. Missing from the photo are Judy Carberry, Technical Services Rep. and Acting Secretary and Ian Macintyre, Ramp Office Rep.

Leads attend training course
Shown at a Lead Station Attendant Validation Course conducted at Ottawa by Hugh Smith, Senior Customer Service Instructor - Ramp are, front row from the left: Robert Knox, Ottawa; Brian Davies, London, Eng.; Tom Cawson, Vancouver; Roger Legault, District Manager, Ottawa; Nick Marinescu, Ottawa and Gordon Bain, Training Program Manager, Montreal.

Back row, from the left, are: Paul Pelletier, Montreal; Tyler Wilson, Toronto; Jim Findlay, Ottawa; Bill O'Connell, Winnipeg; Neil Fraser, Ottawa; Dave Kerrigan, Toronto and Hugh Smith. Participants generally agreed that the three-day session was a valuable training tool for new lead attendants as well as a good refresher for present leads.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
The One That Got Away?  (from the CAHS website article by Bill Zuk)

In recent years, the saga of the Avro Arrow has taken on mythic proportions. A cottage industry has materialized with countless books, movies, and a stage play about the Arrow. Among those who designed, built, and flew the Avro Arrow, there is unanimous consent that their beloved aircraft would have achieved greatness. Quoting Avro Canada's Chief Experimental Test Pilot, Janusz Zurakowski: "It was far ahead of its time, and it showed that this country was in the forefront in aircraft technology worldwide. There will never be another Arrow."

One of the most enduring elements of the Avro Arrow myth was the tale of the "one that got away." The story was perpetuated by a Maclean's magazine article by reporter June Callwood that appeared shortly after the Arrow's cancellation. Callwood, like many of the period, was enamored with the aircraft; she once wrote, "it was the most beautiful plane I will ever see... When it lifted straight up into the sky, a slim white arrowhead, it was poetry. I never saw it take off without my eyes stinging..."

She had flown in the B-47/Orenda testbed and knew one morning when she was startled awake by the roar of an Arrow's engines filling the sky above her, that, as she wrote, "someone had flown an Arrow to safety." Most Avroites knew the truth. None had escaped the wrath of the demolition crew's axes. But one Avro engineer had almost pulled it off.

For the full story please click on the image below. 
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc. People & Events
- Compiled by Terry Baker
CAIL TailsNews and articles from days gone by gleaned from various publications from C.A.I.L. and its "ancestry" of contributing airlines.
Issue dated - July 1984
Items from the "PWA Flightlines" magazine -
Port Hardy Mural Honours Former Bush Pilots
(By Jack Schofield Orca Air, Port Hardy, B.C.)
Sometime in the early 50's, a factory new de Havilland Beaver float plane was delivered to the Port Hardy base of Pacific Western Airlines. This aircraft was put to work, with others of its kind, serving the British Columbia mainland logging camps, native villages and fishing communities which dotted the coast in those early boom years.

Passengers were collected from nearby inlets and delivered to Port Hardy airport, where they would board a DC-3 or perhaps a converted Canso flying boat which would fly them to Vancouver. In the intervening 34 years, this particular Beaver has worn the colours of at least six coastal airlines, who successively fought the economics of running float planes up and down this rugged coast. Some survived and became today's jet-powered airlines, but most lost the fight or were gobbled up in power struggles within the industry.

Names like Associated Air Taxi, Queen Charlotte Airlines, B.C. Airlines, Abas, Trans Mountain Airlines, whose emblems were once so well-known, disappeared into history and their aircraft, including this venerable old Beaver, were stripped and repainted in the colours of the next proud contestant.
Many of the pilots were flying for Pacific Western Airlines. The painting depicts familiar scenes for coast-wise pilots and passengers alike and bears over 200 names of pilots who flew the coast from a base at Port Hardy from 1945 to 1982.

