The NetLetter #1277

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


October 19, 2013 - Issue 1277
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
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

Upcoming events. - Compiled by Terry Baker

Poppy Run for Vancouver Chapter of Dreams Take Flight. Employees in Vancouver are participating in the Poppy Run at Stanley Park on November 10 to raise funds for the Vancouver Chapter of Dreams Take Flight. The Poppy Run is family friendly; strollers and walkers can complete the 4 km route. If you join in and collect $500 in pledges for Dreams Take Flight, your name will be entered in a draw to win a night in Whistler! Contact Marion Shay at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Star Alliance news.
Lufthansa has confirmed its supervisory board did not approve three Airbus A380 options, based on the current lower growth rate of the Lufthansa Group airlines.

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 - May 1st - Automatic computer load planning introduced.

Issue dated - April 1978
Some items gleaned from the "Horizons" magazines.
It's low, it's slow, it's big, and it's red, and it has already proven to be a king-sized attention getter. It is, of course, the newest addition to the Air Canada fleet, the Raven S55S hot air balloon with registration C-GAGE. The inaugural flight took place over Winnipeg during the Silver Broom. The pilot was Wayne Metler of Kitchener, one of twenty licensed balloon pilots in Canada, and one of the few to operate the fun craft on a commercial basis. The first officer was Air Canada flight attendant Britt-Marie Ferst, there to work the radios while Wayne navigated. She has added balloon to her license to fly fixed wing aircraft privately.


20-Year Career Ends
When Clare Snasdell-Taylor, Industrial Nurse at the Dorval Base Clinic retired in 1978, she was feted by her colleagues at the Dorval Hilton. Among the gifts she received were a radio and purse from clinic employees, a plaque from Flight Operations Vice President Charlie Simpson and another purse from Maintenance employees. Shown at the party are, from the left: Dr. M. Meng, Dr. H. Landry, Dr. J. Violelle, Clare, Dr. P. Vaughan, Director of Medical Services and Dr. A. St-Pierre.

The Winnipeg Cons baseball team in March 1978. Not in Winnipeg for sure! These baseball enthusiasts hopped a plane and headed for Los Angeles to participate in the invitational American Airline Interline (Slow Pitch) Softball Tournament. The six-team round robin play also included an Air Canada team from Montreal. At the award dinner held at the Airport Marina Hotel, the championship trophy was presented to North Central while the Winnipeg "Cons" took home the fourth place trophy. American Airlines "Firebirds" received a trophy for sportsmanship and each competing player received a lovely insignia pin from AA. Individually, Barb Barker made the All-Star team and received a gold medal, while Wendy Hamm received a North Central pass for "Courage" above and beyond the call of baseball. Kathy Pennycook was given a "Morale" support gift from her team mates Participating were, from the left, standing: Wendy Hamm, Barb Mclennan, Kathy Pennycook, Barb Barker and Brenda McCasin. Kneeling are: Bernice Pelletier, Loretta McKenna, Verna Kittleson, Theresa Oye and Terry Gysel. Missing from photo is Frank McCasin (Coach).

Nearly Six Centuries of Service
The Dorval Community Centre was the scene of a farewell party for 18 retiring Power Plant and Unit Maintenance employees and their wives in 1978. The group tallied an impressive 595 years of service. Shown at the event are, back row, from the left: Evelyn and Ernie Copper; Allison and Jack Robinson; Pat and Ted Gamble; Anne and Fred Wilson; Elva and Earl Davidson and Pauline and Lou Mongrain. Second row, from the left: Vic and Kay Daly; Jack and Irene Gillings; Ben and Lucie Giguere; Carol and Walter Bashucki, and Elsie and Charlie Schmid. Front row, from the left: Bill and Hazel Owen; Norm and Gladys Surridge; Nancy and Jack McArton; Ed and Meg Otto and Elva and Art Tallis. Missing from the photo are Horst Schreiner and Lloyd Bailey.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpaceAlan is on vacation!
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.
Patty Schachter received this information from Brian Glass. Unfortunately the information was received too late to publish in a timely fashion regarding the public viewing. The heading was - YXD A/P (Edmonton Municipal) final showing ac 745 - closure
As you may have heard, the City intends to close the last runway on November 30th and immediately tear up the runways, taxiways, etc.  And the City refuses to let us expand our boundaries as we thought they would. As a result, there is insufficient room for the Museum to keep the PWA 737, so it is important to fly it out sometime in November. At the moment it looks like, with considerable assistance from Canadian North, the aircraft will be flown to Villeneuve. Additionally, restrictions to our operations, imposed by the City, could see the Restoration Dept., the Cadets, and most of the other organizations in the hangar forced out, making it very difficult for the Museum to operate in a solvent manner.

