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The NetLetter #1434

The NetLetter #1434
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NetLetter #1434 | March 28, 2020
The NetLetter

AC Fin # 631 - Registration C-FMWP
Story in 'Subscriber Feedback'
Photo by Rob Hodgkins

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the NetLetter, an Aviation based newsletter for Air Canada, TCA, CP Air, Canadian Airlines and all other Canadian based airlines that once graced the Canadian skies.

The NetLetter is published on the second and fourth weekend of each month. If you are interested in Canadian Aviation History, and vintage aviation photos, especially as it relates to Trans-Canada Air Lines, Air Canada, Canadian Airlines International and their constituent airlines, then we're sure you'll enjoy this newsletter.

Our website is located at Please click the links below to visit our NetLetter Archives and for more info about the NetLetter.


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NetLetter News

Dear Subscribers,

tmb self careThere is nothing helpful that we can say concerning the COVID-19 virus but it is impossible not to acknowledge that it is affecting all of our lives.

We wish to thank you for allowing us to share a bit of your time and we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy during this difficult time.

The NetLetter Team

Shirlee Schacter told us about this appropriate prose for the times.

Author: Kitty O'Meara as posted at

And the people stayed home.

And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised,
and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being,
and were still.

And listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.

Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous,
mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.

archives x200Back issues of The NetLetter are available in both the original newsletter format and downloadable PDF format.

We invite you to visit our website at to view our archives back to March 2015 when we began sending The NetLetter in the current format

We hope to continue to restore issues previous to March 2015 in PDF format for future posting in the Archive Section. 



The Toronto Pearson Airport 12th Annual Runway Run.

tmb annual runway runRunways, airplanes, runners and walkers make this a unique event. At 7 a.m. on a brisk morning on September 21, 2019 some 2,200 spirited runners and walkers arrived at Toronto Pearson’s Airfield Maintenance Facility to participate in the iconic Toronto Pearson Runway Run.

They would soon take over one of the busiest runways in North America and raise more than $100,000 for the Propeller Project, Toronto Pearson’s Community Investment Program.

After a fun welcome and an energizing warm-up, runners and walkers completed 5k and 2k courses while sweating, huffing and soldiering alongside aircraft parked on runway 06L / 24R. Meanwhile, other airplanes could be seen in the distance taxiing from the terminals and taking off, providing a surreal backdrop for an unforgettable running experience.


Reader's Feedback

Subscriber Feedback

Subscriber J.K. Oakley (retired B-767 captain) sends in the following personal request:

I am researching Canadian Army Pilots of WWII. G.B. (Bus) Duhamel was one of the select few.

After the war he joined TCA and I have found references to him being the general/group sales manager in YUL in the 50's to mid 60's. After that he moved to the Chicago area.

I would like to know if anyone remembers if he was still employed by Air Canada at ORD, and in what capacity?

Twenty seven years ago Air Canada leased Boeing 767's to Polynesian Airlines of Western Samoa, now called just Samoa. The first aircraft was fin # 618 that was flown by Air Canada line pilots, the Chief Pilot being Captain Alan McLeod from the Dorval (YUL) base.

The original flight attendants were from Air Canada, but after flight attendants from Polynesian were trained to Transport Canada standards in Montreal they then acted as cabin attendants. The aircraft flew from Apia in Samoa to Los Angeles (LAX) via Honolulu (HNL) and on the return landed in the Cook Islands before going on to Samoa. The southern route was to Tonga and Auckland (AKL) before terminating at Sydney (SYD). Northbound the flight was via Nadi, Fiji and on to Apia.

With the arrival of the first B-767-300 to the Air Canada fleet in 1993 it was decided that this machine, fin 631 (C-FMWP) would be painted in Polynesian colours and replace 618 as it was the first 300 series and did not fit into the fleet. It was an attractive paint scheme with a large palm tree on the tail large letters reading " POLYNESIAN " and the name "Manu Samoa" painted on the nose. ("Big Samoan").

