Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson Here's what I want for Christmas, please.

Coming Soon - Year Of The SpaceShip -

If you have someone on your gift list who's tough to buy for, Neiman Marcus has a suggestion in its 2007 Christmas Book - a journey into space with Virgin Galactic, for yourself and five friends, going for $1,764,000. Besides three days of preflight training, astronauts will be treated to a four-day post-flight celebration as guests of Sir Richard Branson at his private luxury resort on Necker Island in the Caribbean. It's the "ultimate getaway ... genuinely out of this world," Neiman Marcus promises. Meanwhile, Virgin president Wil Whitehorn spoke at a space conference in the U.K. last week, and said he expects White Knight II to be ready for its first test flight in July 2008, according to Flight International. On Jan. 23, Virgin will unveil the designs for White Knight II as well as SpaceShipTwo. Both ships are already more than half finished, Whitehorn said. "White Knight II will look more like the Virgin Atlantic Globalflyer. We have built all the models to show the public [the finished design in January]," Whitehorn said.

Flight International also reported that Virgin may offer a launch service for satellites to low Earth orbit by 2015, using a third version of the White Knight aircraft design.


This weeks postcard comes from Madeira, and island in the Atlantic -


Postcard #1002
Milk cans, walking sticks, yoke, clogs and hat, all in a days work.

for our new readers, I have been collecting postcards from our travelling NetLetter "family" for many years. If you are away and have a minute, I'd be delighted to get one from you as well. You can obtain my address by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (it's automated and will respond right away)
Star Alliance News
Star AllianceAir India to join Star Alliance - At their annual Board Meeting, on Dec 13, 2007 the CEO's of the Star Alliance member airlines voted to accept the application of Air India to become a future member of the alliance.

December 12th., An Air New Zealand grabaseat "How Low Can You Go" auction today saw more than 10,000 fares - enough to fill 73 737s - sell out within the day as bargain-hunting Kiwis created an online buying frenzy.

The auction, which began at midnight, was intended to last for 48 hours, or until the fares sold out. The auction officially ended at 5.07pm when the last fare - from Christchurch to Wellington sold for $15.

The auction was the latest initiative in a string of highly successful grabaseat promotions run by Air New Zealand's grabaseat this year.
These included $1 fares to celebrate grabaseat's first birthday and "grabaseat on tour," which saw teams of Air New Zealanders visiting all 26 domestic ports over 26 days in partnership with the TV ONE Breakfast show. Each morning TV ONE Breakfast weather presenter Tamati Coffey and the grabaseat team surprised and delighted residents around the country, offering one local the chance to spin the grabaseat wheel to set the daily fare between $1 and $26 dollars.

Launched in July 2006, grabaseat.co.nz has been phenomenally successful, offering Kiwis ridiculously low fares within New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and exclusive international destinations such as Los Angeles, Shanghai and San Francisco.
Air Canada - the first 70 years
Air Canada 70 years - 1937 - 2007

December 1945Pictured is the cover of "Between Ourselves" issued December 1945

  • President/CEO Claude Taylor becomes the first full time employee to be elected to the chairmanship.
  • (6) DC-8F, (4)DC-8-60, (2)B727 and (1) B747 were sold
  • April 15th, service to Bombay and Singapore inaugurated.
  • Service to St. Lucia commence
First YYZ0LHR Flight 1953On November 3rd., 1953, the first flight linking Toronto with London England was with North Star CF-TFT captained by R.S.White.

On February 1st., 1954
, the inaugural flight into Sudbury was operated by a DC-3. The Station Manager was Rus Alexander.  The flight was crewed by Capt. William van Exan and First Officer J.E.Vallance. Later that day, Capt. J.Wild and C.H.C.Warren with Stewardess F.Creith brought DC-3 CF-TEJ from Chicago.

