The NetLetter #1271

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


September 8, 2013 - Issue 1271
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Star Alliance News
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Reader Submitted...Photos
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
NetLetter Past Issues

Past Issues
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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

Upcoming Events - Compiled by Terry Baker
Another gentle reminder - Hello all CP Air YXY and BC District employees! We hope you will be able to come to:
A Whitehorse and BC District Reunion 2013

When: September 20-22, 2013
Where: Quality Resort Bayside Resort, Parksville, BC
Looking forward to seeing you and catching up.
Marlie & Phil Kelsey, & Brian Walsh 250-246-5265 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Details in NetLetter nr 1243.

Star Alliance News
Star AlliancePan Am International Flight Academy, based in Miami, Fla., has been bought by ANA Holdings, the parent company of All Nippon Airways, the companies announced last week. All Nippon Airways said it plans to expand Pan Am into Asia, providing training to other Asian airlines, partner firms and subsidiaries.

Air Canada News
Air CanadaOn August 28th, we launched our B777-300ER featuring International Premium Economy (77P) from Toronto-Munich.

Reader Submitted Photos - Compiled by Terry Baker

Readers PhotosReader Submitted Photos -  The photos and information below have been submitted to us by our faithful readers.   


Jack Stephens has sent us this recent photo of an aerial view Norman Wells, N.W.T. 2013.  New Air Terminal far right centre, and a photo of the terminal.

norman-wells norman-wells-terminal   

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.
The TCA Alumini was formed in 1971. Does anyone have any information about the Alumini? Does it still exist?
Historical events

  • March 1st - Aircargo service established.
  • December 2nd - Inaugural North Star service YUL-YYZ-Bermuda-Nassau-Port of Spain.
  • June 12 - Nighthawk service introduced to Canada domestic cities.
Issue dated - December 1948
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
A Lancastrian and Lodestar at Gander Airport 1948.

Issue dated - January 1949
Editorial Supervisor D.E.McLeod provided this information on what skeptics consider a boondoggle:

The inaugural North Star service commenced December 2nd 1948. TCA's West Indian survey flight left Toronto on October 25th 1948 and returned on November 1st 1948.

Contrary to vile rumor's, its primary purpose was to do work. If the scene of this effort was set in the Garden of Eden, that was scarcely the fault of the poor souls on board. A pre-inaugural survey flight aims to complete all necessary arrangements for the operation and promotion of a new service. The West Indian survey - carrying headquarters officers, regional staff and representatives of the Post Office and Department of Transport - succeeded in just one week in laying the foundation of a new air service over 3,000 miles of route, to three unfamiliar islands, touching a total population of nearly 2,000,000 persons and in a novel (but delightful) climatic zone. Moreover, a good portion of that time was used in flight with only a single day spent at each port of call.

Issue dated - April 1966

The caption was - "Who are they?" The photograph showed up when the magazine staff were clearing out some old files. They had no idea who the employees were and asked the readers to identify them.

In the May edition there was this item:

Photo Identified
For those readers who were wondering who the identified employees were, the mystery was cleared up by Ralph Pilling Mechanic, Instrument shop, Dorval. In a letter to the Editors,

Ralph named the employees as follows:
Back row, from the left: Howard Bennell, Cam Frankard, Les Armstrong, Mickey Sutherland, Gordon Fanstone, Bill Cook, Fenton Malley and Walter Johnston.

Front row, from the left: Henry Penston, Harry Pickering, Monty Banks, Ed Jeily, Roy Paulley, and W. Hegen. The photograph was taken at the Winnipeg Base, in the early "forties" and the aircraft in the background is a Lockheed Lodestar.

Issue dated - October 1966
A commercial aircraft was registered by the company's Viscount fleet in early September 8th, 1966. To mark the occasion, a special flight (Viscount, of course) was flown from Montréal to Toronto carrying Company personnel and news media representatives.

cake Stewardess Carole Ann Glendening exhibits a cake, baked for the event, to Jim Mclean, General Manager, Maintenance. In The background is Stewardess Rochel Daigneou.

Viscount Fleet Logs "Million Hour Total"
The unique total of one million logged flying hours was recorded by the company's Viscount fleet at 1:00 pm, Thursday, September 8, 1966. The total hours logged is equivalent to more than 315 million miles in the air; 660 trips to the moon and back, or more than 114 years of constant flying.