We were approximately fifteen pilots from the three B-767 bases under direction of "Base Director" Captain Alan McCleod. Our resident engineer was Robert Brown, AME from YVR (later Maintenance Manager).

We all had a lovely time down in Samoa however eventually Polynesian ran into financial difficulties and the lease was cancelled and the aircraft was returned to the line in Canada. The flight home was non-stop, Apia to Toronto (YYZ), a distance of 6,050 nautical miles and took 14 hours. While most of us partied in the back, those who did not take a sip, took turns flying the machine for the long haul by standards of those days. The designated captain for the flight was able to come aft after take off and joined us for a bit as it was over 12 hours before he would return to the cockpit to land.

In the photos are the pilots in Samoan "Lavalavas" the traditional men's dress in Samoa. Alan McCleod is pictured on the bottom of the stairs in front of fin 618 and shown again in front of the engine with Bob Brown on his right, who is not wearing a cap.

F/O Paul Stenner (retired)

Editor's note: Fin # 631 (pictured in this issue's header) is now 27 years old and still active within the Rouge fleet.

 tmb 250 polynesian 03 tmb 250 polynesian 01
 tmb 250 polynesian 04 tmb 250 polynesian 05

Subscriber Aaron Plaxton sends his comments on the Nordair 'Featured Video' article from NL # 1432

My father, Wayne Plaxton was the first Station Manager in Winnipeg (YWG) when Nordair made its first foray out of the East. He later was Station Manager for Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), (YFB) following the strike. When CP bought the company he was, I believe, the first Manager to transfer to a western base, settling until retirement in Calgary (YYC).

I also worked for Nordair, first as a Summer Student in YFB in Cargo / Ramp then becoming full time. I transferred to Toronto (YYZ) when we became Canadian Airlines to Cargo and ended my stint with the company at Vancouver (YVR) where I resigned to another career after 14 years at the company.

Loved all the videos and know many of the people in them. 


Aaron Plaxton

Steve Davis sends this ‚Äď

Thanks for the latest edition of NetLetter #1432, always an enjoyable read.

I'm puzzled by the picture sent in by Peter Brown of his time at building 107, (which I knew well as my LHR employer was also located there).

AC Cargo LHR in which there are twelve personnel pictured but only ten mentioned. Included in the list is a 'Barbara Walters' but there is clearly no female in that picture, only males.

Peter also makes mention of a 'Ray West'. While it is quite possible that he refers to a different Ray West, I do not recognize the Ray West I knew in that picture. I was friendly with Ray West who was an LHR based AC Area Sales Manager around that time and it was Ray who presented me & my wife AC passes to YYZ when we emigrated to Canada in 1974. Perhaps Peter could clarify if he's posted the right picture or if indeed he has another one, given the discrepancies?

I last saw Ray in Toronto around 1976/77 when quite coincidentally we found ourselves walking towards each other on a downtown crosswalk. We had a long chat over a coffee then went our separate ways. I learned from someone on the ramp at YYZ about 20+ years ago that 'my' Ray West had died a couple of years before then. Ray was a great guy and typical of the really colourful characters that made up the airline cargo sales forces at Heathrow in the late sixties & early seventies!

Here's hoping Peter Brown can confirm.


Steve Davis ex Wardair Cargo Sales Manager YYZ

We, at the NetLetter responded to Steve -

We are happy to know that you enjoy our efforts with the NetLetter.

The list of names that Peter mentioned were the people he recalls working at the time in LHR when he worked there.

The group photo is the Air Canada people working on the Cabbage Patch project and, as you point out, does not accurately represent the people listed.

Readers Photos

Submitted Photos

Guy Goodman sends us this -

Greetings to all from snowy YOW.

