Vesta's Jump Seat
Vesta StevensonWhy not allow the NetLetter be your platform, and opportunity, to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC etal. and share your experiences with us!

In October 1995 Terry and I and with Alan
after months of putting our various communication knowledge together finally sent our first NetLetter to a selected number of Air Canada retirees like ourselves. And here we are still together 15 years later and with 1,000 plus issues and over 4,500+ loyal readers with some of them also being dedicated contributors to our credit and we are still going on strongly.

This is what the very first issue looked like.
This communication is an attempt by two Pionairs, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker to establish a 'netletter' of interest to, principally, Pionairs who have email addresses. As Pionairs, our only contact for information is through the company newsletter - Horizons - and the 1-800 number for CIC daily info, which seems to refer us to various CIC pages for which we have no access. The contents of our 'netletter' can be anything which is considered of interest to ex Air Canada types, permanent employees and relatives.
Subjects can be information on good accommodations, inexpensive trips or, maybe, someone you may have lost contact with. This 'netletter' is not sponsored by the executive of Air Canada Pionairs,
but is intended to make use of the new technology to dispense information which may be of interest.
We welcome comments and information - non controversial - which can be included in subsequent 'netletter's, but NOT advertising.

Here goes ...

. Reminder - Single status retirees must nominate their travel partner
for 1996 by completing and returning the Travel Entitlement form by
Oct 16 1995.

. Industry Travel announces that, effective Oct 1/95,  Revenue Canada will be implementing the Aviation Travel Tax upon the service charge for passes. Details on how this will be applied will be advised through Horizons. Airlines in Canada are vigorously opposing this tax.

. Effective Oct 1/95, K.L.M. are no longer part of the MEDTA system,
therefore ID50% and ID90% tickets will no longer be issued until a new agreement is negotiated. Tickets issued prior to Oct 1/95 will be

. New Non-revenue dress code - effective Oct 1/95. Air Canada will adopt a more casual dress code for its non-revenue and reduced rate (ID) customers in order to have a better balance with the attire worn by many of the revenue customers. For travel in Executive class, men will no longer be required to wear either a jacket or tie, and women are no longer required to wear either stockings or hosiery. Attire in Executive class should be in the mode of casual business. That means clean jeans can be worn in Hospitality, but don't expect to be upgraded!
This now makes it extremely difficult to spot fellow 'cons' who may have a better priority that you!

. The Travel Partner program consists of SPACE AVAILABLE, HOSPITALITY class tickets which can be used on any AIR CANADA routes ONLY. This excludes the use on either AC Connector, Continental or code-sharing partners.

. A BBS operating in the YVR area called ACRA Airlines BBS can be
contacted on 1-604-541-1878, this BBS is run by an Air Canada employee and has excellent information available including the latest Air Canada flight schedule which can be downloaded.

. The Vancouver Island Pionairs fall luncheon

Place: Princess Mary Restaurant, 358 Harbour, Victoria
Date:  Tuesday October 24th 1995
Time:  Cocktails 11.30 am  Buffet 12.30 pm
Price: $15.50 per person by October 16th 1995
Cheques payable to Air Canada Pionairs
Mail:  c/o Saville Hambleton
1657 Barrett Drive, Sidney, BC, V8L 4Z1

. That's it for this time, please we need your input, comments and email addresses of any others interested  to Vesta Stevenson email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Old addresses now) Terry Baker... email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Old addresses now)

.                 GREETINGS                                          .
.                      FROM                                          .
.                         BEAUTIFUL B.C. CANADA                      .

Quarter Century in Aviation Club - Vancouver

The October scheduled meeting of the club is on Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

The club includes airline employees from all areas of aviation meeting as friends to share their experiences and memories.

If you wish to join the club, you must have 25 years in aviation
(any airline, any job) and the membership fees are $15/year.

Guests are welcome, you are not required to join the first time you attend.

