Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson

Here is this week's postcard from my collection - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.
Postcard 1019

You can't visit Sydney without a ride on the Monorail. Metro monorail links Darling Harbour's exciting activities, shopping and museums with Chinatown's great restaurants and the City's best attractions. Metro Light Rail connects Central Station to all that Sydney's has to offer.

Take in Darling Harbour and Star City Casino and nothing beats a trip to Sydney Fish Market for the best seafood in town.

Purchase tickets at any Metro Monorail station, from Light Rail conductors or at Sydney Visitor center.


Greetings from 'down under' What do you do with all your postcards? A collage?

All the best, Jean Downie YYZ, June 2005.

Remember When?
From "Horizons" issued September 1989 -
Silver bullet bites the dust

An Eastern Airlines DC-9, fondly (?) known as the 'silverbullet', was removed from service on August 14, three months ahead of schedule. During its 18 months with Air Canada, the silver bullet was plagued with technical and mechanical snags.

But despite the performance improvements made by our maintenance crews, the aircraft's on-board galley equipment made it impossible for In-Flight Service to provide the level of service customers have come to expect.

And this led to the decision to remove the aircraft from service.
(The aircraft, believed to be CF-BKT,  was returned to Eastern August 14th 1989 eds).
Air Canada - our first 70 years

1989 - The last flight out of Sydney earlier this year was under the command of Capt. Les Hare. An order for seven Boeing B747-400 combi was placed with delivery between 1990 - May 1991 for the first three.
  • Apr 3rd  - Service between Montreal and  Newark introduced with DC-9 equipment.
  • Apr 25th - Introduction of service from Toronto to Athens via Mirablel commenced with B767-200ER equipment.
  • Oct 1st - Family Affaire introduced positive space discounted fares for employees retirees and the entire family including brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents as well as non-dependant children.
  • Dec 17th - Direct Boeing B727 service between Montreal and Governor's Harbour on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas was introduced
  • Ticket office in London England moved from Regent Street
    to Conduit Street.
  • Inauguration of service between Toronto, Porlamar and Caracas was under  the command of Capt. W.E. Pierce.
  • Introduction of a new system to keep track of baggage called "Bagtrac", with the location of a lost baggage will appearing on a screen within moments of  a search being instituted.
    (This does not include the location at Terminal 5 LHR - eds)
  • Jan 15th - Consolidation of Saint John and Moncton telephone reservations service  into a new Maritime reservations centre in Halifax.
  • Jan 26th - First Airbus A320 fin 201 delivered to Montreal under the command of Captains Peter Dzulinsky and Gilles Larue.
  • May 1st - Rapidair lounge refurbished and opened at YYZ.
  • May 7th - Rapidair lounge refurbished and opened at YUL.
  • May 22nd - Official opening of terminal facility at Newark International Airport, staffed by Air Canada in Terminal B. Up to then handing of Air Canada flights was by T.W.A. in terminal A.
  • July 5th - Service Victoria - Calgary taken over by our Connector carrier AirBC with BAe146 jet aircraft
From "Horizons" issued March 1990 -
Tampa/St. PetersburgCrowds gather at Tampa/St. Petersburg Airport to greet the arrival of the first TCA flight from Canada on April 21st., 1950.

Here we have the third installment of "The Viscount years and the Winnipeg spirit" started in NetLetter nr 1017

Every department operated  well. There was good harmony and everyone dug in, to ensure the bird left the barn schedule, and on budget. I can't but feel the Winnipeg spirit helped.

The very early Viscounts arrived without weather radar or auto-pilot.
The new radar installation required a completely different nose profile  to  accommodate the antenna. Little did we realize this precision rebuild was just a test of things to come.

A short time later along came the "fish plate mod" to strengthen the eight flap beams. The initials "O.T." became household words to just  above everyone at this time. Rigging  of the flap system was always  a big chore, until creative and unusual tools and methods were devised.

Then there was the engine reduction gear containment modification.
This was either coming in or going out, with the hanger floor covered with engines, props, and  miscellaneous hardware. I wonder what ever became of  those two wonderful lifting cranes.

Remember whose "lucky" midnight shift had three or four engine changes that night? I tip my hat to those guys who did the  interconnection run at the end of the runway, on the bald prairie in mid-winter, when the wind blew. Who could sleep in all of West Winnipeg with the drone of four R.R. Darts disturbing.the night air for hours?

Who can forget changing and torquing those awkward landing gear  trunnion bolts and changing the uplock roller assembly for a  strengthened one.

How many funny bevelled washers and those "stone" r vets to keep  the upper wing skin from becoming a diagonal "washboard'.
(More next time - eds)

With the inauguration of the YYZ-LHR-Nice, we have this picture of some LHR staff giving the passengers a send off.
TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

Musings from "Horizons"

From the June 1988 issue
World Class PeopleThe creation of the first for Montreal Airports was the "Distinctive Award" for high achievers at both  Dorval and Mirabel.

From the February 1989 issue
Trev Trower Trev Trower bids farewell to flying, we have this picture.

From the April 1989 issue
The Airbus A320 made its North American debut when it came to Canada to undergo cold temperature tests. Undertaken at NWT Air's base in Yellowknife with an Airbus A320 destined for Cyprus Airway, Airbus experts and Air Canada specialists from YUL were on hand for the various tests.
A320 Test TeamWe have this photograph of some of the members.

New Flight AttendantsTwo groups of newly trained Flight Attendants are pictured.

Issue dated May 1989
ACRA 1989The ACRA presidents and System Events Chairmen held their fourth joint meeting  in Montreal earlier in 1989. We have this assembled picture.