I have recently come into possession of a couple of first day covers from AC inaugural flights. One is dated December 13, 1965 to celebrate inauguration of Toronto / Freeport (YYZ-FPO). The other is the next day, December 14, 1965 for inauguration of Halifax / Bermuda (YHZ-BDA).

Both envelopes remain sealed but each has a sheet of paper inside. Reading through the envelope with a bright light behind it, each seems to be from R. C. MacInnes, Director of Public Relations and reads as follows - To mark the occasion of Air Canada's inaugural flight Toronto-Freeport [Halifax-Bermuda], I am pleased to send you this commemorative cover.

I imagine many were sent out on that day but who knows how many remain.

I wonder if there any philatelists out there who can tell us whether these have any rarity interest and/or value.

Best regards to all,

Guy Goodman.

tmb 550 first day covers yyz freeport

tmb 550 first day covers yhz bermuda

Remember When

  Remember When

Trev Trower sends his recollections in reference to NL # 1430

What a very interesting newsletter, I had completely forgotten the 'Cabbage Patch' business.

After the incident the pilot, Mickey Found was telling a small group of us what actually happened on that flight and one of the flight attendants told me how he was able to escape unharmed. I believe the DC-8 was fin 813 and wasn't that plane lost on a training flight at Ottawa (YOW)?

(Editor's note: Fin 813 was indeed lost in a training accident at YOW on May 19, 1967).

I seem to remember that when the plane was back in service we were working a trip to London, England (LHR) and my co-worker, F/A B. Kinahan I believe, noticed that the plane was not flying smoothly - every now and then would make an almost imperceptible little wobble which after a while made me feel a little nauseous; what wonderful days those were.

How many will remember when we introduced 'Banquet Service' to our first class passengers. I worked the first DC-8 trip Toronto (YYZ) to Vancouver (YVR) where that service was provided and I was very impressed. A supervisor was on board (Frank St. Hilaire) to ensure our service standards were the highest possible (no pun intended), mind you,  after all those years much of the detail is gone. but what I do recall was that the purser would go to the flight kitchen an extra hour before the flight and check the food and equipment. It wouldn't do to have a 'Beef Wellington' if we didn't have a carving knife to carve the beast.

The menu included consomme, crab meat au gratin, served on a scallop shell, roast pheasant, Turbot, salad, croquembouche, des fruit, cheese. and finishing with coffee and liqueurs, and,  do you remember the days when cigars were offered after dinner in the First Class and a hostess to entertain? Flying first class with Air Canada was very special in those days.
The first class was always a full load and I remember how the passengers were treated. and after the passengers were served their "standing ribs of beef" from the trolley. we would take a moment or two to carve the beef for the pilots.

My goodness, was that really fifty+ years ago? The economy class meal standard was also excellent, a choice of filet mignon or chicken kiev and a third option of fish. The menus were changed often to ensure our frequent flyers would not be offended by a repeat menu.

We could bend over backwards and do flying somersaults, but there was always some-one to tell us and the world that his meal was pre-chewed and semi digested and the reporter who made these comments caused our management a lot of unnecessary work and stress.

I don't travel anymore but I imagine Air Canada has still the finest pilots in the world.

Best wishes,

Trev Trower


Women in Aviation

tmb nina morrisonSubscriber Ed Frazer advises us of the recent passing of good friend Nina Faye Morrison who had a 40 year career with CP Air and Canadian Airlines.

The obituary announcement can be found in this Vancouver Sun article.

Ken Pickford adds:

Ms. Morrison was a well-known flight attendant at CP Air / Canadian. I found the following 1995 CBC interview with of her and one of her colleagues with a similar period of service (both around 40 years).

I think Nina Morrison had just retired and her colleague, Helen Chernoff, mentions that she's retiring later that year. Note while the headline mentions AC, both of them were CP (mentioned near the bottom of the text). Note the CP DC-10 visible through the windows in background (at YVR). One of her sisters was also a CP flight attendant.

