The NetLetter #962
Since Oct/95 February 17, 2007


Number 962

About us!

Nice to know...

Need to know...

Found on the Internet

Star Alliance News

Readers Comments

Historical Photos - First Between Ourselves Issue

Remember when

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 962nd 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 2747 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

  • Nice to know...
  • Vesta

    New seasonal non-stop flights from Halifax to Holguin, Cuba. - The departure of Air Canada flight AC1824 on Saturday February 10th., marks the launch of new, non-stop scheduled flights from Halifax to Holguin, Cuba's popular northern destination, which offers travellers a unique combination of beautiful beaches, mountains and tropical forests. This seasonal service will operate every Saturday until May 12, 2007.

  • Need to know...
  • When travelling outside Canada, and you need your passport, ensure that its validity is at least six months past your departure date from the country you are visiting. Some countries will deny you entry if your passport is likely to expire within this time frame.

  • Found on the Internet
  • HALIFAX (CP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper travelled to Halifax recently to officially rename the city's airport after former Nova Scotia premier Robert L. Stanfield.

  • Star Alliance News
  • Star Alliance

    South African Airways launched low cost airline named Mango on November 10th., 2006 with a fleet of three B737-800 aircraft.
    (Guess what colour the aircrafts are painted - eds)

    Department of Transport approves antitrust immunity for four Star Alliance carriers. Turning aside a bid from American for development of "a regulatory framework that would allow vibrant inter-alliance competition," the U.S. Transportation Department yesterday affirmed its December 19 show cause order approving first-time antitrust immunity for Star Alliance carriers Air Canada, LOT, TAP, and Swiss. American told the D.O.T. on January 9 that following the show- cause approval, it still had "serious concerns about the impact that Star's continued expansion will have on the ability of other alliances (such as Oneworld) to compete effectively." With British Airways, American is the mainstay of Oneworld, for which the D.O.T. has denied U.S. - U.K. antitrust immunity in the absence of an open-skies agreement between the two countries. The D.O.T. rejected American's argument. It didn't make a case against any D.O.T. findings in the Star case, the department said, and "we will consider any new case according to its particular facts and circumstances."
    The D.O.T. declined to consider a late-filed pleading by Northwest asking for a review of the effect antitrust immunity for Air Canada and United would have on competition over the Pacific. Source: Aviation Daily

    Lufthansa to operate A380 to U.S., Hong Kong next month. Lufthansa has revealed details of its plan to take the A380 on a series of route-proving tests next month that will include the jumbo jet's first landing in the U.S.
    The airline, which expects to take delivery of the first of 15 ordered aircraft in the summer of 2009, said A380 number 007 will arrive in Frankfurt on March 17, then carry approximately 500 "guests" to New York - JFK airport two days later. Most passengers will be Airbus and LH staff.
    The airline said the aircraft also would visit Hong Kong, Washington Dulles and Munich, although it did not provide the schedule. The tests will conclude March 28.
    Lufthansa, which already has worked with Airbus on evacuation, early long flight and cabin service tests, said its route-proving relationship is "exclusive." Both Airbus and LH pilots will fly the aircraft, while employees from both companies onboard will test inflight systems, air conditioning, lighting, acoustics and other equipment. LH flight attendants will work the cabin. In Frankfurt, the airline "will rigorously test the entire ground infrastructure for the A380," including comparing turnaround time with its other long-haul types. It began constructing an A380 hangar at FRA last fall. Source: Air Transport World

  • Readers Comments
  • From: Karin Fulcher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> Subject: Boeing 777 & 787

    I recently visited the Boeing assembly plant in Everett - where they are turning out the 777's at a completion rate of one every 4 or 5 days!!
    If anyone is in the vicinity of the West Coast and has opportunity to visit Boeing I can highly recommend doing a tour - you might want to consider booking ahead for a tour time as it is very popular.
    It is an amazing facility and I believe is the largest building (by footprint) in the world - 98 acres, and some 2.3 miles around the building I think they said. Most of the employees do a circuit in their lunch hour!!

    Karin Fulcher Tsawwassen BC

    Help wanted!- Looking for reasonably priced accommodation in Waikiki in late April 2007 for four sharing for one week Can you help? Any hotel recommendations or condos?

    Please email Marlie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Thanks for your help.
    Marlie (Field) Kelsey

    Nanaimo Coffee Club - - The following were in attendance at the Nanaimo Vancouver Island coffee klatch held on March 14th.,

    Listed below are the participants of this month's Coffee Klatch:

    Cec & Arlene McCulloch A.C.
    Bryan & Carol Humphrey A.C.
    Hans & Effie Brouner (?) A.C.
    Leo Goulet A.C.
    Peter Hartman A.C.
    Pat & Art McCarville C.P.

  • Historical Photos - First Between Ourselves Issue
  • This is a scan taken of the first "Between Ourselves" issue. It was the forerunner of todays "Horizons" dated 1941 and sent to me by Terry Baker our co-pilot for the NetLetter.

    You can click on the image to get a larger version,

    Does this picture bring back some memories for you? Your comments are always welcome. Reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Remember when
  • Following the article on London (Heathrow) International Airport in NetLetter 960, we received several responses -

    From Trev Trower -
    So many names you mention talking about the old days at Heathrow. I operated into that station as a Purser flying out of YUL and YYZ, with the North Star and the Super Connie. How well I recall those wonderful people who worked for the company in those days. Everyone pulled their weight; everyone went that extra mile to fix things that went wrong.

