The NetLetter #965
Since Oct/95 March 10, 2007


Number 965

About us!

Forgotten airports - YAW

Vancouver Interline Club

Reader Feedback

Canadair North Stars - 50 years onward

Terry's Travel Tips

AC Heritage Poster



NetLetter Archives

About us!

Since October 1995, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker have been issuing an email newsletter for those ex Air Canada types who have provided us with their email addresses. The Newsletter was created by Vesta, who gave the name 'NetLetter' and added 'Between Ourselves' - a TCA periodical with which you are probably familiar with from the 50's and 60's. It was then changed to "Between Yourselves" to avoid confusion when "Horizons" resurrected the name. Then finally simplified to just "The NetLetter".

We believe that our NetLetter, which originates from Vancouver Island, was the FIRST to use this medium to disperse information for retirees of Air Canada.

The NetLetter contains airline related information such as anecdotes or stories supplied by some of the recipients, Internet tips, travel news, cheap... excuse me, "inexpensive" accommodations, tours, interline travel, and, in some small way, we help keep our Air Canada family together and in touch.

Our 'NetLetter' is NOT sponsored by any Pionair group, nor are we seeking any financial support, only the Internet email addresses of those who would like to receive our 'NetLetter'. Please forward this to other retirees who can then subscribe right from the forwarded link at the bottom of this email.


ACFamily Network



Air Canada Heritage Poster


Dear NetLetter,

Welcome to the 965th issue of "NetLetter". The NetLetter is the longest running newsletter (since 1995) that is dedicated to Air Canada retirees.

We now estimate that the NetLetter is read by over 2749 retirees when counting our email distribution and those that print the NetLetter and give them out to their friends. The "NetLetter" is written by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker from Vancouver Island (see sidebar) and also with articles and comments from "you" our readers. Formatting of text, photos, etc. for this HTML version is done by Webmaster Alan Rust and is published courtesy of the ACFamily Network at www.acfamily.net

Are you going to the Pionairs AGM? We are, (Vesta, Terry and Alan) and we hope to see you all there as well! If you see us, please come on over and say hi!

  • Forgotten airports - YAW
  • Vesta

    Our story about Shearwater has prompted this story from Jim Griffith -

    Re; the airport at YAW. Pilots are notorious for playing practical jokes on each other, sometimes bordering on the insane.

    One of the tricks was the depositing of teletype, "confetti", into pilot's "brain bags". These bags contained let down charts, company regulations and aircraft manuals which had to be carried by each pilot in the late 50's early 60's. They were heavy and so rather than carry them to the hotel along with their suitcases on layovers, pilots often left their bags in a secure area at the airport, usually the operations room.

    That's also where the teletypes were located, providing a source of the little confetti like, sticky bits of paper. These irritating little things, when shaken thoroughly into the pages of various manuals stuck like glue; it took weeks to get rid of them. The preferred method was to get a handful of confetti, take a manual out of a bag, and flip through the pages with one hand while adding a handful of confetti with the other. This ensured lots of aggravation for the hapless pilot who was the victim. Of course if you were short of time you could just open a bag and dump a handful of confetti on top the manuals and close it. What has this to do with YAW, you are asking?

    Well the floors in the operations room were linoleum over wood, at Yaw; you remember the thick brown stuff that wore like iron and was in every airforce, or in this case, navy building circa, the 40's and 50's. One pilot who shall remain unnamed, tired of having his bag sabotaged took all the books out of a colleagues bag whom he had suspected as being the perpetrator of the gag and fastened the bag to the floor with a hammer and some nails. He then refilled the bag with the manuals and left on his flight, gleefully imagining the chagrin of the practical joker when he tried to pick up his bag. Unfortunately he'd got it wrong; it wasn't his mischievous pal, it was a check pilot's bag, who to this day if he is alive, is probably still wondering who it was that nailed his flight bag to the floor in YAW.

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

    Our own chief pilot - Vesta - has a story relating to Flight Dispatch - must have been an occupational hazard in those days -

    Vesta writes - I worked in the tely room next door to transat flight dispatch YULFD at Dorval airport YULX and we always had to be careful when entering and exiting from the dispatch room especially on a midnight shift when everything was so quiet. The dispatchers would hide behind the doors with a paper bag full of hot air and slam it just at the right time. bam. That confetti came from the tape perforators of teletype machines. We scattered it about everywhere we could.


  • Vancouver Interline Club
  • Membership Drive - We currently have over 100 members and are having a membership drive. There are many advantages to joining (for $10.00 per yr) and many people don't know about it's existence.

    The "VIC" is a non-profit club of current and retired airline employees. We have social events almost every month and enjoy the chance to go on land packages that are organized by other interline clubs from around the world.

    For more information contact;
    Sharon Revel, Pres. Vancouver Interline Club
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    (retired CP employee of 31yrs..rtd 1997)

    The VIC website is at: www.geocities.com/vancouver_ic

    As a member of the Vancouver Interline Club you have access to the many worldwide events of the World Airline Clubs Association (WACA) at: www.waca.org For a list of contacts for other airlines see: www.waca.org/waca/links

  • Reader Feedback
  • Ross Smyth sends us this comment with reference to NetLetter nr 964 -

    Dear Netletter Folks: Enjoyed your 70th anniversary history review. I joined the airline in Toronto on Nov.11, 1940, being hired by station manager Billy Wells who had flown the first scheduled TCA flight Vancouver-Seattle in 1937. He had flown for Lawrence of Arabia in the Great War. His co-pilot, Maurice McGregor, later became my big boss in Toronto, and in Montreal when I was in the first transatlantic dispatcher group.

