The NetLetter #1273

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


September 24, 2013 - Issue 1273
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Air Canada News
Reader Submitted...Photos
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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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

Air Canada News
Air CanadaJAZZ AVIATION (Air Canada Express/Jazz) has sold its London Ontario hangar and office facility to FANSHAWE COLLEGE for $3.85m as part of a previously announced plan to consolidate its regional aircraft heavy maintenance operations in Halifax, NS.
AIR CANADA plans to restructure about C$1.1b of outstanding debt with new US$800m credit facility and C$300m notes offering. (Source SpeedNews Sept 9/2013)

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.  

David Bellamy sends these photos that his wife Diane collected over the many years she spent at O'Hare.  

A highlight of my life was when the restored Lockheed 10A was flown into Miegs Field in Chicago (before Mayor Daley bulldozed it) in 96 or 97 and Diane called me at my office downtown and told me to get myself to Miegs ASAP for a ride. We flew north along the lake and back. That was a thrill - even had our picture taken with the flight crew and the plane. Here is the photo taken in front of the L10A at Miegs Field sometime in the early 90's. Pat Moore (Station Manager), Diane (Kleiman Bellamy), and yours truly are in positions 3, 4, and 5 (l-r).  She thinks the guy in the 7th position is Joe Hancock (Aircraft Services Coordinator, ORD), but she's not positive. The two in blue uniforms are local Chicago cops on duty at the airport. The rest are the L10A crew.
Here's a promotional pic showing the L10A with an RJ.  Diane doesn't know what city is pictured.
(Anybody want to take a guess? - eds)

Here is a promotional photo of the L10A CF-TCC signed by both captains.

The caption to this picture reads: "Everyone got christened, including the aircraft, when movie star Jane Powell cracked the champagne bottle to inaugurate Air Canada (at that time Trans-Canada Air Lines) North Star service to Chicago. The airline began service to the Windy City on July 1, 1946 with DC-3 equipment as the first international airline to serve Chicago on a scheduled basis."
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.

Historical highlights.
1978 - Apr 30th -  Daily service commenced between Los Angeles - Calgary - Edmonton - Winnipeg. San Francisco launched a daily  non-stop service to Edmonton with a through service to Toronto via Calgary.

Issue dated - November 1958
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
RESERVATIONS SUPERVISORS from as far west as British Columbia and as far east as Newfoundland attended a one day meeting at Reservations-Payload Control in Toronto during the fall of 1958.

While there, they discussed current Reservations problems with Jack Goddard, Manager. Reservations-Payload Control supplying most of' the answers.

From the left, front row: Frank Kruse, (Regina); Ernie Mitchell, (Vancouver); Teddy Chagnon, (Boston); Harry Jones, (Saskatoon); George Theriault (Quebec City); E. A. Mitchell (Halifax); Second row: Jim Barber, (Calgary): Jerry McHale, (Edmonton): Lloyd Morrison, (Montreal); P. J. Maddlgan, (St. John's); W. Marche, (Stephenvillel; G. P. Cavanaugh, (Moncton). Back row: G. E. Hooper, (Toronto): J. B. Goddard, (Toronto); J. R. Gunley, (Saint John); Bud Pearce, (Toronto); Baz McLeod, (Toronto); Dave Williams, (Toronto); W. Foote, (Toronto).

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpaceThe Eagle has landed!
Well not quite, but the video below is amazing! Talk about a birds eye viewEver wonder what it would be like to fly like an eagle? You can stop wondering and start watching here.

A video recorded from a GoPro camera strapped to an eagle was released on YouTube this week, giving viewers a literal bird's-eye perspective of a flight over the Mer de Glace, a glacier located in the Chamonix Valley in France.

The eagle is seen flying around the valley, offering a breathtaking view. The camera appears to not be a hindrance for the bird as it continues its flight in the brief video.

Flying Eagle point of view amazing
Flying Eagle point of view amazing

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 - May 1981
Items from the "CPAir NEWS" magazine -
Remember on standby when you managed to get into the luxury of Empress Class seated amongst the contented revenue passengers? Perhaps flight Attendant Wendy Sutcliffe gave you some TLC.  

From far and near they assembled in the Hotel Vancouver April 22nd, 1981 for the third CPAir Pionairs luncheon hosted by the company in recognition of the role they played in building the airline. Some 650 Pionairs and spouses enjoyed a "happy hour" and also an update on company activities by President Ian Gray. Gray fielded dozens of written questions (and a few from the floor) on a wide range of topics. On the favorite one - passes and reduced rates - he was assisted by Pass Bureau Manager Marilyn Munro. The president noted that the Pionairs roll is growing each year. At the end of 1980 the monthly " payroll" in the form of pension cheques for 449 retirees and spouses totaled just over $336.000.

