Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonCapt. Lynn Barton was the pilot of the first aircraft to arrive at Heathrow's Terminal 5 when it opened for business on March 27th. Lynn, who previously earned her place in British Airways history as their first women pilot was in charge of BA025 from Hong Kong. Lynn became the carrier's first female pilot in 1987 on joining the B747 fleet.. There are now 175 female pilots among its 3,200 pilots.



This weeks postcard from my collection - FIESTA EN ESPANA.
Madrid, Spain 1984

Postcard 1025

Air Canada - our first 70 years

We have received several pictures of aircraft from our readers - here's one of the North Star -

and a photograph of our first Viscount at the Vickers plant in Weybridge U.K.

The last RB211 engine overhauled by Air Canada, bringing to an end  a long relationship with Rolls Royce which dates back to 1943 when our Lancaster's were equipped with Merlin engines.

1992 - Oct 25th - Launch of a strategic alliance with United Airlines.

  • March - A B747 and a 30 member team of pilots, in-flight personnel and Maintenance personnel left YYZ for an assignment with Garuda Indonesia to transport Muslim pilgrims between Medan, Indonesia and Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  • Apr 3rd - Marks to beginning of a strategic alliance with Air France.
  • May 1st - First class service offered between YYZ - YVR.
  • May 3rd - New non-stop service YYZ - HOU inaugurated.
    - New alliance with Continental Airlines.
  • Jul - Scotland celebrates 50 years service with Canada by TCA/Air Canada.
    50 years in ScotlandWe have this photograph.

  • Oct 16th - First ever "Dreams Take Flight" by YVR. Utilizing a B767 equipment "Dreams Take Flight" was started by a YYZ  in 1989.
  • Oct 31st - Daily YWG - ORD daily service reintroduced.

TCA/AC People Gallery
Musings from "Horizons" -

Issue dated December 1992 -
Tech Ops tests skills on an  when fin 211 took off from YUL, the pilot complained of a slight vibration. The main tire tread had failed and damaged the A320 wing flap. We have this picture of the group instrumental in completing the repair work on time.
A320 Flap

Issue dated January 1993
After 40 years service, Capt. Jim Lamb, retired. We have this picture of his well wishers.
Captain Lamb

Issue dated February 1998 -
JFK StaffHank Fleming, Lead Cargo Service Agent at New York celebrates 30 years service with fellow co-workers.

LGA StaffLaGuardia staff hold a farewell party for 30 year service celebrant Charlie Saladino.

Issue dated March 1993 -
Travel StaffHere we have this picture of the Industry Travel staff located at Dorval.

Star Alliance News
Star AllianceUnited Airlines, facing rising fuel costs and a weak US economy, announced a dramatic downsizing that will see its Ted service discontinued and include the retirement over the next 19 months of 100 aircraft with the aim of reducing mainline capacity by a cumulative 17%-18% for 2008-09.
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustGimli Glider Discovery Channel "Mayday"
A few months ago we were discussing aircraft 604 finally retiring to the desert.

The Discovery Channel has a documentary covering the flight that made history and it very well done.

I missed it when it was aired on TV and I figure many of you may have missed it as well. If you did, click on the image below to view the whole six part series in 10 minute segments.



The Gimli Glider (video)
Click on image below to visit the Discovery Channel site. Then click on full screen icon to see full screen video (see red circle below)

The Gimli Glider
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

1990 - Dec - Service YVR-TPE-HKG DC-10 launched.

1992 Direct service YVR-TPE with DC-10 equipment, replaced by B747 in 1998.

TPE StaffHere is a picture of the Canadi>n staff in Taiwan.

Musings from the "Canadia>n Flyer"
Issue dated July 1998 -
Great WallGoing to the Great Wall of China. A group of Canadia>n employees paid a visit, here is their picture.

Sao Paulo StaffThe whole staff at Sao Paulo celebrates their supervisors birthday.
Unfortunately, there is no identification of the staff.

From the issue dated August 1998, we relate the story of "The Arctic Fox", as written by Andrew Geider - corporate archivist -

Northern exploits made MacInnis famous.
Jerry Maclnnis was born on June 2, 1914, in Amherst, N.S. When he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 he was chosen for observer training, but a year later he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer. His first posting was to 117 Squadron on the East Coast on anti-submarine duties. Holding both an observer's and pilot's wings, he flew Cansos over the North Atlantic. In July 1944, Maclnnis was made Flight Lieutenant and was seconded to British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as an Instrument Flight Instructor. BOAC was then operating Liberators across the Atlantic. Maclnnis instructed the British Crews until 1950 when he returned to Canada.
He joined Maritime Central Airways (MCA) in 1951 to fly their war-surplus DC3s.