When: October 20, 2009, Social - 17:00 hours, Dinner - 18:00 hours
Dinner: Chicken, Schnitzel and Pumpkin pie, and coffee (buffet style) is sincluded.t

Cost: The cost is $20 per person including tips and taxes. Beer, wine is extra.

Where: The Austrian Vancouver Club, 5851 Westminster Highway, Richmond.B.C.

Guest Speaker: Mr. John Lovelace of "Wings Over Canada"
Air Canada News

Air CanadaLufthansa Technik has been awarded a 10 year contract for Total Component Support for (6)B777-200LR and (16)B777-300ER aircraft.(Source SpeedNews Oct 2/09)
TCA/AC People Gallery
Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier "Horizons", should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

In the August edition of the monthly newsletter issued by the Pionair District of the United Kingdom including Western Europe was this article which we thought would be of interest -

Gordie Aitchison has kindly written the following article in our series of reminiscences.

I joined TCA on 4th November 1947 at the back end of a large staff expansion TCA had been operating 8-seater Lancastrians since 1943 as the Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service, but from June 1947 had been operating 40-seater North Stars albeit M1s on loan from the RCAF. This required a vast increase in the number of staff needed to handle the extra capacity and while from inception nearly all the staff had been Canadians from early 1947 the policy was to repatriate most of the Canadians and take on local staff.

Jack Ross
. retired RCAF Wing Commander. was the Prestwick Station Manager in November 1947. Most of the Canadian staff had gone home by this time leaving only the Maintenance staff which included Don McNaughton, Don Tuttle and at least one other. Gordie Ghent and Randy Conan were the sole remnants of Flight Dispatch which had recently moved to Shannon. The only others were Ian Edwards. a likeable Newfie who was Passenger Agent in charge and Jack Ross's right-hand man. Keith Marshall. Station Clerk and Bob Tribe, weight and balance agent. Mr Ross's policy was to recruit ex-service personnel only and on 4th November. 1947. I and three others were taken on as Passenger Agents at £8 per week. Ken Crinkley, like myself, was ex-Fleet Air. Arm aircrew. Ian McManus was ex-Major Indian Army and there was another army chap who soon decided the air line business was not for him. We were joining a staff who were relatively new to the job. Most of them having been taken on not too long before June of that year. The staff we were joining included Marion McDonald. Mr Ross's secretary Ellen Thom a steno in the General Office and Jimmy Douglas storeman who had been employed since 1943. The more recently hired staff included passenger agents Ernie Lapham. RAF Armament Officer Johnnie Johnston RAF flying Instructor Al Gallacher. Transport Command pilot. Robbie Robertson. ex-RAF pilot. John Clowes. ex-army major: Bob Prentice. ex-RAF and Ian Gardner. ex-RAF pilot. Davy Davidson was the oldest of the group and a real stalwart who seemed to know the answer to everything and who seemed to concentrate on weight balance and ramp handling of the aircraft. There were also two girls. Jean Brown and Joan MacFarlane. university graduates. who were classified as Receptionists and whose job was to look after the passengers' welfare.

With delays extremely common (up to 2 days was not unknown) and passengers piling up, their job at times was no sinecure. Commissary was headed by Ray George with Johnny Macrae, Matt Miller.  Lancaster pilot, and Mary Cunningham. Bill Mcelland. ex-RAF and Jim Syme. ex-army were the cargo boys although they were still then officially employed and paid by Canadian National Express. The reservations office was also at that time based in a hut on the airport and their staff included Don MacLean. ex-RN MTBs and Archie Murphy. ex-RAF. assisted by girls whose names now fail me. Two more come to mind, one being the Passenger Sales Manager for Scotland who was David Bryce Buchanan. ex-Fleet Air Arm pilot (who in time. of course. became VP Europe) The other last but by no means least was Jimmy Farquahar our driver and a character who could make just about anything and repair just about anything, and was a most valuable and willing older man.