    On the day I joined the Company, there was only a dirt road to the airport at Malton. My taxi had a flat tire and I had to hitch-hike for my interview. Bill Bates who later became a captain was Wells` office manager. I was given a $60 monthly salary but would have worked for nothing as I was living at home with my mother.

    These early days were explained in detail in one of my four books, Aviation Memoirs: A Love Affair With Flight, forward by former president Claude Taylor, published by General Store Publishing House, obtainable via internet.

    This spring we should be celebrating the 50th anniversary of a huge 4-engine airliner to Canada, the North Star, as many of its people are still alive - and we should insist the Company get involved. Some time ago a grand-daughter of Billy Wells contacted me for info for a scrap book about him.
    The airline records were not available to her or to me. As retirees, let us insist our Company of over 30,000 can afford a professional historian and proper records.

    Sincerely, Ross Smyth, Montreal

  • Canadair North Stars - 50 years onward
  • Trans-Canada Air Lines called their fleet of 29 "North Star".
    The first TCA commercial flight was YHZ-BOS on April 1st., 1947 and commenced operations on the Atlantic route YUL-PIK Apr 15th 1947 from Montreal-London, with CF-TEM, on loan from RCAF.
    YUL-YYZ-Bermuda started on May 1st., 1948, YVR and YYC in May 1948 and ORD in June 1948
    The fleet was withdrawn from service June 30th 1961 after 14 years service logging a total of 193 million miles.
    The North Star was the only aircraft to be formally "named" by TCA.
    CF-TFA fin 125 "Cartier"
    CF-TFB fin 126 "Cornwallis"
    CF-TFC fin 127 "Champlain"
    CF-TFD fin 128 "Selkirk" and CF-TFE fin 129 "Probisher"

    TCA lease/sold most of the fleet in a package deal with Overseas Aviation(UK) in June 1961. Two months later, Overseas Aviation (UK) went bankrupt. Of the 12 aircraft already delivered, 3 went to LEBCA in Venezuela and 2 to LEBCA in Miami.

    CPAL called them Canadair C4-1
    Introduced on the YVR-SFO-Fiji-and Auckland on August 10th., 1949.
    YVR-Anchorage-Sheyma-Tokyo-Hong Kong inaugurated Sept 1st., 1951
    CF-CPI c/n 147 fin 401 sold TCA Nov 24/51 registered as CF-TFU
    CF-CPR c/n 148 fin 402 written off Tokyo Jul 4/50
    CF-CPJ c/n 149 fin 403 sold TCA Feb 9/50 registered as CF-TFV
    CF-CPP c/n 150 fin 404 sold TCA Feb 5/52 registered CF-TFW
    BOAC called their fleet of 22 models Argonaut and used them on the African and Far East routes, the first service from London to Hong Kong on August 23rd 1949. The last one retired in April 8th 1960.

    (NetLetter nr 649 & 650 has information regarding our North Stars and the RAPCAN eMailNews has input around early 2002 - eds)

    Plans are underway to preserve a North Star - The Project North Star Assn. of Canada www.projectnorthstar.ca
    (613) 748-5972
  • Terry's Travel Tips
  • Interline World Vacations - www.interlinewor ld.com

    CALL NOW TO BOOK at 1-866-279-8480
    Interline Specials

    Carnival has just reduced its rate on its 12 Night Hawaii repositioning cruise with inside cabins beginning at $499 and outside cabins at $599. Alaska Cruises with Celebrity and Carnival begin at $499 and Southern Caribbean programs begin at $379. Family Getaway All-Inclusive Resorts are featured this week in both the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

  • AC Heritage Poster
  • Enjoy this visual display of Air Canada’s historic fleet from its beginning in 1937 to the present including aircraft from:
    - Trans-Canada Air Lines
    - Canadian Airlines
    - Pacific Western
    - Eastern Provincial
    - Nordair
    - Transair
    - Wardair

    This 68 x 96 cm (27 x 38 inch) poster is printed in full colour on high quality paper and depicts over 300 aircraft and liveries flown by Air Canada throughout its history.

    The cost of the poster is $24.99 plus tax and shipping where applicable. This is a great gift for Christmas, reunions, retirements and birthday gifts, etc.

    A donation is made to Dreams Take Flight for each poster that is sold. Any other profits support the operation of the ACFamily Network which brings you this newsletter.

    More info here
  • Sponsors
  • The hosting and mailing of the NetLetter as well as the conversion to HTML format is provided compliments of the ACFamily Network and Nerds On Site. Content is researched and submitted by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker. Thank you for letting us into your homes!

    Please support the ACFamily Network
  • Submissions
  • Important reminder, for all new articles, submissions and or comments for the "The Netletter" please send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please add to your Address Books).

    This e-mail address has been set up so that both of us Terry & Vesta (exclusively) will get an automatic copy and so we can keep up with the continuity of news for the NetLetter.

    To make changes to your e-mail address or to unsubscribe, please see the links at the bottom of the page for "Update Profile/Email address" and SafeUnsubscribe. This is now automated so that you can remove yourself from the list or change your email address (or name) without our assistance. We will still do this manually if you have any difficulties.

    Many of our members are having difficulty finding these links. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page, the link is similar to the following image. (The image below doesn't work but your links at the bottom will).

    Vesta, Terry and Alan thank you for your co- operation.

  • NetLetter Archives
  • The archives of the NetLetter are kept on the ACFamily Network Forums area. They are in plain text format so you can print them from there if desired. If you are not a member of the ACFamily Network yet, we encourage you to join us there. Non members can Register here. (It's Free!)

    NetLetter Archives Link
    email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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