With his experience on British and American multi-engine aircraft and his navigational skills, Maclnnis was chosen to land the site construction parties that would build the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line radar chain. When MCA got the contract in 1955,
it was to provide transport for 17 of the larger radar stations. Flying out of Mont Joli, Que., Maclnnis used MCA s DC3s to take advance parties to all 17 locations. Equipped with skis as well as wheels, his strategy was to fly the DC3 low over the barren terrain to the
coordinates given. Then he would circle until the engineers decided whether or not to establish a camp there. Maclnnis and his DC3 became well known for shuttling between the railhead and the sites in the worst weather, carrying survey teams and their equipment.
He looked for safe landing places,fresh water sources, gravel for the runways- anything that would tacilitate construction for another DEW radar base.
The initial landing was especially dangerous for Maclnnis, for he had
not known how deep or compact the snow was. That Maclnnis would be given the nickname "The Arctic Fox" by the engineers he flew is a testament to his exceptional skill.
Establishing a base camp meant Maclnnis would drop off three men on the initial trip with as much food and fuel as the aircraft would carry, returning later with more supplies.
As there were no radios, the rnen left behind knew that their lives depended on Maclnnis finding them again and being able to land once more.
The stories of Maclnnis' exploits among the construction crews grew with every month.
Once when co-operating with a party of engineers looking for a landing site, he heard one remark: "I wish I knew the precise height of that peak." At that moment, Maclnnis dived onto the site, roared across the terrain and pointing to the altimeter said:
"Take 50 feet off that!"
The DEW Line completed, Maclnnis was transferred to Montreal as MCA began to expand into transatlantic charter flights In 1959, he became Senior Air Carrier Inspector for the Department of Transport and in 1974 was promoted to Chief of Flight Operations in Ottawa. In l973 he was inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.
Maclnnis passed away in 1991.
(This picture commentary states "DC3", but it looks like a DC4 to us - eds)
Readers Feedback
Member FeedbackIn NetLetter nr 1023, we published a suggestion from Laura Markley regarding the most number of family members to work for TCA/Air Canada. We received this from Bryan Bishop

Subject: Family Members
I had a sister who married a guy working in sales office in Winnipeg.
They had 2 children who both worked for Air Canada. I of course worked for Air Canada as a CSA in YWG and met my wife there who was also a CSA in YWG. That's 5 so far. I have another nephew who works on the ramp at YWG and I also have a cousin who worked for AC. Some are retired and some are still working.

The only one passed always is my brother-in-law. That makes a total of 7 family members with AC.

Bryan Bishop  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And not to be outdone, Carol Vickers sends us this list -

Subject: Number of family member with Air Canada
Hi Vesta,
Please first let me thank you, Terry and Alan for the fine job you do putting the NetLetter together. I keep my son informed and many of my air enthusiast family and friends entertained with stories.
I cut and paste a lot!   I am writing about the number of family members employed by Air Canada. My son is still an active employee in Maintenance in YYZ. All the following worked or are still working at Pearson. I am a retired Customer Sales and Service Agent. My ex-husband I met at the airport and he was a Station Attendant. My son-in-law worked for a good period of time until moving too far north to commute. My nephew worked as a Baggage Agent but is now retired. He met a Customer Sales and Service Agent, married and had two children. She is still an active employee.

His cousin on his father's side is a retired Customer Sales and Service Agent. He is extended family and I don't know if that counts. That makes six and my nephew's cousin, or my brother-in-law's nephew makes seven. I wonder if this might bring a response. Keep up the good work.

Kindest Regards,
Carol Vickers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From: Karin Fulcher
Subject: Re. Family Members working for AC
My father in law Victor Fulcher was one of the early employees of TCA - I believe originally based out of Montreal, but then back and forth across the country during his 25 year career. His son Robert (my late husband) was a "ramp rat" (his words, no disrespect to others working in that capacity!!) for Air Canada in Montreal while he learned to fly at Cartierville. Bob then went on to fly for Canadian Pacific, CPAir, Canadi>n Airlines International during his 34 year career before taking early retirement due to illness in 1996.

His youngest brother Bill, and his wife Patricia are both former and current passenger service agents for AC out of Vancouver. My son Will interviewed for Air Canada about three years ago, but Skyservice Airlines called first!! The flying tradition continues.

Karin Fulcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And on another subject -

From: Jack Stephens
Subject:  My Viscount Years
Hi Vesta, Terry and Alan:
Jack Stephens here in Calgary.

Enjoyed Ray Sarrinen's "The Viscount Years And The Winnipeg Spirit". My Dad was an Inspector too and worked with Ray.  Dad was doing an acceptance check on a recently arrived Viscount from the UK.

He shone his flashlight up inside the tail and found a wooden board
wedged from side to side. I recall him wondering what would have happened if it had worked loose over the Atlantic and fell on the control cables.

Then there was the day we all crowded the second storey shop windows and watched a Viscount crash land. The nose wheel would not come down.The fire crews spread a ribbon of foam down the centre of the runway. He came in slow and after the main wheels touched, the nose dropped nicely on the foam and the aircraft came to a gentle stop. The low props corkscrewed, but thankfully no fire. I often wonder about the guys I worked with in the Accessory Shop.

Perhaps my story would trigger some fond memories.

The Vickers Viscount was a fine aircraft and indeed there was a great Winnipeg spirit!

Jack Stephens This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Anyone interested in the Viscount can view a web site at

Found on the Internet
Zimbabwe is understood to have visited Russia in February to sign a contract to purchase three llyushin ll-96 airliners for the state-controlled flag carrier Air Zimbabwe for delivery in 2009 and 2010.

Although Russian lessor llyushin Finance Corporation (l FC) is reported  to be providing most of the funds for the $223 million deal the Zimbabwean Government has put up the cash to covert the deposits around a third of the total purchase price.

The total deal is valued at almost seven trillion Zimbabwe Dollars( Z$6,848,094,000,000) when based on the official conversion rate (USS1= Z$30,035) as at March '10, 2008.
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerNo tips to give out this issue.

SmileyA man telephoned the United airline office at Denver International Airport and asked,
"How long does it take to fly to Colorado Springs?"
The clerk said, "Just a minute."
"Thank you," the man said and hung up.

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