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>_./|\._< for Air Canada retirees
Your crew is: Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson
Co-pilot - Terry Baker
number 218 date December 3rd 1997
. We are now approaching 200 retirees including a dozen 'actives'
on our email membership list for Between Yourselves - NetLetter.
We hear that many more retirees are reading our
"Between Yourselves - NetLetter" courtesy of relatives working in
Air Canada, members that are snail-mailing copies to former
co-workers and many copies are passed around at the various
Pionair District meetings and events.
This is terrific. editors Terry and Vesta.
. NEWS FROM THE DISTRICTS.
The Halifax Christmas Party is being held at Armdale Yacht Club
on Tuesday, Dec. 9th, at 7pm.
A hip of beef dinner will be served at 8pm, with live music
following. The price per person is $10.00.
Regards - Mitch
. Phil Pawsey sends us this -
At a recent annual Directors meeting for our Xmas Mercy Flight
for sick children and pregnant women which was held in the Board
Room of the Pt. Fortune TA VERN (you see Steve Esplen, I have not
forgotten some of the things that you told me), I was given a copy
of the current British aviation magazine called FlyPast from Alan
MacLeod our Chief Pile-it of the DC4 which we use for the Mercy
flight. In this magazine there are three full pages written
under the heading "Joe's U-Boat". The Joe, they are referring too
is one of our RAPCAN Associate members, namely Joe Griffith now
living in White Rock, BC. (RAPCAN stands for Retired Airline Pilots
I was going to write Joe a congratulatory letter but thought
instead that I would share his accomplishment with you. I will
attempt to condense the story, and hope that Joe will forgive any
On March 25,1941 Joe and crew based at Benbecula were on patrol in
their B17 approximately half way between the Faeroe Islands and
Iceland. Joe was the only Canuck in an otherwise RAF crew.
Arriving early, they briefly inspected Iceland's mountains by night
until being able to arrive at the northwest corner of the patrol
area just as dawn broke. Joe was the navigator and a lot more as
the story unfolds.
They started south on a creeping line ahead of the search pattern.
The visibility was 25 miles with scattered cumulus cloud with bases
at about 3500 feet.
As they emerged from cloud, they saw an enemy U boat coming
towards them dead ahead and cutting across their path at about 20
degrees about 2 miles away.
The pilot Willis Roxburgh reacted very very quickly,
pulling off the power and heaved the stick forward forcing the B17
in almost a vertical dive toward the sub which by now was almost
directly underneath them.
Joe admits that he was surprised when he came down from the roof to
find that the mid-upper gunner was firing straight over his head and
directly down at the U boat, so steep was the dive. Joe had himself
earlier set the seven depth charges for the normal attack from a
level position. With the aircraft almost standing on its nose, six
depth charges were released at only 200 feet and fell, because
of the angle of attack of the aircraft in a close bunch instead of
their planned spaced-out pattern. But they were on target.
Using superhuman strength, pilot and co-pilot Lloyd Meech just
managed to haul the B-17 out of its steep dive in time to avoid
hitting the sea. Roxburgh yelled for engine power and they made a
steep left turn back to where they had dropped the charges. As Joe
described it, "when we came around, we saw the U-boat poised with
the aft portion, maybe a third of the U-boat out of the water and
headed down at a 30 degree angle". They made a normal run-in to
drop the seventh depth charge on this already sinking stern with
very final results.
There is much much more about Joe in the article.
I have been in touch with many of his compatriots and like me, they
had never heard of this and his other experiences.
Modest,low key fellows like Joe, continue to amaze me.
Incidentally this years Xmas Mercy flight will originate in CYFB
with planned stops at CYDF, CYYG, and then on to destination CYOW.
Negotiations are being conducted to ensure CONRA and Fusees are
available at YOW.
. Found on the Internet.
QUEEN'S FLIGHT LOSES THREE OUT OF FOUR:
Also in the massive engine loss category comes this report
involving the United Kingdom's 32 Squadron, also known as the
Queen's Flight for its service to the Royal Family.
Reminiscent of the Eastern L-1011 that lost engine power over the
Everglades due to missing seals, it seems the crew of one of the
Squadron's BAe 146 four-engine jets was forced to secure three of
its powerplants November 6 while on a training flight.
Critics immediately blamed out-sourced civilian maintenance for the
mishap which appears to also involve missing oil drain plug seals.
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Jan 7 - Feb 7 84.00
Feb 8 - Apr 3 90.00
Apr 4 - Apr 14 107.00
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US$ pp dbl. Child 0-12 free.
Jan 3 - Apr 20 41.00
Apr 21 - Dec 19 37.00
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to Dec 23 1997 64.50
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Dec 1/97 - Dec 23/97 52.00
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Rates are subject to availability at time of booking.
Optional meal plans and ground transfers are available at an
Airfare is based & booked on a space available basis and does not
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Some restrictions and blackout dates do apply.
Call Toll Free at: 1-800-665-3100 and mention Pionairs.
FREE FLIGHT, BUT NOT EXACTLY WHAT THE FAA HAD IN MIND:
This Aeronca Champ was being hand propped by a lone pilot Sunday
morning at Urbana, Ohio's Grimes Field. It fired up with no one
aboard and apparently not tied down, or at least, not properly tied
down. The unoccupied Champ took off and reportedly climbed to
12,000 ft. before eventually "landing" in a bean field approximately
90 miles away, badly damaged, but mostly intact.
We'd love to see what the pilot puts down on the insurance claim:
"it had a mind of its own."
. That's it for this time, please we need your input, send
comments and email addresses of any others who may be
interested to Vesta with a copy to Terry.
/------------------------\ |~~\_____/~~\__ |
| Between Yourselves |______________ \______====== )-+
| NetLetter | ~~~|/~~ |
. GREETINGS FROM .
. Vancouver Island .
. BEAUTIFUL B.C. CANADA .