TCA's North Star M2s had not been due for delivery until June 1948 while as early as 1946 other transatlantic airlines had already been operating with DC4s and Constellations. These were impossible competitors for TCA's Lancastrians so to meet this it was decided at very high level that TCA would be loaned the first 6 RCAF M1s in June 1947 until the M2s came along a year later. The Ml was really only a Merlin-engined DC4 while the M2 was pressurized and had square windows which was then a very unique feature. For a year TCA operated these M1s and at the end of that year, returned 5 of them to the RCAF having lost one in a landing accident at Halifax which although catching fire, resulted in no loss of life and an award to the Purser (Jackie Trigg?) for his gallant lifesaving efforts.

prestwickTo complement this article, we have this photo from "Between Ourselves" issued MidSummer 1952. The staff at Prestwick had a get-together to mark Traffic Rep Arch Murphy's fifth anniversary with TCA and took the opportunity to have this group photo taken. At back from left to right: Robbie Robertson, Jean Macfarlane, Ian Gardner, Henry Thow, Jean Brown Gil Paton, Kay Russell, Joyce Young and Gillian Calderhead.. Front from left to right:  Arch Murphy, Eve Hunter, Crawford Burns, Jenny White!ock and John Clawes.

And from the issue dated April 1949 we have these two photos - Two TCA reception clerks left to right Joan McFarlane and Jean Brown. and from left to right Joyce Young, Don McLean, Chris Agnew and Eve Hunter.

This n That.

The 'Father of Flight' still living in 1851
With over 1.7 million inhabitants, Yorkshire, U.K., is the largest of the new 1851 census counties.

George CayleySir George Cayley
, an engineer considered among the most significant figures in aviation history, was one of Yorkshire's most famous residents at the time. He discovered the four aerodynamic forces of flight - weight, lift, drag, and thrust - which form the basis for the design of modern planes. He also designed the first glider to successfully carry a human being; replicas of which have been built and flown by modern aviation enthusiasts, including Sir Richard Branson.

Cayley served as MP for Scarborough for the Whig party between 1832 and 1835 and he helped found the Royal Polytechnic Institution, which survives today as the University of Westminster.

On census night in 1851 we find him at Brompton Hall, the Scarborough family home and estate he inherited from his father. His wife Lady Cayley, their son, their daughter-in-law, two granddaughters and no fewer than 12 servants are listed alongside him.    
Alan's Space
Alan Rust
Note: The following are not my comments, but taken from email we recently received.

- "This is awesome to watch - truly amazing. I often wonder why air traffic control did not scramble some fighter jets when they saw all of these planes veering off their flight plan at the same time; 9-11 FLIGHT PATHS.

I have never seen this before. Note that the two jets that hit the World Trade Center actually crossed enroute.

I wonder if the original plan was to have them all strike their targets at the same time? And they did it all with U.S. aircraft, US flight schools, and a few box cutters."

Response from Air Traffic Controller: Amazing alright, would like to see all traffic depicted at the same time. The collision avoidance systems would be busy, as I would expect the terrorist controlled aircraft must have crossed many flight paths. Still an incredible accomplishment knowing the end result. I can not imagine anyone being that brain washed and at the same time accomplish such a complicated task in cold blood.

One possibility is the airspace controlled by each sector or workstation are  designated in two ways. Geographic boundaries and in addition by altitude. For example I may be controlling traffic from 10,000ft to 25,000ft in a sector which lies above your airspace which is designated from the ground to 9,000ft. Controllers enable altitude filters so they don't have to see all data in adjacent sectors as it confuses the picture of aircraft in your altitude strata.The altitude filter doesn't erase all data but reduces  the targets to a symbol which indicates it is not in your airspace, and naturally if the terrorists had switched off part of the transponder system they would not have shown up as controlled aircraft at all.  The 9/11 Commission report is now available online. Data on each flight and each segment as it unfolded is included. Google 9/11. You will note they picked aircraft that carried a lot of fuel.

Terry's Note: You may notice that the level 9,000 to 10,000 is not covered, I asked this question, and this level is where the controllers pass off flights and they can both see the screen at the same time.