During September 1954 a new sales office was opened in Manchester U.K. with W.J.Koski as Sales representative in charge.
TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

Doris SpratleyPictured is Doris Spratley, receptionist at LHR in 1954

A few of the people involved with the Trans-Atlantic turn-around from "Between Ourselves"  issued March 1952 -

Don WileyPictured Don Wiley Crew Chief in the Captain's seat.

CommissaryCommissary handlers.

London Top picture Frank Woolley and George Brodie mechanics

Bottom  picture - In the flight despatch office.

Frederick PearceFrom "Between Ourselves" February 1953 issue Frederick Pearce Cargo truck driver in London, England.

Station ManagersFrom "Between Ourselves" issue October 1952 - Station Managers Meet

Atlantic Region MeetingFrom "Between Ourselves" issue January 1953 -
Atlantic Region Meeting held at the Alpine Inn, Ste. Marguerite, north of Montreal

CaptainsFrom "Between Ourselves" issued June 1954 -
Pictured a group of captains.

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

Remember when!
From the "Contact" magazine February 21st 1992 loaned by Bill Wood -

  • In 1964 Canadian Pacific Air Lines signed an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Agency  for deliverey positions for the supersonic aircraft.(Newsletter nr 43 Feb 28, 1946)
  • In 1972 Nordair received 2 Lockheed Electra 188C aircraft for use in identifying and mapping navigation hazards in Canadian coastal waters. (Newsletter Box 3 in Canadian Airlines Archives)
CP DC-3Bernie McCormack sends us this information - The DC 3 photo taken over Vancouver in the late 50's.

Kidney Machine

Kidney MachineTop L-R  Ken Fraser, Bill Paulin, George Pacher, Paul Marsh.
Bottom - Corky McCormack, Freddy Vachon, Ernie Favreau, Len Smith.

The Canadian Pacific Social Club named the Can Pac Air Club gave a kidney machine, a charitable gift to the Vancouver General Hospital in the mid '60s. Later the head of the renal therapy department contacted them and asked if the gift included the maintenance of it. The units of that time were subject to numerous breakdowns and failures. It was decided that some representatives of various maintenance departments at CPAir would inspect the machine to determine their response. What they observed was some equipment that was, relative to that of the aviation industry, quite primitive. This included electronics (metering and measuring) hydraulics, drives, containment fabrications and so on. They felt that they could build a better one.

We'll skip ahead a couple of years and some 8000 man hours later and find that they built a machine that was described in the press and an engineering publication as the best in the world. Whereas in the past the bulky units were wheeled into the wards and were connected to one person, this unit was mounted in a closet size room and was able to cleanse the blood of twenty patients and was never shut down because of failure. At the request of the hospital they built a second and a third one. All the time the department heads expressed an intent to assist these volunteers in patenting their achievement, however the attention that was generated by medical interest and visits to the hospital from around the world distracted them to the extent that it never came to pass.

Canadian Pacific Airlines derived a very rewarding level of prominence in this event, and expressed it generously to the employees in the project, but they received no reward for their time except extreme satisfaction.  

Bernie McCormack
gram&This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Readers Feedback
Trevor Trower This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. sends us this poem -

'Twas the flight before Xmas
( as told to me by a flight attendant )

Oh what a wonderful day to be sure
Our shopping is done, bargains galore.
we are now on our last trip of the year,
home xmas day early, give a big cheer.

We're heading for home on our big DC8,
home in three hours at the overseas gate.
Passengers get off, then we'll tidy up fast,
clear customs quickly like Christmasses  past.

passengers are asleep except number 1A and B
they stare out the window, what can they see?
There's nothing out there, just a cold winters night,
Suddenly they act like they've just had a fright.

The call button starts ringing, what a loud clatter.
Run up to their seats to see what is the matter.
They don't know whether to laugh or to cry,
just keep staring out, to see what's up in the sky.

Out there in the distance, and catching up quick,
Is a fat man with a sleigh, it looks like Saint Nick.
there's a whole bunch of reindeers pulling his sled,
we're certain it's Santa, his suit is bright red.