Issue dated June 1989
Nice Flight to YULThe inaugural flight Nice-LHR-YUL-YYZ on April 18th we have this picture

Enroute to AthensWith the inauguration of the service to Athens, we have these pictures.

Issue dated November 1989

Heathrow opens refurbished Terminal 3, and Air Canada gets new accommodations.
LHR Check InStation AttendantsWe have these two pictures of some of the staff.

1989 - Retirees living in London, England got together to form a Pionairs group.


Issue dated April 1990 -
A320 CrewA320 entered revenue service with fin # 202 C-FDQV with 57 revenue passengers between YUL and YYZ on February 13th. We have these two pictures of the crew.

Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustAoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Or rather...

According to a researcher (sic) at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself but the word as a whole.

More info? True of False? See: www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/cambridge.asp



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

We would appreciate borrowing any copies of in-house magazines which we can scan and extract information for this section of the NetLetter. Mailing costs will be reimbursed - thank you.

As we are getting short of information for this section, we reluctantly may have  to discontinue it.
From the Canadia>n Flyer issued April 1998
NetworkA Communications Network was formed in mid February 1998 we have this picture
Readers Feedback
Member FeedbackFrom Gretchen Aird of the "Maple Wings" - Found this on my machine; which I had saved back in 2005! Thought you'd be interested!

Quick Freeze airline meals take flight

Broadcast Date: June 17, 1949
In Flight Meals (1949)Flavour and presentation, once sacrificed in the name of convenience, will be surrendered no more thanks to quick-freeze technology and onboard processing ovens.

Trans-Canada Air Lines is abandoning the old style of serving pre-cooked food preserved  in warming ovens. Instead, travelers will be served frozen meals reheated minutes before consumption. It's just like a fine meal prepared at home.

"I defy you to tell the difference," challenges a TCA stewardess in this CBC Radio interview from 1949 (Click here for a web site for a voice over of the interview - eds)

Cheers,  Gretchen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once again, we have more thoughts from Bill Norberg, which we share with you -
The year was 1970

In these last months of Air Canada's 70th anniversary year, the year 1970 stands out in my mind as one I will never forget. It was the first year of the corporate reorganization brought about as the  result of the McKinsey study ordered by the new Chairman of the Board of Air Canada.  President Gordon MacGregor had retired, and after the Hon. Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister, his chosen replacement for MacGregor was Yves Pratte as Chairman of the Board, and John Baldwin as President. Yves Pratte was a successful lawyer and John Baldwin had been Deputy Minister of Transport under the then Minister of Transport, the Hon. Paul Hellyer. While John Baldwin had extensive experience in the administrative aspects of transportation, Yves Pratte had no background in airline operations or transportation. His first act was to familiarize himself with the airline and selected the Management Consulting firm of McKinsey to carry out a complete review of the airline, its processes and management.

This study was wide ranging and examined every aspect of airline operations resulting in complete corporate restructuring. It affected every department and resulted in an almost complete realignment of executive management as well as bringing in new executives from other industries. It had been an agonizing process.

The new organization structure along with the names of individuals selected to fill the various executive positions were presented at a Senior Management meeting in late February 1970 at the Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal. The following months of the year 1970 were to see the various departments finalize their organization structures and select their management teams.

It was in July of 1970 when the airline was to experience one of the worst incidents in its operating life. Flight 621 operating from Montreal to Los Angeles via Toronto on July 5th had crashed on its approach to Toronto. It was my sixth month as Vice President of Maintenance and this incident was the first major operating challenge I would deal with. It was a hot muggy Montreal Sunday when the telephone rang shortly after 8:30 AM. Before I answered it, I suspected it was not going to be good news. Very few telephone calls during early morning hours, especially on weekends, ever brought good news. It was Maintenance Central calling to advise me that we had a Category A incident at Toronto involving a DC-8 aircraft.

When I asked him what details were available he said...."It just fell out of the sky". I said ...."Aircraft don't just  fall out of the sky". He then said...."This one did".

As I was to learn later, his statement turned out to be quite accurate..... It had virtually fallen out of the sky.

There was a major loss of life in this incident and no matter how much experience one has, you can never be well enough prepared to deal with such circumstances. It is very much a "learn as you go" process. As an airline, and as a Technical department, we had systems and procedures to deal with such events and they were immediately implemented.

The new  organization was facing its first major operational challenge.

(These thoughts by Bill Norberg will be continued in the next NetLetter - eds)

Found on the Internet

This year the Douglas DC-8 took to the skies on May 30th., 1958. The first operator was Delta Air Lines who introduced service between New York (Idlewild) and Atlanta on Sept 18th 1959. One of the first European operators was Swissair.

AC DC8Trans-Canada Air Lines took delivery of CF-TJD fin 804 c/n 45445 on February 7th 1960 and began service with the Conway powered DC-8-41 in April 1960.

A DC-8-53 of Philippine Air Lines was labeled "Worlds fastest long range jet" by Douglas as on February 19-20, 1962  a DC-8-53  flew from Seattle to Tokyo and three days later flew Tokyo to Miami non stop in 13 hrs 52 mins at an average speed of 623 mph and landed with 10,000lb of fuel remaining.
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Smiley Memorandum on erratum's.
By Halifax based Sales Rep  John Cavill in the "Horizons" August 1989 edition.
" If you find mistakes in the NetLetter, please consider that they are there for a purpose. We publish something for everyone. and some people are always looking  for mistakes. Please let us know when you spot them"

Heard on the scanner over Adelaide, South Australia:
Airliner (I think it was a Qantas, but I didn't hear the start of the transmission):
"We won't need to divert into Adelaide now. The passenger is feeling much better now that he has been moved to business class."
"Amazing what recuperative powers business class has."
(We know the feeling - eds)

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