It is time to let the public know what effect the City's actions will have on us, a public awareness event was planned for Saturday, October 12th from 11:00 to 2:00 PM. There was a fly-in of light aircraft and the 737 was opened to the public. This was be the last time the public will have access to #745 for a long time, perhaps forever. So all members of the PWA family were invited to join in. 
Air Canada donated a Boeing 737-200 aircraft registration C-GIPW to the Alberta  Aviation Museum. Air Canada also painted the aircraft in 1970 Pacific Western Airlines colors.

Here we have an edited version of an interview by BRIAN WILFORD FOR THE NANAIMO DAILY NEWS, September 20th, 2013
On Aug. 4, 1972, Ugandan President Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of all South Asians, saying, "I have dreamt that unless I take action, our economy will be taken over. The people who are not Ugandans should leave."

At first, people thought he was kidding. But he wasn't. Some 60,000 men, women and children had 90 days to get out or face unspecified but dark consequences.

For Gordon Moul, a Vancouver Island pilot then working for Pacific Western Airlines, Amin's cruel dictum led to his hero's role in a flight to freedom - and, more than 40 years later, to an encounter recently with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Since most of these Ugandan citizens had British passports, the Commonwealth nations took the lead in organizing a massive airlift out of Entebbe airport on Lake Victoria.

The government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau sought the help of the country's major airlines: Air Canada, CP Air and Pacific Western Airlines.
Capt. Moul was then just 40; nevertheless he was one of Canada's most experienced airline pilots. As a boy in Port Alberni, he bought his first plane at the age of 15. "It was a war-surplus Fairchild Cornell, call sign CF-ESC," he says. "I used it to get my commercial pilot's license." He achieved that milestone at 19 years of age.

"I was going to be a doctor," says Moul, now retired in Qualicum Beach and approaching his 82nd birthday, "but flying was a lot more fun." When Pacific Western asked for volunteers for the Ugandan airlift, Moul stepped forward. He began flying from Lagos, Nigeria, on the west coast of Africa, across the Congo to Entebbe, then back across the Sahara Desert to the Canary Islands. "The flying across the Congo and the Sahara was beautiful, at night the odd light twinkling in the desert. That was my favorite flight of all."

Three months into the airlift, he and his crew were awakened around midnight in their Lagos hotel for a 2 a.m. departure. It would be four hours to Entebbe. That would allow them to be out of Entebbe by 7 a.m. in the cool of the morning: after that, according to the manuals, it would be too hot for the loaded Boeing 707 to take off. Upon landing, they were directed to taxi away from the main terminal building to a large hangar. Military police boarded the plane, and told Moul and his crew to stay where they were. No one was to leave the plane. Moul advised an officer that they needed "a quick turnaround." There was no response. At noon the hangar doors opened and an officer came out and handed them the manifest, saying, "You go now." By then, it was 114 F. Given the weight of the plane and cargo and the 3,785-foot elevation at Entebbe, this was a staggering 30 degrees too hot for take-off. Moul considered refusing to go. The crew distributed the passengers evenly around the plane. Moul tried to make the numbers work. But there was no way. "We were simply too high, too hot and too heavy to fly," he says. 'We were truly in the hands of God." And so they went, picking up speed on the taxiway, and engines redlined all the way down what was then one of Africa's longer runways. With about 1,000 feet of runway left, Moul eased back on the control column and, miraculously, the more-than 300,000-pound craft was out over Lake Victoria. It was also 10 knots below the stall speed, with all four engine temperatures over the redline. "We should not have been airborne," he says. But they were. And, burning 500 pounds of jet fuel a minute, the aircraft became lighter and gradually began to level off at a height of 50 feet over the lake.

