Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonThe Pionairs 2008 Annual General Meeting is now history The 2009 AGM is in the planning stages and is scheduled to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
As a former Winnipeg TV Weatherman use to say, "The heart of the continent".

This weeks postcard is Cruising the Nile
Postcard 1021
This week's postcard is very interesting - Cruising on the Nile for a week.  First week in Cairo. Lovely weather, traffic has to be seen to be believed.
Edna Rachuk Richmond

Star Alliance News

Air CanadaOn May 1st Air Canada Jazz inaugurated daily year-round non-stop services between  Ottawa and Washington (Reagan National), D.C.; Saskatoon; Thunder Bay, and Charlottetown
Air Canada - our first 70 years

  • During the year the following services were withdrawn - Geneva, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, Rouyn, Val d'Or and Victoria.
  • Service was suspended to Cuba and Dominican Republic.
  • The building of a Training and Head Quarters complex commenced at Dorval.
  • Feb - Station at North Bay was closed.
  • May - Passenger service transferred from Prestwick on the 16th to Glasgow with Lockheed L1011 flights to Halifax and Toronto.
1991 - July 6 - Reservations offices at Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax and St.John's were consolidated at Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Dorval.

This is the final episode of the "Viscount years and the Winnipeg spirit" from "Horizons" issued October 1987.

The story was related by Ray Sarrinen an Aircraft Inspector.

This required placing the whole aircraft into a cradle or jig, removing all components for access, then delicately drilling off and rolling forward the complete lower wing skin. Next, removing hundreds more rivets. pins. bolts, etc. until the expired spar boom was persuaded to come out. This spar boom is the main structural component of the wing. It is almost 25 feet long and weighs 500 pounds. When the replacement boom was installed, each and every attach hole had to be transferred. The tolerances for drilling and reaming were exacting and rigid. The sheet metal and machine shop boys' talents and skill were tested with each job. Of course every job was planned and as expected.

This big job started as a reasonable two-week turnaround project. With experience the work got compressed to an astounding five days if my memory is correct. Vickers could not believe it was possible to fly away on the sixth day, considering the step-by-step complexity of the work. Dedication and hard work accomplished the job, by permanent and temporary help. This is just another example of an on-time, on-budget and an unbelievable accomplishment that we in Winnipeg felt very proud of.

Well. those are some of the highlights as I remember them.
Undoubtedly everyone has his or her own stories to tell.

In the nineteen years (1955:14), the Viscounts flew over one and a half million hours. The fleet was never grounded, and never suffered a serious major accident. Even the delay rate wasn't too shabby.
Fortunately, the bulldozer hasn't leveled those 50 year old walls and roof. The hangar, or barn as it used to be called, still stands, as the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

There stands Viscount No. 637, complete with old tractor and baggage trolley. There's also a big ugly Bristol Freighter there, as a reminder to those of us who used to twist wrenches in the early '50s.
The hangar walls don't echo to the sound of riveting guns, or the shine of feathering pumps anymore. The shop walls don't rebound with the clicks of an inching control or the snap of an igniter box. Instead there are visitors and children asking questions about airplanes much older than our beloved Viscount.

So, if you've ever worked at YWGMB, drop in and see the clean and tidy workplace. It will rekindle some memories. If you can arrange a visit to the region, go there and catch the Winnipeg spirit - it lives on.

(Your co-pilot worked at P & S in LHR and, together with Wally Evans, well remember having to ship the spars and spares, and handling AOG demands - eds)

Spar Repair YWGWe have this picture but, unfortunately, no identities.

(A great web site for Viscount aficionados is www.vickersviscount.net - eds)
TCA/AC Events & People Gallery
Derek Buckell, Director UK & EC Pionairs with Jack Morath Director Social Activites spent a very pleasant day on Tuesday 15th April.
They flew to Prestwick to meet with local  Pionairs, and have lunch with them. There were 16 altogether which is the largest group of Pionairs outside Greater London and the Home Counties.

Many thanks to Gordie Aitcheson for organizing the event.

We were joined by Jimmy Edwards, Drew Taylor, Marion McDonald, Pat Fraser, Tom and Janet Howson, Jim McCall, Jay Caldwell, Ian Dawson, Dorothy and Eric DeLacy, George Spence, Davy Auld, Jim Kennedy and John Gibson.

Prestwick/Glasgow Pionairs meet for lunch on the 1st Tuesday of every month at the St. Nicholas Hotel in Prestwick at 12:30.

Musings from "Horizons".
Issue dated April 1990

Printing StaffThe printing team make a good impression - the title - to introduce the work done by the printing bureau at Dorval. The team comprised of 24 employees and produced 73 million impressions during 1989. We have this photograph.

North BayWith the closing of the North Bay station, we have this picture of the farewell party.