In this photo recalling old times were, from left, Bert Riley of Ladysmith, B.C. and Joe Ferris of Vancouver, both of whom were senior officers in the sales/traffic/marketing area; Agnes Milne, former assistant to the director, customer service-catering; Vern Pratt, ex-purchasing/stores director; Min Hoglund, famous for her butter tarts at the old Whitehorse staff house; and Jim Ferguson with wife Marian, formerly flight ops.

In this photo we have long distance travelers who had lots to chat about. Standing are Harvey Randall (right) who came furthest (8.290 miles) from Melbourne; Louie Donnelly (left), ex-airport manager from Buenos Aires (7.300 miles); with Capt. Doug Gall and wife Jessie of West Vancouver. Seated are Kathleen Donnelly with Wally and Marg Twamley, all from Mayne Island near Vancouver.

Here we have this photo of the CPAir Whitehorse Combined Service Centre which opened in April 1981.

Some of the gang working at Whitehorse in 1981. In the downtown office we have agents Brad Lee, Pat Besier and Carol Richardson.

These are the cargo agents from the left: Allan Fozard, Gord Fleming, Scott Lyle and Mike Leduc.

Over at the Terminal, we show Robyn Firth and Elly MacMaster.

On the ramp were Norm Randall, the Line Engineer and Jim Austin, maintenance manager.
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.
Ken Pickford picked out a couple of errors in NetLetter nr 1271 -
Two small things noted in #1271.
  1. Seems to be something missing in the first sentence of the Viscount 1 million hours item. It reads: "A commercial aircraft was registered by the company's Viscount fleet in early September 8th, 1966." Wonder whether the word "record" (or similar) was dropped after "aircraft". Just a guess.
  2. In the list of airports and diverted flights on 9/11, YYT (St. John's) appears in both columns. Wonder whether it should read YYR (Goose Bay) in the right hand column? I'm pretty sure some flights were diverted there along with the 3 other Newfoundland airports mentioned (YQX/YYT/YJT). (1. Ken's guess is correct, 2 - info as quoted from the original text - eds.)

Gordon Brown has sent us details of his first flight - My First flight and almost my last.
I had just got a job as an apprentice mechanic or as it was called at that time, ground engineer, with Scottish Aviation Ltd at Prestwick Airport in the Aircraft Servicing Section. The aircraft was an Airspeed Oxford, RAF registration number ED190, it was going local flying and I had been assigned to crank the engines to start them, (no electric starters in those days). As the pilot, an RAF Flt Lt was getting into the aircraft I asked him if I could go along and he said "sure jump in" so after the engines were started, I got in and sat in the right hand seat.

He took off to the west over the Firth of Clyde and did a wide right hand circuit, I was thrilled and enjoying every minute until the landing, it bounced hard and high, when it came down it was on the left wheel and veering left off the runway with the wing tip in close proximity with the ground but it bounced again just before contact and repeated this procedure again to the right with the right wing tip in close proximity with the ground, it continued this heart stopping behavior as it proceeded down the runway gradually diminishing in severity until it eventually lost momentum and the tail wheel settled on the runway just before the end, I remember a great feeling of relief.  He stopped the aircraft on the button and sat in silence for some time before turning to me and blurting out "It's the first time I've flown a twin engine aircraft." His face was red as a beetroot and I could see the look of terror on it, he again sat in silence for some minutes and then said "I'm going around again, you can get out."

I really don't know why I said it, perhaps it was the thought of a long walk back to the hangar, but I said "It's ok, I'll go along with you", so off we went on another circuit, all went well until the landing which, not quite a repeat of the first it was far from perfect, his parting words were "I think I've got the hang of it now." That was my first flight and with a first time pilot.

My second flight, about a week later was to Ballykelly in Northern Ireland, same aircraft different RAF Flt Lt pilot, it was a beautiful day and all went well until on the return flight over the Firth of Clyde the pilot opened the auxiliary fuel tank selectors and closed the main tank selectors, it was not a good thing to do. It only took about a second or so for both engines to quit, the pilot very very rapidly reopened the main and closed the auxiliary tank selectors and very fortunately the engines were windmilling enough for them to restart. He then changed course and diverted to Turnberry, the home of the famous golf course which during the Second world war was converted to an RAF airfield. We landed there, refueled and continued the flight to Prestwick with no further incidents.

During my working days at Prestwick, I had many more flights in the Oxford and other aircraft and I still enjoy flying.