About 10 miles from the approaching shore, Moul decided to attempt a flat turn. Any bank would have crashed the jet. They could see the jet blasts on the water below and Moul knew "a greater power than us was at work. The nose came down, the speed increased, and the Lord gave this aircraft back to Bernoulli and his principles of flight."

Moul retired in 1991 after 40 years, two months and 17 days of continuous service, choosing to take his last flight not on a Boeing 747 or 767 but on a DC-l0. "I always liked the Douglas," he says. He had flown 33,343 hours, over seven million miles, one of only a few in the world to do so. On Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, he got an interesting call. A member of the Prime Minister's Office whose hobby was aviation history had learned of Moul's story. He asked Moul if he was available on short notice. The Prime Minister wanted to meet him: would he and his wife Sybil go to Vancouver? So it was at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday September 14th, they were ushered into an eighth-floor office in the government building at 300 West Georgia St. While they waited, B.C. Premier Christy Clark popped her head in and said, "Hello, Gordon."

After about 20 minutes, the Prime Minister entered and said, "I have something I want to give you," and presented Moul with a citation marking his service at Entebbe. The typed "Dear Captain Moul" had been crossed out by the Prime Minister and he had handwritten "Gordon."  It has been my experience that quiet acts of heroism too often go unrecognized," the citation begins. "I am writing to you to express my personal admiration for your storied career as a pilot. In particular, I would like to acknowledge your courageous efforts at Entebbe." "This is what we're here for," Harper told him. "It has gone unmentioned for too long." He also presented the Mouls with a copy of the book The Maple Leaf Forever - A Celebration of Canadian Symbols, signed by himself.

 moul moul-1

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.
Roger Slauenwhite sends this message - Many thanks for all your efforts in publishing the information on the Toronto Airline Collectible Show on October 6th. I rented a table and sold many Air Canada memorabilia. All the proceeds will be donated to the Dreams Take Flight events. Roger Slauenwhite

Our day out to Windsor: (Report from the October edition of the UK Pionairs monthly newsletter)
Andrea Cross, retired F/A YHZ, had noticed in the "Upcoming Events" section in a recent NetLetter advertising the UK Pioniars Thames boat trip and contacted Jack Morath. Here are his comments - We had an email from a fellow Pionair in Halifax, Andrea Cross, a retired Flight Attendant, saying that she would be in London at the time of our day out and could they join us! I promptly replied to say 'of course', and consequently they came along with us and also agreed to write up an article for our newsletter. 

Andrea also sent us a picture of the two of us in front of our boat on the Thames at Windsor. 

Here is her report and also the picture:

Pionairs from Across the Pond!
While vacationing in the UK, we managed to hook up with the UK Pionairs for their boat tour up the Thames from Runnymede to Windsor. After several wrong turns driving on the "other" side of the road, we made it to Runnymede with only minutes to spare. Jack and Aureen were anxiously waiting at the entrance to French Brothers Boatyard for the stragglers. We weren't the last, but were pretty close to it! We were welcomed with open arms and directed to the car park. We were only a few minutes late departing, and once under way, enjoyed a sunny day with a few showers thrown in for good measure, all in keeping with the UK weather.

After two locks, roof lowerings for low bridges, paddleboarders, canal boats, airplanes, and swans, we arrived in Windsor for several hours of lunch, leisure, and Eton College and Windsor Castle. On the way back to Runnymede, we even managed to see a rainbow, but the pot of gold is still undiscovered!

All in all it was lovely to see the banks of the Thames and such a large group (40+) of Air Canada Pionairs. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, including rambunctious children and lovely grandchildren! Thanks for including us, and especially thanks to Jack and Aureen. Thanks to all.  

Tony Walsh has sent in this memory and some photos - Here's some photos of 1974 Baffin Island Nordair operations and my experiences as a vacationing much-younger Air Canada ramp employee at YUL, due to the kindness of Nordair. I just wanted to show Nordair's DC-3 / SkyVan / Mallard Amphibian arctic operations in 1970's, and some first-hand photos of how Nordair was the life blood of the eastern arctic. "An Arctic Trip to Pangnirtung and a glimpse of Nordair northern operations circa 1974."