Thunder BayThe staff at Thunder Bay felt that they were forgotten as Air Canada no longer served Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay or Windsor, so we include this picture.

Issue dated June 1990
Airbus A320 fin 204 arrived at Montreal March 18th under the command of  Capt's Jean Corbeil & Gilles Laroe. We have these two pictures of them and the  flight attendants.
Front End Crew

Back end Crew

Issue dated July 1990

International flights were transferred from Prestwick to Glasgow during May. Service from Canada to Prestwick operated for the past 47 years, started with T.C.A. Lancastrians. Freighter service from Toronto will still operate into Prestwick.

We have these two photos of the staff at Prestwick and Glasgow.
PIK Staff
Glasgow Staff

Issue dated November 1990
UniformWhile upper management were wrestling with designs for new uniforms, employees at various stations came up with their own ideas. We have these pictures.

Issue dated May 1991
The "Dreams Come True" flight sprouted in the minds of four Toronto employees in 1989: Cargo Sales Manager Bob Kent, Passenger Service Supervisors Kathy Dutchak and Chris Dale and Customer Sales & Service Agent Kent Angus.
That year, Air Canada loaned the group a B-727 for the children.
their escorts and volunteers. Ground handling, catering and aircraft cleaning were handled by volunteers, and Transport Canada waived the landing fees - so all $27,000 raised by hundreds of generous Air Canada employees went directly to fuel costs and the children's expenses.
Hundreds of hours go into planning the "Dream Come True" flight, but there's no shortage of volunteers.

Captains Sask Wilford and Wayne Maclellan, Second Officer Dave Legge and cabin personnel Nancy Brownrigg, Terry Kelly, Curtis Betts, MariaMartin, Andre Roy and Pieter Scholtmeijer worked the exhausting flight on a day off.

Issue dated June 1991
New York 50 years50 years of service to New York was celebrated on May 10th.
We have this photograph.

Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustI wonder how many of our readers ever managed to hitch a ride in a military jet fighter of some kind or another. I imagine that a few of you did. Although I was stationed in Trenton for a while when I did my short stint in the Canadian Armed Forces, I never did get to ride in one. Something I do regret as it was available to me, I just never went through the pre-flight training that was required at the time.

Anyhow, a friend sent me this link to to a site where they documented a reporter, Steve Beatty, taking a ride in a F/A-18 with the Blue Angels. It's interesting to watch the look on his face and witness the effects as he passes out (three times). Make sure you click on all the scenes (there's five) and turn your speakers on. Quite interesting!



Jet ride
(Click on image or here to visit site)
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

To the ex-Employees of Pacific Western Airlines.
There is presently a new section for 2008 which is intended to focus on the people of Pacific Western Airlines, who they were, what they did and where they may be now.

Go to www.pwareunion.com/the_people.htm and join the other 288 former employees who have submitted their names and information.
Readers Feedback
Member Feedback The eagle eyes of Roger Rouse has spotted the pictures of Touram Staff in NetLetter nr 1020 have been switched -
Hi. The 2 pictures of Touram staff have been interchanged. The one shown as Toronto is the Montreal staff. The manager of Montreal reservations (shown on the right wearing white slacks) is Marie-France Caron.
The other picture shown as Montreal is actually the Toronto staff. The manager of Toronto reservations (shown on the right wearing a blue suit) is Donna Thomas. Although I recognize some of the Montreal staff I do not remember their full names.

Regards Roger Rouse This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In NetLetter nr 1016 under Smilies, we ran a picture of Frank Gardon taken from "Horizons" issued Sept 1988.

From the following exchange of emails you will see we had the wrong name - with apologies to Frank Garnon, but the information was also incorrect in the article by Johanne Legault who was the assistant editor of "Horizons" at that time.

From: Thomas Heald"
Subject: Tank Sealer

Hi Guys.
NetLetter #1016.
Are you sure the tank sealer was Frank Gardon?
I think it is Frank Garnon from DC8 C/D check. Not Gardon.
I didn't recognize Frank's butt:):) It was the name that caught my eye and I did not remember any Gardon.

I worked on Dorval Line Mtce for 15 years and knew almost all the tank sealers as we called them when tank work had to be done.
My last 10 years were spent in C/D checks as mechanic and CAT with Frank on DC8. I was retired 10 years April.

Knew Al when we were "Midnight cowboys" in 1973 before he went to Vancouver. Talking about tank sealers, I think a good story for the "Netletter" would be to contact Ha Bui (Now retired YUL) who was inside a tank checking for leaks when they started to fill the tank and he went "swimming". He was a CAT (Certificated Aircraft Technician) in Dorval and before joining us he was or rumored to be a helicopter pilot with the South Vietnamese Airforce during the Vietnam War.....