First in North America.
Since the Viscount was the first turbine powered commercial aircraft to enter service in North America, which was introduced by the company in April 1, 1955, the airline's fleet of Viscount aircraft has consumed close to 1,420,000 tons of fuel and has done enough flying to provide everyone of Canada's 20 million citizens with a two hour flight. At the peek of their popularity, the airline operated 51 Viscount aircraft, but since mid to late 1963, a number have been sold and the current fleet stands at 39. Although it has been in service with Air Canada for more than 11 years, the Viscount is expected to provide more than 22 percent of the company's total capacity this year, carrying almost 1,000,000 passengers throughout Canada and the United States. A MILLION HOURS of flying, a unique total to be compiled.

Issue dated - May 1978 
From the "Horizons" magazine -
To handle the tours of the maintenance base at Dorval, a group of a dozen guides were on hand to answer questions. Here we have a photo of the group in training.

Shown at a training session are, standing from the left: Real Lesperance; guides Michele Gagnon, Nicole Derome, Lise Leblanc, Francoise Bienvenu, Lise St-Geramin and Monique Journet and Captain Pierre Charbonneau, one of the class Instructors. Seated from the left are: guides Louise Raymond, Denyse Vincent, Catherine Spyropoulos (Public Affairs Secretary), Diane Stoneman and Yolande Bougie.

In 1963, the first Sea Air shipment from the Orient was a 75,000 shipment of artificial flowers which arrived at Vancouver by sea and then transshipped to TCA for shipment to New York. Here is the poster to advertise the service.

Launched in 1977 in Latin America, Sea Air shipments to Venezuela via Miami totaled nearly 400,000 pounds. Expressing satisfaction with the product are, from the left: John de Groot, Cargo Sales Manager, Florida & Latin America; Gene Stockett, Airport Customer Service Manager, Miami; Chuck Fleming, Cargo Supervisor, Miami and Peter De Sisto, Area Manager, Florida & Latin America.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Remembering 9/11 - Delta Flight 15 
(submitted by both Kevin Carey and John Pluthero)

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15,   written following 9-11:


On the morning of  Tuesday, September 11, 2001 we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.  All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain.     

As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."  No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately - no questions asked.We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings. We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland, to have it checked out.We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander.  Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM!, that's 11:00 AM EST.
There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these   airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed   passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put. The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the aircraft. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.
Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed. Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.  

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament. We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane. Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing, and they were true to their word. Fortunately, we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went  through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross. After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander ! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while. We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.    

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time. Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found   out was incredible. Gander and all the surrounding communities (within MATCH about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls,lodges,and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.    

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes. Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration. Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered  "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories.  

Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible. When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling. Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.  

And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte. "He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!  "The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well. As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.  

"I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.  It reminds me how much good there is in the world. In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today's world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

"God Bless America... and God Bless the Canadians."

There's a book called "The Day the World Came to Town" available at Amazon.com please click on the image if you're interested.    


The following are the airports, number of flights and passengers that were diverted to Canadian Airports on September 11, 2001. 

YHZ - 47
YQX - 38
YVR - 34
YYT - 21
YWG - 15
YYZ - 14
YYC - 13
YQM - 10
YMX - 10
YJT - 8
YYT - 7
YUL - 7
YEG - 6
YHM - 4
YXY - 3
YDF - 1
YZF - 1


TOTAL - 239 Flights = 33,000 Passengers   

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.
Neil Burton has sent us this information along with the two photos taken by him - Unveiled Cairn and Plaque for those who perished in C.P.A. flight 21 - July 8, 1965. Cairn was erected by those in the District of 100 Mile House, B.C. area and coordinated by Ruth Peterson. Ceremony was held 31 August 2013, at 1 p.m.
Cheers, Neil Burton

cpa - cairn
Issue dated - November 1984
Items from the "PWA-Flightlines" magazine -
The B.C. Aviation Council held an annual conference on September 27th 1984, during which time they bestowed the Special President's Appreciation Award on Pacific Western.

Shown in the photo, together with the plaque, which consists of an 85 pound block of BC jade and inscription which read, "PRESIDENT'S AWARD, presented to Pacific Western in appreciation of outstanding and continuous corporate support to the B.C. Aviation Council. The role of the Council is the safe, orderly development of aviation in British Columbia.

