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Subject: [The NetLetter] NetLetter nr 649 Jan 2/02 - The NetLetter
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 14:29:14 -0800
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T H E _| TCA |_
_|\| AIR |/|_
N E T L E T T E R > CANADA <
( For retirees of the new Air Canada family)
Number 649, Jan 2nd, 2002. We first published in October 1995
Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson - Co-pilot - Terry Baker
. Gord Girvin sent us this enquiry
Subject: Retiree Listings
Reference letter # 647 and the item about retiree flight registrations.
The person who was part of the Gemini group upon retirement has
colleagues from other airlines. I was with Nordair and did not choose
the company pension plan, so subsequently I was not in the CAIL plan or
the AC plan either. I have had a couple of 'go-arounds' with various
employee people on this subject and found that the reason they will not
let persons who are not on the retirement payroll. list by computer, use
voice recognition, or self-write tickets is because they had many
problems collecting the money after the flight coupons had been
processed, even involving collection agencies and large amounts of
money. While I recognize that this could be a major problem I think
there is a logical solution. While discussing this situation with
another person in the same situation, he made a suggestion that I think
is very workable. He said why not file a credit card number with the
company and each time a person flies and the coupons are returned to
accounting they simply deduct the amount from the credit card account. I
cannot see why this system would not work. The credit card system could
be optional, in that anyone who is satisfied with the current
registration situation would not be required to go that route. In the
interests of fairness to all retirees I hope that someone from the
Pionairs or other group that represents retirees in discussions with the
company will read this and institute some action. Merry Xmas to all
To which Fraser O'Shaughnessy - National President Pionairs responded -
Gordon, I have been attempting to rectify the Gemini situation for the past
2 years and had been assured that the solution would be presented by
Industry Travel at our AGM in May 2001. The integration of Canadian retirees
and their "60/70 group" presented some similar and some unique problems to
Industry Travel who decided to take an overall look at the problems and
find an integrated solution to them. Your suggestion is exactly what we had
proposed for the AC Gemini group and I believe that it will be a part of the
proposed Pass Improvement Program that Mr. Robert Petryk, Director, People
Services, will present to AC Executive shortly requesting funds for
implementation. I suggest that Industry Travel could solidify some of the
costs for the PI Program by implementing our suggestion for a short type-trial
utilizing the Gemini personnel. We are advocating
that, if the solution to the common problem is implemented, the AC
Gemini retirees should be processed first as they are the simplest
to do. Of course, this is an Industry Travel decision.
(Please, any comments should be directed through the Air Canada Pionairs - eds)
" ' "
. We recently welcomed some new readers, and thought that you might like to
know where they worked -
Tom Dunsmore retired Air Canada Station Attendant lives in Mississauga, ON
Eric Scher, retired Station Manager CPAir, (31 years).
Odette Gagnon retired Assistant Analyst ;iving in Montreal, QC
Joan Saunderson retired from Air Canada in '78. Joan was Herb Seagram's
in PVM and lives in Beaconsfield, PQ.
Robin Hart retired CAIL Captain resides in Vancouver, BC
John Gray started with Air Canada in Nov 69 and retired last summer after
out-sourced in 1994. John got in 25 years.
Stella Milo retired Air Canada Manager, Uniform Programs lives in Calgary, AB
Jeannie Lindo retired Air Canada Message Edit Manager lives in Toronto, ON
" ' "
. Keith Rhodes sends us this memory -
Subject: DC-9 Retirment
Your article about the impending retirement of the DC-9 Fleet brings back a few
memories. I would be interested to know the fin numbers of the last few.
I flew on the first one , fin 702, and I remember commenting that passengers
should be paid to sit in the last two rows because of the noise.
Concerning other leases, I seem to remember another lease, during Expo 67, of a
114 seat version - whose was that?
The DC-9-32F freighter was a scary plane for loading - particularly when pallet
weights in Kilos in the front position were entered as Pounds in the load plan,
so that the aircraft could not rotate for take-off.
Keith Rhodes, ex Chief, Load Control
" ' "
. From the RAPCAN eMailNews issued by Duane Frerichs -
From: B McCormack
Subject: Buck Buchanan
NORTH STAR Ghosts:
This is not necessarily a story about a North Star, but rather one of what
happened one night in the fall of 1960 on board a North Star freighter.
I was flying as 1st officer for “Buck” Buchanan between Vancouver and
Calgary. We were approaching Turner Valley, the point at which we usually
started our descent. Buck had allowed me to fly this first leg and I
decided I had better make a trip to the john before we got too busy. I
handed control over to the Captain and prepared to go back into the cabin.
I pulled the mechanical release lever, slid my seat back and then reached
up to turn on the cabin lights so I could see my way back to the washroom
which was located at the very rear of the cargo cabin. But I hesitated and
then decided to leave the lights off and I reached into my flight bag and
lifted out my flashlight.
The reason for my decision regarding the lights was a story I had heard
some months earlier. A first officer had left the flight deck for the
washroom with the cabin lights on, but while he was back there the Captain
had engaged the autopilot, turned the lights off, left his seat and hid
behind a crated coffin and body being transported home. When the other
pilot returned, groping his way in the dark, and as he passed the
container, the Captain stepped from behind it and wordlessly reached out
and rested his hand on the other pilots shoulder.