    How pleasant to have Big Jim, Kenny or Archie meet the airplane with that old Bedford crew bus, they were so pleasant it almost made us forget the vehicle had no springs and they made the ride to our Hotel very pleasant. Dickie at Commissary, however busy, always was so darn cooperative and friendly.

    Rae George could always be counted on to provide a little something extra, like a birthday cake for the one of the crew. Does anyone remember that one of the kitchen staff would go to the market at 4oclock in the morning to buy special tomatoes to put on the passengers' salads? And those wonderful afternoon teas they would prepare for our customers, scones, clotted cream and strawberry preserves, I can almost taste them now.

    Harry on the ramp with his two-way radio. April in the traffic center. Almost all those names I remember most fondly. A team of ladies would hit the airplane as soon as the passengers were off, with a smile and now and again a song as they made the airplane speck and span for the return trip, Those days of course are long gone now, but with the ability to recall, we can bring them back once in a while and dust them off. For a while they bring a smile to our face.

    Remember the amazing first flight on the DC8 to Shannon? I was the purser on that flight and we served thirty two bottles of champagne while airborne, I recall how impressed the employees and the press were on that fam. flight. And the super write-up we received in the Press.

    Thanx for the memories,
    Trev Trower, Flight Service Director Ret'd
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    and from Fergus Kyle -
    I very much enjoyed the reminiscing over the early days of TCA/AC at Heathrow. I was a First Officer on Connies around 1956, fresh off North Stars and new to the Atlantic. I marveled at the North terminal, which as I remember was a crafty amalgam of wartime Nissen-style huts, tied together by home-style tubes, all strung together by tri-colour paint stripes on the walls. I think the colours were red, blue and yellow. In the stripes were similarly-coloured bulbs.

    In order to herd the victims toward their imminent departure, they were bidden by a typically-Brit "Tannoy" (PA) system throughout. First there was a loud 'click!', then a soothing female voice would purr, "Your attention please. Passengers for East African Airways flight 137 are requested to take leave of their friends, and following the yellow lamps, proceed to Lounge Four for embarkation.

    On more than one occasion, our sly Commander would experience a wounded engine (usually at the suggestion of the Flight Engineer who had witnessed an anomaly in the Ignition Scope), quietly shut it down over the ocean and re-file a reduced airspeed to London. At the same time he would warn the Heathrow maintenance team by means of a carefully worded radio message. * Then when within gliding distance of the field, he would have the sick engine restarted so no one would see a 3-motored machine - sidled up to the hut and shut down. The engineering team would deem a cylinder change and we would relax on the grass. A ball would appear and a short game would erupt. Then, with the passengers full of tea and crumpets, we would all re-mount the vehicle and proceed to Paris Orly - but only after taking leave of our friends.......

    * By this subterfuge, there was no blaring headline in the tabloids. No Trans-Atlantic behemoth avoids tragedy! No Oceanic Traffic jockeying, no schoolboy photos of a sick TCA airliner crossing the boundary on final, no RAF Coastal Command crews rousted out of bed at 3 a.m. - in fact nothing to laugh at, at all.

    Ferg Kyle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. aviator
    PS: If faulty, perhaps this diatribe will awaken kindred memories.

    And one from Colin Bailey -
    Ye olden days at LHR Very interesting to read Terry's account of Heathrow as it was all those years ago and those names of old friends in TCA. Sadly so many of them now in that big station in the sky.

    I joined maintenance in 1951, which was, then under the command of Al Stewart who subsequently handed over the reins to Don Wiley. To say conditions were primitive would be an understatement. Maintenance "HQ" was a Romney hut located on the Hatton Cross side of the airfield alongside a second hut that housed commissary downstairs and stores upstairs. All work was done outside and the only lighting at night was a large portable lamp. The aircraft was parked outside the hut on a piece of ground with a heavy metal grid on it. This over the years became impregnated with a coating of congealed oil.

    Flight frequency then was less than one a week and they all came via Goose Bay or Gander .and Prestwick or Shannon. Westbound flights also stopped at Keflavick.

    A flight to UL would take about 13 hours and it meant 13 hours of listening to the noise of those Merlin engines and if you had a window seat, watching the exhaust stacks firing. Changing an engine in pouring rain was to say the least, not an exciting experience. With the coming of the Super"Connie" this became a very frequent experience. So much so that one occasion a maintenance rest was called to give everyone the chance to go and get some sleep. The aircraft was handed over to BOAC to change the engine. We returned in the morning to find they had only just removed the prop so we ended up changing it anyway.

    One thing we all dreaded was that phone call late at night or in the early hours to tell us the flight had returned with a problem and to get into work., I was cat 2/22 and always kept my passport, and shaving kit in my locker to enable a quick getaway to fix a snag someplace where there was no "radio man". Staff consisted of about 10 cat 1 mechanics and two cat 2/22 with one mechanic seconded from UL who did a 2 year stint at LHR.

    These guys found things a bit primitive at LHR. I remember Paul Pappilon coming in one day to ask someone to go and show him how to light a fire to keep warm in that cold and damp UK climate. The airline was small in those days and a friendly competition existed between the stations to see who would be the one to fix a persistent problem on an aircraft. I was transferred to the more sedate surroundings of the flight simulator department in UL in 1967 but thinking back as we "oldies" do, those early days were an interesting challenge that I wouldn't have missed for the world

    Regards de Colin Bailey.. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Terry's Travel Tips
  • Missed the accommodation deal at the Empress Hotel Victoria for the A.G.M.? - Try the Queen Victoria Hotel, just a block away. They have a Bed & Breakfast deal for ca$115.00 incl. tax 1-800-663-7007 or www.qvhotel.com

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  • 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
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