The others wake up, then they're all wearing a grin,
then he's out there beside us, we're all waving at him.
Then he puts on a spurt, and whizzes right past,
then all that is left, is the reindeers jet-blast.

It's two in the morning, it's now Xmas morn
It's the day that our savior Jesus was born.
What better present, a sight for sore eyes,
the big man with his reindeers, a wondrous surprise.

Those of you among us that doesn't believe,
fly home from London, on Christmas eve!.
But look out of the window, don't shut your eyes,
you're going to be in for a jolly surprise.

If you listen real careful as he's mushing along,
you might even hear the words of his song.
HO HO HO he sings out, at the top of voice,
the first kids to arrive, gets the first choice.

Some doubters are saying Santa doesn't exist,
Don't waste your time writing a Xmas gift list.
But I've seen Santa, on his way in the night,
I've seen him, while
flying on an
Air Canada

(Trev Trower)

From: "Ken Collie"
Subject: Retirement poem

After 42 years in the aircraft industry as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, I finally retired last December 1st, 2006. My career took me through several small charter services and then the Airlines, Transair, Pacific Western Canadian and finally because they wanted me so much they bought the company, Air Canada. Here is a little poem I wrote in celebration of the event.

Jingle Bells

Verse 1
Jingle bells, wheel wells, landing gear and tire
These are things I'm going to miss when I retire.
Empennage, fuselage, ailerons and wings,
Elevator, rudder, flaps and slats and other things.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
I'm staying home, having fun
I don't go to work today.

Verse 2
Magnetos, piston rings, connecting rods and props,
Cylinder heads, exhaust stacks, valves and rocker box.
Left wing low, left wing high, yaws to left or right.
Someone else will have to care; I don't go to work tonight.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
I'm staying home, having fun
I don't go to work today.

Verse 3
FCU, GCU, Altimeter too,
Nav-com, intercom, PTT and clock.
In the hanger, on the pad, or in the tail dock.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
I'm staying home, having fun
I don't go to work today.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
I'm staying home, having fun

By Ken Collie

Bob Muldoon had this story in a recent issue of the eMailNews issued by RAPCAN,  the Retired Airline Pilots of Canada
Web Site: www.rapcan.ca

Pilots, The Truth

One fine hot summer afternoon there was a Cessna 150 flying in the pattern at a quiet country airfield. The Instructor was getting quite bothered with the student's inability to maintain altitude in the thermals and was getting impatient at sometimes having to take over the controls. Just then he saw a twin engine Cessna 402 5,000 ft. above him and thought, "Another 1,000 hrs of this and I qualify for that twin charter job! Aaahh.. to be a real pilot going somewhere!"

The 402 was already late and the boss told him this charter was for one of the Company's premier clients. He'd already set MCT and the cylinders didn't like it in the heat of this summer's day. He was at 6,000 ft. and the winds were now a 20kt headwind. Today was the 6th day straight and he was pretty dang tired of fighting these engines. Maybe if he got 10,000 ft. out of them the wind might die off... geez those cylinder temps! He looked out momentarily and saw a B737 leaving a contrail at 33,000 ft. in the serene blue sky. "Oh man," he thought, "My interview is next month. I hope I just don't blow it! Outta G/A, nice jet job, above the weather... no snotty passengers to wait for ..."

The 737 bucked and weaved in the heavy CAT at FL330 and ATC advised that lower levels were not available due to traffic. The Captain, who was only recently advised that his destination was below RVR minimums, had slowed to LRC to try and hold off a possible in-flight diversion, and arrange an ETA that would helpfully ensure the fog had lifted to CAT II minima. The Company negotiations broke down yesterday and looked as if everyone was going to take a dang pay cut. The F/O's will be particularly hard hit as their pay wasn't anything to speak of anyway. Finally deciding on a speed compromise between LRC and turbulence penetration, the Captain looked up and saw Concorde at Mach 2+. Tapping his F/O's shoulder as the 737 took another bashing, he said "Now THAT'S what we should be on... huge pay ... super fast... not too many routes...not too many legs... above the CAT... yep! What a life...!"

