The NetLetter #1278

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


October 28, 2013 - Issue 1278
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Upcoming events
Star Alliance News
Reader Submitted...Photos
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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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

Air Canada will participate in a commemorative event in memory of TCA flight 831 to be held in Ste-Thérèse on November 29th, 2013. (source Daily)
50th Anniversary Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 831
The Commemorative Event of Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 831 will take place on Friday, November 29th and Saturday November 30th, 2013 in Quebec at:

Joseph-Filion Regional Museum,
 6, rue Blainville Est.
Sainte-Thérèse (Québec)
J7E 1L6.
Telephone: 450-434-9090 
Curator: Gilles Charron
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The year 2013 features a temporary exhibition for the 50th Anniversary of the crash of TCA Flight 831 which occurred on November 29, 1963. The exhibition contains original 1963 newspapers published in the Montreal area provided by Claude Goudezeune, Blainville; approximately 80 photographs taken after the crash; TCA artifacts loaned by former airline pilot Doug Seagrim; personal items belonging to passenger Jack Nichols which were returned to his family after the crash; also photos and story of Harold Dyck's tattoo in memory of his father Captain Harold Dyck who died in the crash when Harold (son) was 3 years old.

Below is a web site dedicated to this tragic event in TCA/Air Canada's history. (click on image to visit website)

Star Alliance News
Star AllianceGreece's Aegean Airlines has won European Union approval to buy loss-making rival Olympic Air at the second attempt, after a new antitrust investigation found Olympic would close down if the deal was blocked.

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.  


Stephen Elmy Found this in a collection of old photographs. Canadian Colonial Airways 1939. DC-3 flying over the George Washington Bridge in NYC.
Air Canada News
Air Canada
Air Canada Launches Major European Expansion

  • Four new destinations: Milan, Lisbon, Nice and Manchester
  • Non-stop Toronto-Istanbul service expands to daily flights
  • New Premium Economy cabin on select London Heathrow flights
  • Barcelona non-stop from both Toronto and Montréal on Air Canada rouge 
Highlights of the Summer 2014 Europe schedule, which includes the introduction of year-round non-stop service from Toronto to Milan, Italy with up to five weekly flights, offering the only non-stop service between Canada and Milan. In addition, an increase to its year-round Toronto-Istanbul non-stop service to daily flights from three times weekly.  

The  new international Premium Economy cabin will be introduced on Vancouver-London Heathrow flights year-round, as well as Montreal-London Heathrow flights during the peak summer travel season. Larger aircraft from its international widebody fleet will be deployed on flights from Calgary to London Heathrow and Frankfurt, as well as from Montreal to Brussels and Geneva during the peak summer season.

As part of the Summer 2014 schedule, Air Canada rouge, will launch seasonal non-stop flights between Toronto-Lisbon, Toronto-Manchester, Montreal-Barcelona and Montreal-Nice. The new routes supplement the leisure carrier's other popular vacation destinations, including previously announced Toronto-Dublin year-round service.
As new Boeing 777-300ER and 787 aircraft enter the Air Canada mainline fleet, Air Canada will continue growing Air Canada rouge to reach a total of up to 50 aircraft, as demand warrants. The growth of its leisure carrier, in tandem with the mainline fleet renewal and international network expansion, is a key element of Air Canada's overall strategy for sustainable, profitable growth, both at the mainline and leisure carrier.

Air Canada will have taken delivery of five new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for the mainline fleet between June 2013 and February 2014, and the first three of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft by the summer of 2014. Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery of six 787-8 aircraft in 2014 and the remaining 31 787-8 and -9 aircraft between 2015 and 2019.

Further details of the press release can be found by clicking on this link
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.

1947 - North Star equipment introduced on the Trans-Atlantic route.



  • May 1st - North Star service inaugurated YYZ and YUL - Bermuda.
  • June 1st - North Star service introduced Montreal to Vancouver with stops at Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary. Total travel time was 14 hours.
    • DC-3 equipment introduced to Brandon and Yorktown.
  • Oct 1st - Service suspended on the Lakehead - Duluth route due lack of traffic.
  • Dec 31st - Fleet was (20) North Star, (27) DC-3 and (7) Lockheed Lodestar.
Issue dated - February 1949
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
Photo of the first "all cargo" flight being loaded at Walker Airport, Windsor on November 3rd., 1948.

A Traffic Department program for supervisory training got underway in mid-December 1948 with an Agents-in-Charge conference held at the three Regional Centres, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The training program was based on the sound reasoning that an efficient standard of office supervision has beneficial effect on standards of service to the public.