Follow this link for the full story

Click on the arrows in the right column to the left of  each flight...The one that shows them all in action is most interesting. It reveals how well the plan had been developed, barring departure delays.

911 Flights

Click on image for flight path similation
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
Canadian AirwaysOver the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier in-house magazines, should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

From the "Info Canadi>n" magazine
Issue dated August 29th 1991

expressHere we have this photo of Eva Prytula and Pat Parsons at the
Vancouver Group Express office.

No, the bridge is not for sale!
This is Keith Pope's introduction to London, England taking up his new position as General Manager UK. His processor is Alan Tremblay on the right who is returning to Canada.

Issue dated August 15th 1991

Canadian announced the sale of five A310-300 aircraft to Polaris Aircraft Leasing Corp of San Fransico. Three delivered this month, one next month and the third in December. These aircraft have been leased to Kuwait Airways and Canadian will perform the maintenance and flight crew training. Canadian also intends to sell two B767-300ER due for delivery next year.

October 27th, Canadian entered into a code sharing agreement with Varig of Brazil.

In May Marg Scott an Aircraft Cleaner at Vancouver discovered $10,000 cash on board a Canadian flight from Hong Kong. Here she receives a $100 certificate for her honesty presented by Duncan Watson, Senior Supervisor Cabin Services.

honestyLast year Marg found $25,000 on a Cathy Pacific flight arriving from Hong Kong, also on another occasion she found a VCR and a camcorder. (We wonder of she plays the lotteries! - eds)

Readers Feedback

Alan Dakin has sent us some information and photos to pass along -
My father Norman worked as a mechanic in the Tire & Finishing shop from August 18, 1948 and retired on August 30, 1974 after 25 years & 11 months of service with both T.C.A. & Air Canada.

Worked in the old tire shop on the second floor near the terminal building. They had to carry the tires & brakes upstairs until the new Maintenance Base was build in the late 1950's and was officially opened in December 1960.

Here we have some photos of the official opening that Alan sent us.


They then moved to the new modern and up to date tire shop with more room & up to date equipment. The atmosphere and working conditions were so much better in the new building and everything was on the same level. My father enjoyed working for TCA/Air Canada and took the (4) of us back home to England quite often.  My Mother, sister & myself enjoyed going home even though I didn't remember too much as I was only 5 years old when we came to Canada In August 8, 1948. My sister Carol (now deceased) was born here in Montreal in 1951. We flew on North Star, Super Constellation & Douglas DC-8's back home stopping in Shannon, Ireland, then on to Heathrow.

I remember going with my father to work sometimes on Saturday when he worked overtime helping out whenever I could. In those days everybody knew everyone and there was a friendly atmosphere then. I also remember driving with my Dad when there was no Cote de Liesse just fields and no homes or factories.  Believe me it was a bumpy ride. I used to go and see the old TCA planes in the hangar often. Remembering the Viscount, Vanguard, before the jets took over DC-8, DC-9, 727 all the way up to the jumbos 747. I also saw the Lockheed 10A a few times in the hangar at the base.

ndakinI have photos of it in the 25th Anniversary Logo with my father beside it.

Seeing that my Dad was a mechanic he often worked on his car and built our garage and sun porch on our house that he bought in May 1949 in Lachine, Quebec. He was also handy with tools and had a workshop in the basement where he spent many evenings & weekends building things like bookcases, stereo cabinets etc.

Before that, during the second world war he served with the British Air Force and was stationed in different parts of the world. He was in England, Canada, USA, Caribbean & Malta. I remember him always telling me a story about the aircraft carrier "The Wasp" that he was on in 1942 one week before it was sunk by the Japs.  He also worked on the Spitfire aircraft. I can remember when we first came to Montreal and lived in the East end for (9) months before moving to a new house in Lachine we walked everywhere or took the streetcar.

We did not have a car until mid-1950's. My father was on the Board of Directors of the Airport Credit Union as a Loan Officer for a number of years. Also my father was a avid amateur photographer a hobby that he enjoyed. My Father retired in August 1974.