The interview can be found here:


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery
tmb 550 horizons classic
Found in the "Horizons" magazine,  issue dated August 1989.

C & SS consolidates service.

tmb edith galBack in 1987, the C&SS (Computer & System Services) branch, anticipating the 1989 expiration of its leased Toronto facility, decided to consolidate its Toronto and Dorval operations into a single data centre, thereby realizing significant savings in software, manpower and facilities costs.

Photo: Data Processing Clerk Edith Gal at work in her new office. 

tmb ray valoisThe new 'open concept' offices for managers, such as this one for Ray Valois, Manager, Telecommunications-East at Gemini, are spacious and quiet. 

Jamaica staff organize product launch.

Our staff in Jamaica recently hosted a product launch for the island's travel agents.

In the photo are (left to right): Franka Hylton, Customer Service Agent; Donet Soares, Senior Customer Service Agent; Joy Schroeter, Customer Service Supervisor; Rilla Stoddart, Senior Customer Service Agent; Leslie Read of Bonanza Tours; Sharon March, Customer Service Agent; Osmond Harry, Manager, Jamaica; Marlene Mayne, Customer Service Agent; Senior Customer Service Agents Laurel Vassall and Sheila Ross and Customer Service Agents Eileen Mahoney and Jerome Davis.

 tmb 550 jamaica staff

TCA Alumni reunion.

The TCA Alumni held its 18th annual reunion and "beach bash" from November 14 to 17, 1989 at the Breckenridge Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Highlights of the four-day gathering included a welcome reception, a breakfast with fashion show and a farewell dinner.

CGTAS reunion.

All retirees now on Air Canada pension who worked on the Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service (CGTAS) Lancastrians between 1943 and May 1947 (when the CGTAS became TCA Atlantic Ltd.) were invited to attend a reunion/dinner on October 11, 1989 at the Toronto Airport Constellation Hotel. Spouses were also welcomed.

(Does anyone have any information to share for this reunion - eds)

Ninety-five year celebration in YOW.

tmb yow staffFive Ottawa employees celebrated service anniversaries and joined together for a photographic souvenir of the event.

They are (from left to right): Customer Sales & Service Agents Norm Bougie (20 years); Laurie Demeule (20 years), Linda Downes (20 years), Sharon Vaillant (20 years) and passenger Service Supervisor, Ron Vincelli (15 years).

Issue dated September 1989.

"Silver Bullet" bites the dust.

tmb dc 9 silver bulletAn Eastern Airlines DC-9, fondly (?) known as the "Silver Bullet", was removed from service on August 14, three months ahead of schedule.

DC-9-31 C-FBKT fin #754 was delivered to Eastern Airlines March 20, 1968 and was leased to Air Canada on May 31, 1988. It was returned to Eastern Airlines and re-registered as N8950E on August 14, 1989.

During its 18 months with Air Canada, the "Silver Bullet" was plagued with technical and mechanical snags. But, despite the performance improvements made by our maintenance crews, the aircraft's on-board galley equipment made it impossible for In-Flight Service to provide the level of service customers have come to expect.

This led to the decision to remove the aircraft from service. The aircraft was leased to Northwest Airlines by Eastern Airlines and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair on November 19, 2006 at Minneapolis (MSP) when hit by a tug vehicle while towing.

For more info, see Wayne's Wings article from NetLetter #1354.

Issue dated February 1990.

First for Bombay.

The first-ever General Sales Agent training course in Bombay took place.

Attending the course were (back row, left to right): R. Pinkerton, K. Prema, L. Lee, A. Malhtora, Z. Shah, S. Shukla, M. Mathur, A. Gandhi, S. Prabhakar and B.P. Dastoor.

Seated left to right are: C. Bornshin, A. Pinto, F. Shettlesworth, S. Mehra and P. Shukla.

tmb 550 bombay staff

First flight for winners.