From Vancouver


From Montreal came these parting "shots" of the convening groups. The Vancouver poster was the inspiration of Laurie Adama, Western Region's Supervisor of Passenger Sales. (Unfortunately, there are no names for either Toronto or Montreal photos - eds)

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space"The Seafire"
(description from the YouTube Video below)

"While Sarah Hill and I were taping the first Central Missouri Honor Flight special in the Ozark Hangar at Columbia Regional Airport in January 2009, I noticed Jim Cooper working on a plane in the corner of the hangar. I love airplanes and this sight piqued my interest.

The corner was enclosed by plastic from floor to ceiling and inside sat a plane, wings folded toward the ceiling and a paint job that left more to be desired. It was the Seafire XV - one of only a handful still in existence. As soon as I saw the plane and learned a few facts about it, I knew I wanted to do a story on it and follow Cooper through the rest of the restoration process.

Cooper had already been working on the Seafire for nearly a year and half by the time we met, but there was still plenty of work that had to be done. I started shooting that night and throughout the next year and half, whenever Cooper would move to a different stage in the restoration, he'd call and I would head to the hangar to shoot video. I didn't shoot every part of the process, but tried to capture the big ones, cleaning the plane, painting, revealing the paint job, testing the landing gear, testing the engine and of course the first flight.

After 10 trips to the airport, 130 miles and nearly 6 hours of video, it was time to start the editing process. Once all the video was in the system, I spent 14 hours typing the details from of every sound and interview captured in the video. That log was essential in writing the story. I needed to know exactly what was said in order to organize everything into a story that would hopefully hold people's interest. After I had a rough script written, I began to edit the video. After about 15 hours in the edit bay tweaking every little audio and video cut then re-tweaking them, I was finally finished. Nineteen months later. It was a tough job picking the best four minutes from six hours of video, but in the end, I think I accomplished what I set out to do."

Shows the workmanship involved in a vintage plane restoration. The guy's other hobby is restoring and building from scratch wooden musical instruments.

Lots of work here...............Wouldn't this be a marvel to fly?

"The Seafire"
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.
In NetLetter nr 1275 we mentioned the successful reunion of CPAir retirees. Marlie Kelsey has sent us this report and photo of the group. (Are you there? If not then maybe next time eds).

CP Air BC District Reunion 2013
Ten years ago in 2003, Whitehorse CP Air Alumni, and flight crew who used to ply these western routes, gathered to reconnect and reminisce. That success was followed by another reunion five years later at the same location in Parksville. This September, the scope was expanded to include CP Air employees from other Yukon and BC bases in what was called the "BC District". Again in Parksville, at the same venue, The Quality Resort Bayside Inn. People came from as far away as Frankfurt, the US, and other parts of Canada to join in the fun.

Over seventy attendees enjoyed a full weekend of boating, golfing, touring, and of course partying. The Friday evening kick-off event was a meet & greet reception which, by chance, continued to almost midnight.

While it was forecast to rain all weekend, the weather on Saturday was perfect. While some headed for Eaglecrest Golf Course, others explored the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery for a tour and picnic lunch. Our boaters had a terrific experience on the trips run by Kevin Zawislake of Van Isle Fishing & Marine Adventures. They toured the Chrome Island lighthouse, and viewed seals, sea lions, river otters, sea birds, and bald eagles. One trip even witnessed a Coast Guard helicopter on patrol that hovered over them as they were touring the lighthouse.

The main event was the Saturday evening banquet. Each table of eight had uniquely designed placemats by Brian Walsh featuring CP aircraft images. In addition to a plethora of memorabilia being displayed, there was a continuous slide show, created from photos submitted by Gary Ferns, Walter Howson, and Rich Carret which ran throughout dinner. A copy of John Zerbin's video "The Way It Was" was shown after dinner. This nostalgic look at the origins and history of Canadian Pacific Airlines produced more than a few tears in the engaged crowd. Our emcee Marlie Kelsey kept things rolling along as a couple of guests shared their perspectives on working in the BC District in the day. Dave Welham spoke about what it was like to work as an agent in Watson Lake. Capt. Pete Rowlands shared his experiences flying in the "District." A well-received trivia crossword-puzzle contest (designed by Brian Walsh) triggered a lot of buzz and discussion with the winning table receiving a very large box of chocolates. A number of draw prizes included Ted Harrison prints donated by Marlie Kelsey, R.B. Cameron's book "Yukon Wings" donated by Bob Cameron and DVDs of "The Way It Was" kindly donated by Terry Baker of The NetLetter. Everyone received one of Brian Walsh's products (a book, a CD, or a DVD) as a gift.