Awful. I recalled that we had boarded a similar container destined to
Calgary and decided to provide my own light. Just in case.
When I finished my chore I started back through the pitch black tube called
the fuselage filled with cargo and as I passed the container I mentioned,
my curiosity caused me to turn my light up to it. I noticed there was a tag
on the side that I guessed probably had the individual’s name on it. I
immediately turned my light away because I had no desire to put definition
to it, name or gender. I thought it would be too personal and didn’t want
to see it.
I climbed through the crash restraining web, pulled the curtain aside
stepping up on to the flight deck, closed the curtain behind me and set
myself up in my seat again, “ I have control” I said to Buck and began to
prepare myself for the descent. “Do you remember” I asked him, “the story
of the F/O”…. and then recounted the story of the lights out happening. He
certainly did and in fact knew both pilots quite well. The First Officer
had been more than a little frightened and in fact required some time off
and professional counselling. I
told him that because of that story I had taken my own light and then
mentioned how it had appeared that the crate had an individual’s name on
it, which I didn’t wish to read. It was located just behind our curtain and
I wouldn’t be too comfortable if it had any dimensions.
We agreed that the other crew’s story was pretty scary and just a little
stupid. We both fell silent contemplating the whole episode and I began the
descent. I disconnected the autopilot, began to pull the throttles back
causing us to surge foreword into our seat belts as the four large
propellers stopped pulling us and began to drag like large paddles in the
supporting air. I pushed the nose down with the control wheel in order to
maintain our airspeed, pulled back farther on the throttles and what had
been a pleasant reassuring roar of the Rolls Royce Merlin engines became
almost silence except for the rushing air over the fuselage.
We continued our thoughts in almost silent darkness when directly behind
us, behind the curtain and restraining net came a loud THUMP…Thump.. thump.
A shot of fright went up my back, caused the hair on my neck to stand up
and I slowly turned my gaze over toward the Captain looking for some
explanation. His head was slowly rotating towards me, his eyes noticeably
wider. “What was that?”
We waited for a few moments to find out whether there would be any other
sounds and then as a good F/O does, I volunteered to “have a look.” This
time I put all the lights on and slowly, fearfully slid the curtain open.
My eyes went immediately to the crated coffin, tag and all [I don’t know
what I expected to see], then down the walkway to the back of the cabin,
then I lowered my gaze down to the aluminium floor. There it was lying just
ahead of the step, it was a… the…. fire extinguisher?! The large metal
cased extinguisher normally mounted on the wall above, had dislodged during
the deceleration and bounced on the floor. What a relief, our laughter was
just a little forced.
We were quite busy over the next 30 minutes, a welcome distraction, and our
thoughts were dominated by our communication with Air traffic control,
repeating clearances, calculating our descent rate and adjusting it to
allow us to continue with minimal power up and power downs, planning for
the landing runway, tuning in radios on the approach frequencies, flap
selections, cockpit check, gear down and then the landing and taxi into the
I have been putting together some anecdotes and short adventures I
experienced over my 40 years with TCA/AC and now that we have heard from
Capt. Buchanan I will pass one on that involves him.
" ' "
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" ' "
. From B McCormack
A bit of trivia, but I seem to recall that when my father was a machinist
in Winnipeg and worked at Brandon Avenue and other locations in the 40's,
the company was called Canadian Airways.
" ' "
. From the YYZNEWS issued by Brian Dunn -
by Tom Kim at YYZ Dec 31/01
The end of an era has come for another chapter in AC history. Today
is the last DC9 operating day, and they will be greatly missed. I
remember the days when I was growing up, the AC DC9s were the most
common acft at YYZ for good 15 years or so!! Over the years, I've
photographed over 50 different AC DC9s out of some over 60 they once
operated!! Good bye to an old friend: 1966- 2002.
" ' "
In May 1972 Air Canada served champagne and caviar all the way in first
in the upper deck lounges of the three B747 aircraft with lounge seating and a
marble-like dance floor. Special hostesses and music by cassette.
" ' "
. Terry's travel tips.
The Perfect Combo Ski And Save On The Slopes Of
Voted one of the most exciting mountain resorts in the world
you can now test your finesse on the slopes of Whistler-Blackcomb
at a fraction of the cost. Sound interesting? Employee Travel
in Vancouver has tickets for sale for you and your family
tickets are available to Air Canada and Air Canada Regional employees. Check
out the savings: Adult $55, youth (13-18)
$40 and child (7-12) $30. Please pay by cheque or money order
and pick up your tickets at the office on Monday, Wednesday
or Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy great savings
and have fun!
" ' "
Wake Up Call It Takes All Kinds!
According to the Birmingham News,
Scott Bender filed a lawsuit against U.S. Airways in October,
charging that a crew on a February flight from North Carolina
had closed up the plane that was parked at a gate
in Birmingham, Ala., and left him sleeping in his seat.
Bender said he deserves some money from
the airline because when he woke up, it was pitch black,
and he thought for a few seconds that he was dead.
" ' "
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