Painted by bush pilot artist, Jack Schofield, the mural was painted first on the wall of the pilots' lounge at Air B.C.'s office at Port Hardy, then cut out and relocated to its present position in the main terminal. Many of the men whose names are included in the Port Hardy mural now wear the gold braid of major airlines the world over. In spite of their present rank and position and the sophisticated equipment they fly, the sound of those old float planes is part of a lasting memory and often the highlight of their flying careers.

Reader's Feedback - Compiled by Terry Baker
Reader's Feedback
Every week we ask our readers for their stories or feedback on what they have read here in previous issues. Below is the feedback we have received recently.

Brenda Bertram
suggests the picture in NetLetter nr 1268 on the left that was unidentified is Ian Tyer.

Ken Greene has sent in his suggestions for the pictures in NetLetter nr 1268 are, on the left is Ian Tyer, and if I were to guess the other, I would say David Gay.

The previous issue NetLetter nr 1267, in the picture on left was Mike Biduk

In NetLetter nr 1267, Jim Griffith told us he was seeking some help here: I am doing a little research on a short story I'm writing about the transport of Gold Bullion and came across a story about the Great Gold Heist in Winnipeg in 1966. Jim was happy at the response, and some sent the NetLetter a copy. Here is one from Laszlo Bastyovanszky:

I was the reporter working for the Canadian Press (CP) wire service in  Winnipeg who broke the original story on March 2, 1966! In a few words, as I recall from memory (47 years ago)...

I was working the night shift at CP office in the Free Press building on  Carlton Street when I got a tip from a friend working in the TransAir  office that a shipment of gold bars from Red Lake, Ont. had been stolen shortly after the flight landed at the Winnipeg airport during a snow storm. Two men, wearing Air Canada overalls and driving a stolen AC van drove up to the aircraft; handed the TA staff proper documentation and asked for their assistance to load the crates of gold bars into the van before driving off. An hour later the theft was discovered when AC called the TransAir office looking for the gold shipment which was destined for the Mint in Ottawa.

The airport was under the jurisdiction of the St. James Police, so the RCMP didn't get into the act until sometime later in the investigation. In fact, the Winnipeg Police was asked by St. James to assist.
Later that morning (March 2) I interviewed St. James Police Chief George Maltby in his office at the St. James police station for the story which was  published on the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press on March 2, 1966  under the headline "Gold Bandits 'Smooth". As we later learned, the mastermind of the heist was Ken Leishman AKA  "The Flying Bandit". He got the name because he flew to Toronto on several occasions to rob banks in broad daylight and then fly back to Winnipeg on his private plane from the Toronto Island airport before Toronto police could get a lead on him!

The gold robbery investigation eventually pointed to Leishman who was arrested in Vancouver. To their surprise, police found gold shavings in the cufflinks of Leishman's trousers - the shavings matched the composition of the stolen gold bars. Leishman's two accomplices were brothers Richard and Paul Grenkow. One of them rented a motel room in Red Lake from where he watched the TCA flight take off with the gold bars destined for Winnipeg on the night of March 1. As soon as the TCA flight took off, he made a strange phone call to Winnipeg -- something to the effect "the birthday package is on its way" -

The nosy motel desk clerk listened in on the call unbeknownst to Grenkow. When the heist was made public the next day, she called police about the "strange phone call" she overheard by eavesdropping. It was this call that launched police on the track of the bandits.  Winnipeg lawyer Harry Backlin (Leishman's lawyer) was another  accomplice who came under suspicion. He was arrested in his office where police found a gold bar in his briefcase!
Eventually, much of the gold bars were recovered -- buried under a pile  of snow in the backyard of a Winnipeg home... I believe only one gold bar was not recovered... It's believed to have ended up in Hong Kong where the thieves attempted to make a deal for the loot. All the players in this drama were eventually jailed and served their time.

Paul Gauthier had his memory jogged by the article in NetLetter nr 1267 - Just wanted to say thanks for publishing the two letters from John Rogers and Adrien Vallieres following the story of my first flight on a Seabee; I had forgotten that the Air Canada mechanic not only had the same surname as mine, but also the same given names (I gave up the Jean a long time ago); he also lived a few blocks from where I did.