Customer Care winners and their guests joined Pierre Jeanniot (far left) and Leo Desrochers (far right) on the tarmac in Toulouse shortly after the official ceremony to mark the delivery of Air Canada's first A320.

Our new aircraft was specially equipped with earmuffs and scarf - in anticipation of its first winter in Canada, and the winners joined in the fun by also donning earmuffs and scarves for the occasion.

The next day the group travelled on Fin 201's ferry flight to Montreal. From left to right are: Joslyn DiSilva, Melissa Hancock, Bob Haynes, Peter Peschke (Manager, Sales Development, International ), Barbara Haynes, Jim Trottier, Sylvie Lapointe, Moira and Pierre Juillet, Debbie Dawson, Dave Witter, Ursula Huwyler, Martine Ricard, Fred Huwyler, Jean Ricard, Jan and Dave Anderson, Ken and Ann Dennis, Michael King, Diane and Michael Kelly.

Missing from the photo are: Norm Dawson and Donna Witter.

Editor's note: This A320 (C-FDQQ, fin 201) is the 59th A320 built and is still with AC today and has passed 30 years of service. It is among the five oldest A320's still flying.

tmb 550 first flight winners


CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CP Air Banner

Many interesting light twin engine aircraft were always coming and going at Edmonton.

Typical was the Barkley-Grow, a handful of which came to Canada in 1940, then had a long, useful career.

tmb cf bmq Barkley Grow yvrLeslie Corness took many lovely Barkley-Grow photos in black & white and colour at Edmonton, but this view he shot at Vancouver, just as CF-BQM was about to be launched.

Look at all the nifty content in this great action photo. CF-BQM, then with Canadian Pacific Airlines, served many operators beginning with Mackenzie Air Service, one of about ten small northern bush operators acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1940's and merged in 1942 to create Canadian Pacific Airlines.

It ended as a fish hauler with Pete Lazarenko's Winnipeg-based Northland Airlines, flying at as late as 1964.

It resides today with The Hangar Flight Museum (formerly the Aero Space Museum of Calgary).

(Source: via Larry Milberry / CANAV Books)

Featured Video

 Featured Video(s)

Our featured video is posted by Mraviationguy of Airbus Belugas landing and taking off from Hawarden Airport in Flintshire, Wales and southwest of the English city of Chester.

The video opens with a very interesting crosswind landing.

tmb 550 beluga video

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Mothballed Widebodies Pressed Into Domestic Service.

tmb mothballed widebodiesDue to the COVID-19 situation, airlines that have curtailed long-haul service to Asia and Europe because of the virus may be using some of the orphaned widebody aircraft on domestic routes to try and blunt the economic impact of the situation. According to USA Today, routes normally served by single-aisle aircraft are getting Boeing 777's and 787's.

Bean counters are busy doing the math to see where those aircraft, decked out with new entertainment systems and better cabin environments, might work more efficiently on the milk runs that make up the majority of flights.

Parking a $400 million aircraft like a new B-777 is expensive and in the complex cost structure of airlines it can sometimes be less expensive to fly a big airplane with empty seats than to let it sit idle as a much less expensive B-737 or A320 flies full.

An analysis by the newspaper showed American, Delta and United have all increased the use of intercontinental aircraft on two- to four-hour domestic routes. United will fly widebodies on almost 2700 domestic flights in April, up 54 percent over April of 2019, while American will boost their use by 37 percent and Delta will increase their domestic use by 73 percent.


Abandoned 1967 Hawker Siddeley Trident - Belfast, Northern Ireland

tmb hawker siddeleyJust out of sight of the planes still using the busy tarmacs of  Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland lies one of the most forlorn plane wrecks in the United Kingdom.

This 1967 Hawker Siddeley Trident passenger plane has been abandoned on the airport's fringes, and left to the ravages of time. 

(Source: MicroSoft News, November 6, 2019)

This cylinder of sadness once serviced British Airways, and its royal blue coating still remains relatively bright, despite decades upon decades of neglect.