I have enjoyed reading of others exploits in the NetLetter over the years and the above are a couple of mine, Just keep on with the good work you do.  Gordon Brown

Ross Taylor sends us his comments regarding the gold heist story -
Just a couple of tid-bits to add to the yarn. The airline involved in transporting the gold YRL-YWG was TransAir Ltd. A jovial chap that I worked with for several years, happily lent a hand with the unloading, not realizing he was to become a legend (sort of) in the Winnipeg airport community, and a "person of interest" in the future investigations. On the other hand, he was the best "Santa" we ever had for our kids Christmas parties. Keep up the excellent work on this great window into our heritage as airline folks, no matter what color we wore in past lives. With best regards, Ross Taylor  

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!

The Vancouver Airline and Aviation Collectible Show is taking place on Saturday October 5th, 09:00 - 17:00 at the Oakridge Mall Auditorium.

Bill Woods forwarded us this information he received regarding the Canadian Mosquito aircraft being restored at Victoria Airport, BC.


Dispatching flights the early days by the late Ross Smyth appeared in "Horizons" magazine issued March 1978.
Air traffic controller's strikes and lowdown were unknown in the early years of Air Canada, then Trans-Canada Air Lines, because no formal traffic control system existed. We did it ourselves. In the early 1940s our busiest base was Malton, now Toronto International Airport. A peak in activity was reached around 10.30 every night when up to six twin-engine Lockheed's would be on the ramp together. There were only three persons in the second floor flight dispatch office of the small terminal building: dispatcher, radio operator and dispatch or cargo clerk.

In busy periods the dispatcher was not there - he was up on the roof on 'remote' talking to the flights and keeping them separated. One could not find the cargo clerk (my first job) there either. He was down stairs fighting the battle of the forms with the postal officials, the express man and the passenger agents. 


He was calculating the weights and balance of each aircraft with a new wonder of the machine age called a librascope, and advising the crew chief and mechanic in which compartments to load the cargo. The only man left in the office was the radio operator busy at his post. The phones often went unanswered but the operations managers of the era, people such a Barney Raw on and Maurice McGregor, knew not to phone at such periods. 


It was an exciting and exhilarating time to work for the airline. Individuals performed functions handled by complete departments today. As an example, the cargo clerk handled crew routing on a part-lime basis! 


In 1945 I achieved my ambition and was assigned to the new flight dispatch centre for trans Atlantic flight. The aircraft used on this hazardous route were converted Lancaster bombers until the arrival of the Montreal-built North Stars two years later. In mid-winter I made my first familiarization flight overseas with Captain Don Brady and crew. We had a normal cold weather stopover time in Goose Bay, Labrador, of two hours where the temperature was -25 F. Nearly half-way across, we encountered unexpected but moderate icing conditions. Crew and passengers donned oxygen masks and we started climbing rapidly from 9000 feet.  


My report on this trip then made an understatement: "I was very glad to see the full moon become visible again at 16,000 feet ". The visibility at our destination, Prestwick in Scotland, was 600 yards in fog and the entire region was down. My report reads: "We got lined up perfectly with the runway when the GCA (radar) controller ordered us to pull up. A sand-truck on the runway had not been visible from the tower or from the GCA position, but an RAF girl from GCA had walked out to see how we were lining up. She screamed back to the controller when she saw the obstruction on the runway!"

Via the Azores (will be continued in NetLetter nr 1274 - eds)  


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerIt was Sir Richard Branson CEO of the Virgin Group who lost a bet he had with Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes. Both men were involved with the F1 racing teams. Sir Branson bragged that his team would best the Air Asia team, and promised to serve as a flight attendant if he lost his bet.   


The worlds ugliest flight attendant, last May, had Sir Branson donning a dress and red lipstick and worked on an Air Asia flight from Australia to Kuala Lumpur. At the conclusion of the flight, he was "fired" for spilling orange juice over Tony Fernandes who was also a passenger on the same flight.





 Jonathan Trappe, who has flown his custom cluster-balloon systems across the English Channel and the Alps, is now in Caribou, Maine, assembling a huge system that he plans to fly across the Atlantic, launching sometime September 12th. Col. Joe Kittinger, the last balloonist to cross from the U.S. to Europe, in 1984, is on site to provide support, and Don Day, the same meteorologist who advised the Red Bull Stratos launch, also is working with Trappe. Close to 100 volunteers, comprising fellow pilots and balloonists as well as trained local residents, are standing by to help assemble the 370 small helium balloons that will carry Trappe and his gondola - actually, a small boat - across the ocean.   


The headlines later on Thursday September 12th were: Unique Transatlantic Attempt Ends in Newfoundland. Trappe experienced "technical difficulties" that forced him to "abandon his quest."




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.

Our cartoon which appeared in "Between Ourselves" issued  September 1955 was by Dave Mathias.











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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