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Prompted by the article in NetLetter nr 1334, Peter Pigott sends this message -

tmb air canada book coverAs an aviation author, I have been an avid reader of NetLetter since its inception. Having written the histories of Canadian Airlines and Air Canada etc, it is wonderful to read of memories of former employees of both airlines. I read with interest the article on the DC-8 crash at YYZ regarding the spoilers - it comes into my latest book “Air Canada the History” which will be out in the Spring. Keep up the great work.

Peter Pigott


Dawn Thomson recently came across NetLetter nr 1122 which was issued May 20th, 2010 and referred to an article regarding the belly landing of Viscount fin 273 CF-THM at Dorval in 1961. It was sent in by Jack Stephens who had received it from Ed Jones.

The NetLetter # 1122 can be viewed here-

Dawn writes -
I came across your publication with reference to a wheels up landing at Dorval airport in 1961. My dad was the Captain of that aircraft and was upgrading other Captains during that training flight. A three engine approach turned into a one engine go around when it became apparent the gear was not down. The inboard propellers nicked the runway surface and were shut down during the go around, the outboard engine that was already feathered could not be restarted. Dad was now flying from the right seat and was unable to gain more than a few hundred feet in altitude and very near stall speed. He elected to turn the aircraft with rudder only, positioning aircraft to land with gear doors selected down. The pictures posted by Jack Stephens via Ed Jones was the end result.

My dad’s name is James H. Thomson retired 1976. I fly for Jazz air.

Dawn Thomson.


Kelly Smith, after reading NetLetter nr 1333, sent us this information -

I read with interest about the 1960 DC-8 Trans-Atlantic speed record set by C.M. Smith and George Lothian so I thought I would send along another DC-8 speed record set by another "Smith" (I don't know the year).

Thanks, Kelly M. Smith
(son of Captain Roger L. Smith, AC 1939-1971) (Kelly attached scanned copies of media reports about the event. We, at the NetLetter, found the
original report in the "Between Ourselves" magazine issued January 1962.) 

DC-8 sets record in Atlantic hop. A world speed record was established November 17th 1961 when a Company DC-8 Jet flew from Prestwick, Scotland to Winnipeg in six hours and 54 minutes. The aircraft was piloted by Capt. Roger Smith of Montreal when almost an hour was shaved of the regular flight time of seven hours and 50 minutes. Capt. Smith flying at an altitude of 36.000 feet, took advantage of a lack of normal westerly winds to average 530 miles per hour during the 3.650 mile flight.

During October 1961 a DC-8 jet broke the speed record in the opposite direction when it flew from Winnipeg to London, England in a non-stop flight.

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