Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonHere's the photo of an all female Air Force crew, and the story - they sure look young!

The 376th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, flew an ALL FEMALE KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling mission over Afghanistan on Jan. 31, 2006. Early on Jan. 31, a KC-135 Stratotanker took off from Ganci Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, carrying more than 180,000 pounds of fuel and an all-female crew-both pilots, a navigator and a boom operator.

AircrewThe event marked the first all-female crew to fly an air refueling mission into Afghanistan from Ganci. Capt. Heather, and the boom operator, Senior Airman Lyndi, are all assigned to the 99th Air Refueling Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.


This weeks postcard from a reader is of Prague sent Nov 21st., 2001 with the message -


Postcard #1001Dear Vesta,
We arrived yesterday after a good flight.  This is a beautiful city, very clean, old fashioned. It is cold,and a little windy.  On Monday we will visit the countryside, regards, Julio

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 AllianceUnder the motto "Sharing Unbounded Space," Air China and Shanghai Airlines formally joined Star Alliance December 12th at a ceremony held
in the vast new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport. Star Alliance will decide before year end which Indian carrier it intends to invite into the partnership.
Air Canada - the first 70 years
Air Canada 70 years - 1937 - 2007

December 1944Pictured is the cover of "Between Ourselves" issued December 1944.

Dave Baker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> sends us a copy of the 1957 timetable.

Pictured the outside and inside of TCA530

1957 TimeTable1957 Timetable

  • Jan 7 increase in freighter service between YYZ/YUL/BRU
  • Apr 29 - service to Geneva inaugurated.and service to Munich resumed, previously served from 1974-1976.
  • June 25 - service inaugurated between La Guardia airport New York and Calgary and Vancouver using B-767 equipment.
  • June 22 - Quebec City and Paris service until Sept 7th.
  • July - Aeroplan the frequent flyer program was launched.
  • Aug 23 - sod turning for the new cargo terminal at YHZ.
  • Nov 26 - service inaugurated between Edmonton Municipal and Calgary.
TCA/Air Canada has frequently been at the forefront of commercial aviation pioneering ideas and coming up with innovations which have set the standards and guidelines for the entire industry.

Here are some of them -
  • Oxygen systems - In the late '30's TCAas one of the first airlines to have its entire fleet of unpressurized aircraft equipped with fixed oxygen systems for use by flight crew and passengers. This allowed flights to operate over the mountains between Calgary and Vancouver.
  • De-icing - TCA was the first airline to equip its fleet with alcohol de-icing nozzles ahead of the windscreen to obtain de-icing coverage of the complete windscreen.
  • Numbering control - TCA, beginning in 1940, developed and used a standard format and numbering control for the preparation of technical instructions was adopted in principal by the Air Transport Association of America and issued in 1956.
  • Reclamation - Air Canada introduced the use of water/glycol mixtures at various temperatures for de-icing purposes and reclamation of same, which became standard industry procedure.

TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

The bygone days

Terminals in 1945

Gander Gander

Pat Bay Pat Bay

Terminals in 1946

YYZ 1946Toronto 1946

Penticton 1946Penticton 1946

Torbay 1946Torbay 1946

Torbay Winter 1946Torbay in the winter

North Bay 1946North Bay

Windsor 1946

Remember When?

Saturday April 25th., 1953 flight 1 was routed via Regina to open up North Star service. Lethbridge received its first North Star service 2 days later.

December 15th., 1954, the first Vickers Viscount delivered to T.C.A. on the 6th., flew inaugural flights on services from Sept-Iles and Bagotville.
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

Remember when!

On December 12th 1991. a CPAL B747-400 fin 882(382) c/n 24895 commanded by Capt. Al Clark operating a non-stop flight from Hong King to Vancouver covered the distance in 9 hours and 51 minutes, the normal flight time was 11 hours 15 minutes. The flight was surfing a 190 knot tail wind, and the time was thought to be a record. Fighting the winds from Vancouver to Hong Kong, now fighting the same jet stream as a head wind, was 14 hours 30 minutes. This aircraft was returned to the lesser, Pegasas, and went to Aerolinias Argentinas LV-AXF in 2004.

In January 17th 1968 DC8-63 C-FCPO fin 801 c/n 45926 CPA took delivery. Canadian Pacific was the first airline in North America to order the DC8-63 known as the "stretched" version. Fin 801 was later sold to Worldways YYZ in May 1983

Keith sends us this story - Hi there, as some of you are already aware I have a little tribute site to CP Air at http://cpair.blogspot.com.