The wind-up event was the Sunday morning brunch - a chance for many to say their final farewells before heading home. The well-known Terrace CP Air agent-cum-artist Dan Fallwell donated personally-signed colour prints of aircraft in Canadian Airlines livery for each participant to take away as a souvenir. In addition, Marlie and Phil Kelsey designed a small parting gift bag which included a CP Air themed fridge magnet and CP-Air-coloured treats.

The organizers, Marlie, Phil, and Brian would like to thank all those who assisted in set-up and take-down of the venues. As well, they wish to recognize the staff at the Quality Resort Bayside Inn in Parksville for their professional work in making this such a successful event. We will be doing it again!! Hope those who couldn't come this time will make to the next one. Stay tuned.

Issue dated - July 1982
Items from the "CPAir NEWS" magazine -
Our Jasper-to-Banff relay team. "A unique, exciting, rewarding event."
Standing, from left: Barry Ditson, computer services; Peter Nitzschke, In-flight services, quality; Tony Dunn, sheet metal; Fred Zapt, financial evaluations; Al Fraser, flight attendants; Ray Robichaud, cargo automation system; Rolly Greczmiel, avionics, all Vancouver; Tom Maters, training supervisor, Edmonton airport. Kneeling, from left, Art Everton, avionics; Dave Hills, ramp, both  Vancouver; Kurt Bertsch, passenger service director, Toronto; Stan Sierplna, sales; Winnie Wiggs, computer services; Serge Cote, avionics; Carolyn Berthelot, reservations; Kwan Tam, avionics; Will Snihur, flight ops, all Vancouver. Missing: Willi Germann, mechanic, Vancouver ramp.

Dramatic strides in computer technology in just three years was evident in this new IBM equipment installed by CP Air during 1982 at Vancouver (left). The new IBM 4341 takes up only 20 per cent of the floor space and costs $40,000 per month less than the IBM 3031 it replaced (foreground). The computing power is virtually identical. The equipment was used for building and testing new systems and as a backup for Orbit (the maintenance system).

Left, Dennis NickelEd L'Heureux and John Colbert of CP Air's computer services; right, Bill Leung of CP Air and Jim Nicholson and Bill Kettler of IBM, all of whom were involved in the installation of the new equipment.

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.
Walter Howson refers to a photo in NetLetter nr 1276 - I  worked as a Team Member on the C4 Project and the names of my friends have been misapplied. The one you identify as Joi is really Sandy. The one you show as Sandy is Barrie Ditson. The person shown as Barrie is Joi. (We have re-named the photo.)

Gerry Gee sent this - For your information, in the attached photo, the lady at the bottom left is Sandra McGeachy, Barry Ditson, is on the top row, second from the left. I knew three of them in the photo now corrected. I can't believe it was so long ago. I first met Sandra McGeachy in 1985. I knew Garth and Barry from the early 1980s during my days in Vancouver. Gerry Yee, Retired in Calgary
In NetLetter nr 1276 we had a photo of the staff in Montego Bay, but we were unable to identify the 13th person. Murray Wadden sent us this information - the Montego Bay staff photo includes Mrs. Joy Schroeter, next to Mr. Taylor; she Later became Manager MBJ and one of the most competent ladies I ever met. Murray Wadden, former Manager Jamaica 1985-8
John Rodger provided us with misleading information to go with the photo, in NetLetter nr 1276, from Jack's collection. I now know why you asked who the forth retiree was, I must have made an error. The three who retired were Jack, Clayton & David not Claude Taylor.
Norman Hogwood sends this update - Re the item in the last NetLetter (1275). Just to bring you up to speed with what's happened, e.g. nothing! For a variety of reasons they had three windows to operate a "dummy run" down and back. These were Saturday, Oct 5, and Tuesday and Wednesday 8th & 9th. They were all canceled due to weather. I'm not sure what the plans are now but because of the silly political game your neighbours are playing, the whole Antarctiic programme has been thrown into turmoil with a lot of folks being withdrawn and flown back to the States (presumably by USAF C-17's or suchlike) via Christchurch.

In NetLetter nr 1267, Jim Griffith requested information regarding the gold heist in Winnipeg. His main reason was to find out how the gold was "packaged", Jim has sent us the story he was working on about a gold shipment he was involved in -

Encounter over the Hudson.
We were grinding along at twelve thousand feet in cloud minding our own business halfway between Ottawa and New York City in a North Star freighter. It was a gutted version of the passenger model stripped of everything including windows except thankfully, the toilet which was located anything but cockpit convenient at the rear of the cabin.