Here is his plaque from the company and pins. He passed away on June 20, 1991.


We have these photos of some Tire shop employees in the '60's G.Quesnel, Johnny Douville, Charlie Gold, Jor Cool and a group of three including Norm Dakin and John Chambers.
(Alan has also sent his bio which we will have next time - eds)



Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips
Terry BakerWith the Canada Line from Downtown Vancouver to the airport, those living on Vancouver Island have another alternate route to Vancouver Int'l Airport.

On a ferry from Monday thru Thursday, except holidays, senior BC residents travel free. Then take the 257 bus from Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal, get the senior (concession) rate of ca$1.75, get a transfer ticket, and hop on the Canada Line from downtown to the airport.

"JP" has posted this information on the ACFamily Forum under
LHR Hotel accommodation -

I have just returned from a trip to the UK.
I stayed almost exclusively at Travelodge hotels in LHR, Bicester, Birmingham and Gatwick. I can vouch for the "good value" of this accommodation.

There is only one problem if you use their "Super Saver" rate and that is there is no refund for unused accommodation but you can change the dates at the same hotel for a fee of £5.00.

I managed to secure a Super Saver rate at the Travelodge LHR (on the Bath Road) for £39.00 plus breakfast £5 (buffet style, cooked breakfast, all you can eat). Overall, I found this and the other properties to be of excellent value.

Here is the sixth and final segment of a tour of north and southern Ireland as a package tour with Trafalgar coach lines -


May 2nd thru May 13th., 2009

Wednesday May 13th

Today, after breakfast, which Dawn skipped as she was not feeling to good, we say our last goodbyes, exchange email addresses, and take our coach to the airport. By now Dawn felt a lot better. There we said farewell to our driver, David, and our tour
manager, Bernard. We had a couple of hours before our flight, so retired to a café in the terminal with another couple who had a few hours before their flight, and we discussed all sorts of things, from home, life to our recently completed tour.

We had no trouble with our carry-on as we had decided to check them both right through to Vancouver. The flight was the short one back to Amsterdam and was only half full.

While shopping in both north and south Ireland, some stores will convert your expense, when using a credit card, into Canadian funds.

On arrival at Amsterdam gate D, we had just 25 minutes to get to our next gate F, which was quite a trek, as we remembered from our arrival over a week ago. We made the gate in good time, but they did not start the check in until 30 minutes after the posted time. The delay was due to the usual security check of the chairs and accoutrements in the lounge, and then everyone had to go through the security check. Our full  flight on the MD11 to Vancouver was just excellent, comfortable. Lunch was Shepherd pie on a bed of rice and a salad. Mid afternoon we were served with an ice cream and, just before our arrival at Vancouver, we were served with a salad and hot carrot soup the first time we have ever been served hot soup on an aircraft.

Upon arrival at Vancouver, we were streamed, as Canadian passport holders, into a new system where the passport was scanned by a machine similar to the check in kiosks, and then the customs form was inserted and returned with the names printed on it from the passport, and that magical number. All very simple, and we proceeded direct to the carousel for our luggage. The new arrangement can be confusing to the first timer and the elderly. This system will replace the normal "interview" by an immigration/customs officer in time for the 2010 Olympics,.

Our luggage arrived safely, and we left the customs hall and called for our jitney to the Accent hotel where we had an interline rate of ca$65.00 we had decided to overnight as we had been traveling for many hours. As we had been well fed on the flight, all we wanted was tea as take out from the adjoining Pancake restaurant. We checked  the flight availability for Vancouver to Nanaimo on Jazz, and there was space.

Thursday May 14th.
We got the 07:00 jitney to the airport after getting our boarding passes from the kiosk in the motel foyer. At the airport we had a muffin and tea from Timmies, and went down to the gate for our flight, after calling our neighbour who promised to collect us from Nanaimo airport, where we arrived at 10:00.

It was good to get back home after an excellent and memorable trip to Ireland, and it only rained twice - the first time was three days, and the second four days, but the last three days were in glorious sunshine.

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