Rainbow 737Located on my front page is this photograph, which is somewhat famous to all fans & former employees of the airline. Recently I had a chance to speak with the photographer, Joe Muff and he related his story of how he got this shot:

"In August of 1979 I photographed a CP Air 737 in the orange livery,
rolling off the active runway 31L and taxiing onto the ramp at
Whitehorse Airport in the aftermath of a fairly violent rain squall. If
memory serves me correctly, the 737 had to do a missed approach /
go-around on its initial landing attempt due to excessive wind shear
from the overhead cell. At the time, this incident also delayed a prompt landing by our own smoke patrol aircraft, a small twin engine machine operated by Alkan Air under contract to Yukon Forestry, which was getting tossed around in that ugly cell upstairs and wanted to get the hell on to some firm ground as soon as possible. I waded out onto the tarmac in a good 1/2" of standing rain water with my little 35mm Rollei camera and photographed a number of helicopters on the ramp and when the 737 came into perfect position I took this shot with Kodachrome 64 slide film.

Back in those days, a person could actually wander around the ramp
without being immediately slapped into irons. The only place that was
definitely off limits was the active runway."

Keith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Readers Feedback
From Tom Sparkes, regarding NetLetter nr 1000 - The prints that you show as St. John's are Saint John NB and shud have read as Saint John (YSJ) not St. John's which is St.John's NL ( YYT ) Just wanted to keep it straight and honest.

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

(Note - the picture was scanned from the CPAir "Contact" magazine - Any comments by you CPAir'ers? - eds)

A 380Brian Dunn sends us a picture of an Air Canada aircraft with the Airbus A380 in the distance flying over Dorval during the recent visit by the A380 in November 2007.

Bill Norberg sends us another story
- In view of today's concern about second hand smoke I thought this might be of interest.

Aircraft Maintenance and smoking
These activities may not seem on the surface to have much in common, but there has been an interesting relationship. The percentage of Canadians who smoke is around 25 % or so in 2007. In the early 40's when Trans-Canada Air Lines started operations, the equivalent percentage was closer to 75 %. It also seemed that people who flew were even been more likely to smoke. There was no reason not to believe this higher percentage also applied to flight crews.

I first became aware of the relationship of smoking to aircraft
maintenance when I started to overhaul air driven gyroscopic
instruments. There were two very important instruments that used air driven gyros as their reference sources. The directional gyro that gave the aircraft heading, and the Gyro horizon that gave longitudinal and lateral reference for the pilot when flying in clouds or at night. These instruments used a gyro rotor that rotated at around 15,000 RPM to give the needed mass energy to provide a stable reference source. These rotors were driven by an air jet that impinged on the buckets milled into their circumference. The source of this air was provided by engine driven vacuum pumps that sucked the air out of the instrument housings allowing cabin and cockpit air to enter the jets that drove the rotors.

It is not difficult to realize that the quality of the air entering the
instruments and driving the rotors at high speed, was determined by the quality of the cabin and cockpit air. When these instruments were removed every 1000 flying hours for overhaul it was shocking to see what was found in the rotor buckets. They were almost completely filled with a tarry brown substance.....the tars and residues of the smoke exhaled by the passengers and pilots. I have seen gyro horizon rotors that were actually seized by the amount of tar residues deposited on the rotors. It took the most extreme cleaning solutions to remove this substance. I never smoked, but this evidence convinced me as a very young man what a hazard this practice might be. I visualized lung tissue looking much like these rotors.

Smoking continued to be allowed in aircraft until well into the 1980's
and we were to have this practice show itself up in many ways. In the case of the pressurized aircraft, the outflow valves that controlled cabin pressure were often blocked or stuck shut by the build up of smoking residue. It became a standard maintenance item to have these areas periodically cleaned.

There was one thing that might be considered a positive aspect to
smoking in pressurized aircraft...and I suspect the only one. Whenever air escaped from pressurized aircraft cabins when smoking was allowed ,it always contained the residual products of smoking...namely nicotine tars. When this happened it would leave a brown streak. This would happen whenever there was a loose rivet or the start of a small crack in the aircraft skin and would somewhat ease the task of aircraft inspectors. The Viscount aircraft were given a major check every 3000 flying hours at which time the cabin ceiling would be so badly stained by cabin smoke that it required a major cleaning. Needless to say the elimination of smoking in aircraft has been a positive move for aircraft maintenance.

The following article is from the Canadia>n "Contact" magazine dated June 22nd 1990 and loaned by Bill Wood -
Smoking is good for the skin. Maintenance crews have to look a little closer for fatigue cracks in aircraft skin since in-flight smoking was banned. John Ross, Manager, airworthiness, Prairies, said a nicotine build-up on a fuselage used to make cracks easier to detect. "Nicotine condenses at any air leak point and builds up during pressurization cycles", he said. However, the time saved in cleaning nicotine build-ups in the outflow valves more than compensates for any extra time spent examining the aircraft skin, he added.

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerI recently had occasion to check the air fare from
Vancouver to Boston - Tango fare quoted was ca$280.00 one way BUT adding the taxes comes to ca$356.19

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