Just before Albany there was a sudden clear break and there below us bathed in a stray shaft of bright sunlight, cruised an unmarked all black World War II fighter plane backlit by the Hudson River. It was a twin-engine Lockheed lightning, an American fighter built near the end of the war otherwise known as a P-38 or to the Luftwaffe as, der Gabelschwanz-Teufel "fork-tailed devil". Its graceful design was a marriage of aesthetics and function making it perhaps the most beautiful yet terrifying killing machine the Americans had ever produced.  
But hang on! Maybe I'd better go back to the beginning of this silly serendipitous little adventure. In July, 1959, I was a twenty one year old, 500 hour, new-hire First Officer with Canada's national airline, Trans-Canada Air Lines. Being on reserve, I'd been called out early that morning to ferry a freighter from Montreal's Dorval airport to Ottawa Uplands to upload a cargo and deliver it to New York City's Idyllwild airport then ferry back to Dorval.

As a newbie, during flight planning with my newly met captain, I never questioned the iffy weather forecast for the New York area nor linked it to our fuel load which left us with no alternate airport. Neither the dispatcher nor the Captain mentioned what our cargo was to be and I never asked. The dispatcher did emphasize that our New York arrival time must absolutely be no later than 2 PM. I blithely signed my name on the flight plan and we sauntered out to the aircraft.

The flight to Ottawa was uneventful and although the Captain seemed friendly he was quiet and seemed a little anxious? As soon as we stopped on the OW ramp a convoy of Brinks trucks pulled up and a TCA ramp crew began to load small but hefty packages sewn in canvas sacks about the size of a two pound package of Velveeta cheese watched warily by the Brinks guards.  A man in a suit stood at the door noting each piece of cheese as it was loaded. It suddenly dawned on me, "thar was gold in them thar hills.", and we'd be hauling it.

Each of those 454 cheese packages in fact weighed 27.5lbs of 99.99% pure gold valued at a pegged value of $35.00 American an ounce. Our load was worth $7 million American and thanks to a favourable exchange rate, $7.4 million Canadian. I wasn't to know that the gold had to get to downtown Manhattan and inside the New York Federal Reserve Bank by 4PM sharp at which time the vault doors slammed automatically and irrevocably shut, probably explaining the dispatcher's apprehension about our prompt arrival time.
More sinister was the minimum fuel load with no alternate. With so little fuel we could not possibly land somewhere else thus eliminating any chance that we might have been compromised into some criminal plot to steal the gold. Not that as a $250 a month reserve First Officer it didn't seem like such a bad idea but how I would ever spend such a huge amount of gold was beyond my wildest fantasies. I did a pre-flight cabin check to ensure the cargo was secure and was surprised by its empty appearance. All the Velveeta had been neatly laid out end to end and side by side in rows flat on the cargo deck covered over and tied down by large tarpaulins. I guessed this was meant to spread the 12,500lbs of bullion over a wide area so as not to collapse the floor.

These thoughts were far from my mind now as I daydreamed absently looking down at the beautiful P-38. "Jeez" I said to the captain "there's a lightening down there." "What? Where's the lightening? " exclaimed the Captain, craning his neck to look outside.
(To be continued in NetLetter nr 1279 - eds)

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 Scottish government will take control of Glasgow Prestwick Airport after its owners have failed to find a buyer for the loss-maker.  


 YVR (Vancouver International Airport) has officially opened the new and improved Larry Berg Flight Path Park to the public!



The park is located at the corner of Russ Baker Way and Airport Road, directly in line with the end of the south runway, making at a prime location to plane spot. Over the course of the past three months, contractors have been working hard to complete the park in time for the community to enjoy while there is still some sunshine left in 2013.

There have been many upgrades and interpretive elements added to this treasured green community gathering space:  

A raised central plaza featuring a giant globe is the focal point of the park. Celebrating York's role in connecting British Columbia with the entire world, the globe is meant to be climbed and explored. Tail wings which feature historical YVR facts and fun, educational aviation statistics tell you the story of YVR and why it is one of the best airports in the world. 


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerMore memories of eating in the UK in the 50's -
 Fish didn't have fingers in those days.
 Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
 None of us had ever heard of yogurt.
 Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
 People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
 Indian restaurants were only found in India.

 Cooking outside was called camping.
 Seaweed was not a recognized food.
"Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.
Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
Prunes were medicinal.
Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed.
Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.
The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties... was elbows!  

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 is from the "CPAir News" magazine issued July 1982

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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