Pacific Western Airlines has distinguished itself in support of these ideals. Shown left to right are: Lorne Perrin, Corporate Relations; Barb Hauser, In-Flight Services; Keith Pope, Vancouver Airport General Manager; Des Delhare, Expo '86 Liaison; Jim Dunbar, Flight 0perations; Darrel Smith, Senior Vice President Operations. (We have no knowledge of where this plaque is located at present - eds)

Transair Flies Again! as reported by Jim Busby, Winnipeg Ramp Services.

flew once again at an airshow held in honour of the Fourth Wartime Aircrew Reunion on September 8, 1984 at C.F.B. Portage, Manitoba. The sight of the de Havilland DH 82C Tiger Moth had a visibly nostalgic effect on the 4000 wartime fliers, many of whom look their initial flying training on Tiger Moths.

It flew in some impressive company, alongside a CF 18 fighter, RAF Tornado fighter-bombers, a rare dual control Mustang, and the last flying RAF Avro Vulcan bomber. This particular Tiger Moth, registered C-GTAL, is the last (only) aircraft still flying in TZ colours. (The only other TZ aircraft still active with the PWA fleet is C-FTAN, No. 772, AKA. Casper the Ghost). It was restored by YWG Maintenance, who completed the task in the summer of 1979. It was on display at the Western Canada Aviation Museum, Hangar T-2, Winnipeg International Airport.

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.

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 Del Horn:

Just a little news from a Station Attendant that worked the YWG Ramp 1951 to 1954. The gold came in from Red Lake Ontario in wood wrapped bars sealed with heavy steel bands and sealed with a heavy wax like seal.

Because the connecting flight to YOW did not leave for several hours we (the Station attendants) had to take the gold across the ramp to the Stores building. We put the gold in a "cage" for safe keeping. The "cage" consisted of an area 4ft. by 4 ft. The "cage was made of 2 by 3's covered with chicken wire and had a clasp rather than a lock on the door, no key was required to get into the "cage'. The gold would sometimes sit for many hours before being picked up and taken across the ramp for the flight to YOW. The gold was listed on the cargo manifest as chrome. Hard to believe but that's the way it was in the early fifties.
Del Horn

Dave Welham sends us this memory - If you are still publishing "first flight" stories in the NetLetter, here is my own contribution.

My first flight was on BC Airlines out of Campbell River, BC on a 6-passenger Beaver, of which they had more than a dozen around the province. It was a private "charter sightseeing" flight with my parents and young brother. I was about 10 years old, so that would be 1954, and it was arranged because the pilot and his wife were friends of my parents. His name was Wally Wiggins and he and his parents came from the same part of Manitoba as my mother.
I remember how noisy the engine was on takeoff from the dock near the mouth of the Campbell River, but soon we were flying over the town, Elk Falls, the pulp mill, and the adjacent Georgia Strait.
As a postscript, in later years Wally flew water bombers, and sadly he and Jack Edwards (my former cub master) died when theirs crashed near Campbell River in June 1961.
Dave Welham - Toronto

We managed to find a photo below of the Beaver and the pilot Wally Wiggins - Alan

For more information on BC Airlines history please follow this link.
Bob Langdon (on left) shares the pontoon of the fleet's de Havilland Beaver with pilot Bob Croysdale. The rest of the staff in 1956 included (from left) Pilots: Peter Lauren, Buzz Alder, Norm Skogmo and Wally Wiggins. The lone female is company dispatcher Blanche McDonald.

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!

Allan Gray recently attended the Comox airshow on Vancouver Island and took these photos of the Pan American Airways DC-3 which was on display.

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.
On a transatlantic flight, a plane passes through a severe storm. The turbulence is awful, and things go from bad to worse when one wing is struck by lightning.


One woman in particular loses it. Screaming, she stands up in the front of the plane. 'I'm too young to die', she moans. Then she wails, 'Well, if I'm going to die, I want my last minutes on earth to be memorable. Is there ANYONE on this plane who can make me feel like a WOMAN?"


For a moment there is silence. Everyone has forgotten their own peril. They all stare, riveted, at the desperate woman in the front of the plane.

Then an Italian man stands up in the rear of the plane. He is handsome, tall, well built, with dark hair and deep dark eyes.

He starts to walk slowly up the aisle, unbuttoning his shirt, one button at a time...
no one moves... he removes his shirt... muscles ripple across his chest... she gasps...
and he says...

"Here! Iron this, and get me something to eat."

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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