FL590 was not what he wanted anyway and he considered FL570. Already the TAT was creeping up again and either they would have to descend or slow down. That dang rear fuel transfer pump was becoming unreliable and the F/E had said moments ago that the radiation meter was not reading numbers that he'd like to see. Concorde descended to FL570 but the radiation was still quite high even though the Notam indicated hunky dory below FL610. Fuel flow was up and the transfer pump was intermittent. Evening turned into night as they passed over the Atlantic. Looking up, the F/O could see a tiny white dot moving against the backdrop of a myriad of stars. "Hey Captain" he called as he pointed. "Must be the Shuttle. "The Captain looked for a moment and agreed. Quietly he thought how a Shuttle mission, while complicated, must be the-be-all-and-end-all in aviation. Above the crap, no radiation problems, no dang fuel transfer problems...aaah. Must be a great way to earn a buck."

Discovery was into its 27th orbit and perigee was 200ft out from nominated rendezvous altitude with the commsat. The robot arm was virtually U/S and a walk may become necessary. The 200ft predicted error would necessitate a corrective burn and Discovery needed that fuel if a walk was to be required. Houston continually asked what the Commander wanted to do but the advice they proffered wasn't much help. The Commander had already been 12 hours on station sorting out the problem and just wanted 10 minutes to himself to take a leak. Just then a mission specialist, who had tilted the telescope down to the surface for a minute or two, called the Commander to the scope. "Have a look at this Sir, isn't this the kinda flying you said you wanted to do after you finish up with NASA?" The Commander peered through the telescope and cried Ooooohhhhh yeah! Now THAT'S flying! Man, that's what its all about! Geez I'd give my left arm just to be doing THAT down there!"

What the Discovery Commander was looking at was a Cessna 150 in the pattern at a quiet country airfield on a nice bright sunny afternoon.

Moral: pilots are never happy unless they are drinking beer and looking for a better job.

Submitted by Bob Muldoon- Toronto

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker By now everyone who is anyone will be enjoying their interline discounted packages to some sunny spot away from home.

We at the NetLetter wish you a safe and pleasant time, and may there be lots of empty seats in first class for the "plussers".

For most people, a month-long trip around the world with a dozen flights to exotic destinations would be something to remember. But participants in the World's Biggest Pub Crawl may have to rely on something other than their threatened brain cells to recall the adventure. The trip, billed as a chance "to see the world through the bottom of a glass," begins in March in London and ends a month later with the liver-worn troupe catching a flight back to England from Cancun.

The Sebel & Citigate King George Square Brisbane have a sensational summer offer for our Travel Industry friends!
Run of House Room from $125.00 per night. Valid from 16th December 2007 to 20th January 2008, excluding 31st December 2007.

To book send an email directly to the hotel on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Citigate) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Sebel) or alternatively ring the hotel on 07 3229 9111 (+61 7 3229 9111) or fax on 07 3229 9618 (+61 7 3229 9618).

An iconic landmark, The Sebel & Citigate King George Square Brisbane is located in the heart of the city within easy walking distance to fantastic shopping, entertainment and leisure activities. The Sebel tower features deluxe rooms and luxury suites while the Citigate tower features superior rooms. Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium. Picasso's Restaurant captures the taste of the Mediterranean while The Brasserie features an extensive breakfast buffet. The Sebel Lounge offers a relaxed atmosphere for pre-dinner drinks.

The Sebel & Citigate King George Square Brisbane QLD 4000
Phone: +61 7 3229 9111
Toll Free: 1 800 777 123
Fax: +61 7 3229 9618
Website: www.mirvachotels.com

Rates are per room, per night and valid from 16 December 2007 to 20 January 2008. Excludes 31 December 2007. Rates are strictly subject to availability and conditions may apply. Rates are exclusive to Travel Industry personnel only. We reserve the right to request proof of identity on check in.

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