Thanks to the famously rainy climate of the Emerald Isle, plenty of moss is thriving all across the shell of the plane, thoroughly frosting it in eerie stains of green.

(Source: Instagram/irish aviation)

Editor's note by Ken Pickford:

Research indicates that aircraft is the former British Airways Trident 2E G-AVFE, delivered to predecessor British European Airways in 1968 and retired by British Airways in 1985, and subsequently used as a fire trainer at Belfast airport.

Abandoned airports - Kal Tak - Hong Kong.

Kai Tak International was Hong Kong’s main airport from 1925 to 1998, when it closed and all traffic moved to the new Hong Kong International Airport, 30 miles to the west.

Surrounded by mountains and buildings, it was one of the world’s most notorious for take-offs and landings, especially on the famous track 13, since the aircraft had to make a turn of 90 or even 180 degrees.

tmb 550 kai tek airport


Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articles

Ed Force One

It seems to be only a matter of time before the legendary B-747 disappears from the skies. There will be many more stories left to tell about this iconic aircraft as the legend grows.

One such story is when Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of the band ‚ÄėIron Maiden‚Äô took controls of a B-747, leased for a world tour in 2016, and redefined the term ‚ÄėFront Man‚Äô.

The band had dubbed its leased touring aircraft ‚ÄėEd Force One‚Äô (for the band‚Äôs mascot, Eddie) for several tours and Dickinson, an accomplished pilot, first took controls of a B757-200 for their ‚ÄėBack in Time‚Äô tour in 2008.

By 2016, for the ‚ÄėBook of Souls‚Äô tour, the band needed a larger aircraft with more range to accommodate the amount of equipment that had to be moved. This may have been very economical compared to leasing one aircraft for the band and crew and another one for the equipment, besides, they already had their own pilot.

The leased B747-400 was originally delivered to Air France (as F-GITH) in 2003 and was removed from service in October 2015. It was acquired by Air Atlantic Icelandic (as TF-AAK) in November 2015 and leased to Iron Maiden from February to June 2016.

It has been leased to Saudi Arabian Airlines since August 2016 where it is still used for passenger service.

Additional References:

'Ed Force One' at Wikipedia


you tube linklinks below

What happened to the Iron Maiden B-747 at Simple Flying

Aircraft tour video posted on the Iron Maiden YouTube channel

tmb 550 ed force one

 'Ed Force One' on approach at YYZ - Pearson International 
Photo by BriYYZ


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips

Terry BakerTerry Baker, co-founder of the NetLetter scours the internet for aviation related Trivia and Travel Tips for you, our readers, to peruse.

Alcock and Brown return:

Their statue has traveled almost as far over the decades as the intrepid aviators themselves, but Alcock and Brown have now landed for good at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey, England, where the aircraft that carried them across the Atlantic Ocean was built.

A year alter the centenary of their non-stop flight, the sculpture was unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent, royal patron of the museum, in front of an audience of local dignitaries and family including the niece and nephew of Sir John Alcock.

Originally situated in the old north side terminal at Heathrow Airport it was moved to the central area, then the now defunct visitors' centre, and finally the Heathrow academy. Last year, it went to the west of Ireland to mark the centenary.

(Source: Flight International magazine issue March 3. 2020)



tmb 264 cartoon 1434Our cartoon is by Dave Mathias and appeared in "Between Ourselves" magazine issued December 1963.

The caption reads "Mr. Finley, sales representative, Trans Parent Air Lines to see you , Sir John!". 


The NetLetter Team
 Wayne Albertson, Ken Pickford & Terry Baker

Wayne Albertson, Ken Pickford & Terry Baker
Richmond, British Columbia - December 2019
(Bob Sheppard was not available for the photograph)

Vesta Stevenson Alan Rust

We wish to honour the memories of
Vesta Stevenson and Alan Rust.
They remain a part of every edition published.

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