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

Tom Heald got the following email from Frank Garnon -
We had some good times together. As for my name, You were right all the time.  It's Garnon. You know Air Canada. I remember that day, Harry Boucher and I had a  good looking girl follow us around asking us questions about tank sealing. She can't spell.

Hope you're doing well and I'll say hi to everyone for you.

You're friend Frank 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We thought that you may like to know something about the "Tank sealers"! From the article in "Horizons" issued October 1988 here is an edited version - Do you suffer from Claustrophobia? What is a tank sealer, you ask? That's what I wanted to know, too. For those like myself who work in an office and don't know much  about aircraft maintenance, the "D" check is the most in-depth  inspection of all. Consequently, our aircraft return to the hangar more often than before but for shorter periods of time. Harry Boucher and his crew are working on a DC-8 freighter, fin no. 875. Harry must first go and pick up his job ticket. This ticket (which a Certificated Inspector must countersign once the work is completed) indicates what Harry has to do. In order to detect leaks that are practically invisible to the naked eye, Harry and  his coworker Frank Garnon suction out the air inside the tanks, which have been emptied of all traces of fuel. Then they pour in  a liquid called 'Shannon Glow', that reflects light and will reveal any leaks. In this way they determine, per square inch, the exact spots that have to be repaired. Our two Mechanics then get busy sealing the leaks with a very toxic tar that can be harmful if the user forgets to wear a protective mask. It's one thing to talk about being a tank sealer. but quite another thing to do the job.
"It's not an easy job," confesses Harry, "as the end of the wing is barely a foot wide." And Frank adds that depending on which side he works, they have to choose their position before going inside the tank as there's no way they can turn around once inside! It's so narrow that one of their co-workers once got stuck, panicked (most of us would have for less than that!) and was taken to hospital. When Harry goes inside, Frank stays nearby, if only  to pass him the tools or warn him of imminent danger - a fire in  the hangar, for example - since the inside is so well sealed that not much noise from the outside filters through.
Their work has other risks just as dangerous, too. Because the tanks have a high degree of static electricity, the smallest spark can rapidly cause a fire. The risks are nevertheless largely reduced, as our two men sport their white, 100 per cent cotton, static-proof uniforms.

We have these two pictures which accompanied the original article.

Ron Barr

From: "Pab Wispinski" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: New Uniforms 1938
Thought you might be interested??

Otto von Staffeldt sends us this information.
Subject: Air India Documentary.
Many Air Canada people were involved one way or another in the Air India disaster, and this documentary film was commissioned by the CBC, and the task given to Strula Gunderson and David York to produce, they have many awards to their names. The film has been chosen to be the World Premiere opening film on the "HOTDOCS" 15th Canadian International Documentary Festival, April 17-27. CBC will be broadcasting the film in a few weeks.Hope this is of help, I think many AC people may be interested.

Best regards ,
Otto von Staffeldt. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mike Straker sends a memory -
Re Silver Bullet in "Remember When" NetLetter nr 1019.
With reference to your article on 'The Silver Bullet' in YYZ it was more commonly known as the Hangar Queen. We should have charged Eastern storage charges it was in there so often.The different galley config was the least of it's problems.

Mike Straker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Our Chief Pilot - Vesta - comments "I remember the 'Bullet' as a train (slow-poke) in Newfoundland".)

Found on the Internet

A Washington, D.C.-based company is in the preliminary stages of developing a $250 million plant in California to make jet fuel out of garbage, manure and tree bark. Solena Group hopes to build the plant in Gilroy, Calif., and will use raw material from municipal, agricultural and forestry waste supplied by Norcal Waste Systems, one of California's largest municipal waste and biomass collectors. The announcement comes on the heels of the successful certification of jet fuel made by a South African company that uses a different raw material but the same basic process as that planned in California.

British Airways issued a statement confirming that it is "exploring opportunities for cooperation with American Airlines and Continental Airlines" and that "further details will be announced when appropriate." CO said two weeks ago that it was reconsidering its membership in SkyTeam and would examine other potential alliances as well as a merger Over the weekend it declined an offer to merge with United Airlines

Eos Airlines has become the fifth US based airline to shut down.

Boeing 777 "PTQ" ("Put Together Quickly") Wanna see a Boeing 777 put together from the ground up? Got five minutes?
Thanks to the wonder of time-lapse videography and the thoughtfulness of  AVweb reader Denis Donohue, you can watch the whole process and not get caught by your boss. (No guarantees about that last part; we understand the boss comes around a little more often these days ...)  Use this address on your browser http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/1105-full.html#197740
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker The Travelodge company in the U.K. are offering accommodations for as low as gbp29.00 per night. You can pick up all the info on www.travelodge.co.uk.

If you're 60 or over you automatically qualify for our routesixty fares, which means you can travel at up to half-price on most National Express services in England and Wales www.nationalexpress.com

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