And that John remembered Oka, where my friend was a trappist monk, is mind-boggling. The monks have now moved to a new monastery in St-Jean-de-Matha, but I believe the cheese factory is still in operation in Oka. What a small world!  Paul G.

Odds and Ends.

Image Blank 200pxSometimes we receive articles and information that just doesn't fit in our other areas. This is where it goes!

Robert Arnold has sent along this report regarding a visit by the B17 to Winnipeg: The weather on August 12th, 2013 couldn't have been better. Sunny, warm with light winds from the north. The perfect day for a visit by a very special guest to Winnipeg, a B-17G Flying Fortress, Sentimental Journey, as it makes a visit to the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

The aircraft arrived right on schedule at 10 o'clock in the morning and with no other aircraft in the circuit the B-17 proceeded to beat up the airfield at almost full power while making a low level pass  straight up runway 31. At the far end of runway 31 the aircraft then pulled up and made a left turn to the west as it went around where it was cleared to land on runway 36.

The home for this immaculate and very well preserved heavy bomber is with the Commemorative Air Force, Arizona Wing, Mesa Arizona. It has a civil registration of N9323Z and was here at the museum for about seven days. During the stay here in Winnipeg it was on display and open for public viewing. For a very small fee you could climb inside and have a close up look at the interior of this amazing aircraft.

I was fortunate to be on hand for this rare event and I have included a small selection of photos, some up close and personal that document the arrival of Sentimental Journey to Winnipeg. Cheers for now. Robert.

Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry Baker





Some interline cruises for your consideration from Interline AllStars - Celebrity Millennium:  

Transcanal/Panama Canal
15 Days San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal, Puntarenas, Panama Canal, Colon, Cartagena, Fort Lauderdale.  

1 departure date: Sep 22, 2013
Prices From: Inside $979 | Oceanview $1589 | Balcony $2349 


Coral Princess
Transcanal/Panama Canal
18 Days Vancouver, Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, San Juan del Sur, Puntarenas, Panama Canal, Cartagena, Aruba, Fort Lauderdale.  

1 departure date: Sep 25, 2013   
Prices From: Inside $1909 | O/V (obstructed) $1249 | O/V (no obstruction) $1449

Prices in US$
Tell your parents about Interline Allstars - they can cruise without you! As a general guideline, your parents and your spouse can cruise without being accompanied by the primary interliner. Contact Interline Allstars for more details. 


Go online at www.InterlineAllstars.com or (800) 920-5411 to find many more cruises for 2013.


Smileys - Compiled by Terry Baker
As we surf the internet and back issues of airline magazines we regularly find airline related jokes and cartoons. Below is our latest discovery.

We have this cartoon by Dave Mathias which appeared in the "Between Ourselves" magazine issued June 1955

The NetLetter is an email newsletter published (usually) once a week and contains a mixture of nostalgia, current news and travel tips. We encourage our readers to submit their stories, photos and/or comments from either days gone by or from present day experiences and trips. If we think that the rest of our readers will enjoy it, we will publish it here.

We also welcome your feedback in regard to anything we post here. Many readers have commented with additional information, names and personal memories from the photos and articles presented here.

The NetLetter, which is free, is open to anyone that wishes to subscribe but is targeted to retired employees from Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and all the other companies that were part of what Air Canada is today. Thanks for joining us!

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!  
Your NetLetter Team

Disclaimer: Please note, that neither the NetLetter or the ACFamily Network necessarily endorse any of the airline related or other "deals" that we provide for our readers. We would be interested in any feedback (good or bad) when using these companies though and will report the results here. We do not (normally) receive any compensation from any companies that we post in our newsletters. If we do receive a donation or other compensation, it will be indicated as a sponsored article or link.


E&OE - (errors and omissions excepted) - The historical information as well as any other information provided here is subject to correction and may have changed over time. We do publish corrections when they are brought to our attention.
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario 
  • Stewardess - Lisa Ruck, Brooklin, Ontario 
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