In the '70's, I was working on the Air Canada ramp at YUL and we had no formal pass exchange with Nordair in those days, they were good people and based on a letter of request Nordair gave me a pass: YUL to Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) -  B-737 Combi, then DC-3 to Pangnirtung ("the Pang").

The gravel runway bisected the town. 24 hours of daylight in summer.  Close to Penny-Icecap and in the most beautiful mountainous fiord country, made almost primeval by the lack of trees. All the talus slopes festooned with flowers and bees. Nearby is the site of the present Auyuittug National Park, which was just about to be designated way back then. Most stunning and memorable scenery I've ever seen and I've traveled a lot.
We and most of the passengers chipped in and offloaded all the cargo on the DC-3 arrival. An eclectic passenger mix. Glaciologists, skydiving mountaineers, locals residents, adventurers, infants returning from hospital, and we curious tourists.

This photo of Tony at Pangnirtunge with the amusing and happy Inuit children playing outside well into the night in the perpetual daylight of summer.

Then after a week trekking around Pangnirtung and Pangnirtung Pass in the mountainous fiord country. Nordair kindly offered, out of the blue, and flew us to a Clearwater Fiord summer Inuit fishing camp off Cumberland Sound in their VIP Mallard Amphibian, since it had to go there to pick-up some paying customers.

We weren't really anglers and did not have any fishing gear, but the Inuit guides loaned us some and we fished arctic char, and enjoyed some succulent feasts at the camp. In those days the Inuit hunted Beluga Whale and by chance, we went on a whale hunt with the Inuit people.

A bit hard to watch but they put every part up for food. We also saw Bowhead whale on that freight canoe trip way out in Cumberland Sound. 

Later we went to an ancient (15th century) in Thule  culture stone & whale-rib long house ruin and a skeleton in partly exposed stone burial site (a rare sight) just sitting there in the wilderness  as it was left.

Nearby we also saw the remains of a centuries old Scottish Whaler's site where they grounded a large number of whales leaving behind a beach so full of whale bones it looked like a snow drift from afar

The flight crew had stayed with us a few days and then flew us back to the Pang and a SkyVan flight  back to Frobisher Bay and B-737 home to Montreal.
Tony Walsh.

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!

Fraser Muir has sent us this information -
A thought for you to consider... to remind all Veterans of Bomber Command among our retirees, if they haven't applied to receive the Bomber Command Clasp to do so by obtaining a copy of the application form Veterans Affairs and fill it out. This also applies to the families of any Bomber Command veteran that has passed on... they too can obtain the Clasp, by obtaining and filling out the application. The only Air Canada retiree besides myself that has received the Clasp is Vince Brimicombe. Fraser 

For 13 years, a team of warbird enthusiasts in Melbourne, Australia, has been trying to learn the fate of dozens of Spitfires abandoned at a military airfield after World War II - according to local legend, some of the airplanes may have been buried in fields or hidden in mine-shafts to save them from being scrapped. The group is now trying to raise money to continue their research and complete a film about the effort - and perhaps, find a Spitfire. Any aircraft they find would be donated to a museum, according to James Carter, a researcher on the team. The Australian effort has no apparent link to a British attempt to exhume buried Spitfires in Burma, which ended empty-handed early this year. 

Brian Dunn of yyznews sent us this -
Amazing pictures lots of History here. Enjoy.
Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could. But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)?

We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships!  Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story! Check this out! USS Sable and USS Wolverine.  

Scroll to the end to see the Naval Air Training Station's internal "Newspaper" and photos of the launch of the passenger steamer in 1912.   

Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker


Pasta had not been invented.
Curry was a surname.
A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.

A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.
A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Only Heinz made beans. 
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.


After reading about the Gimli Glider (fin 604) in previous NetLetters, Capt. A. Proulx (ret'd) sent us this -

I leap frogged the 767 by converting from the 727 to the L1011 in 1985. Alas the company sold our beloved Tristars and in 1991 I had no choice but to downgrade to the 767, not having the seniority to hold the 747.


One day, upon boarding 604, I told the i/c F/A that we didn't board a lot of fuel because we knew that 604 could glide really well. For some reason, he did'nt think it was all that humourous.  

Capt. A. Proulx (ret'd)


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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