Conclusion of the story from NetLetter #1325 and 1326 sent by Betty Draper, more information of the early days in aviation in Canada.

No Cachets Used.
As the flight was purely experimental, no cachets were stamped on the covers. First flight covers may be expected when the service proper opens. A few minutes before 10 o'clock, Pilot Seagram reported the machine riding the eastern leg of the Regina radio range, and he was advised of the fog over Regina. "Believe fog is purely local condition. We'll carry on flight course." came the crackling reply. Breaking into the ether waves officers of the meteorological office, busy as bees assembling weather data, reported conditions over Regina, Lethbridge, Maple Creek with visibility over Regina limited to one-quarter of a mile.

As the machine neared the city, Dispatcher Williamson was in telephone communication with Moose Jaw arranging for delivery of gas and oil at that point, and obtaining data on condition of  the Moose Jaw field, which has no runways and was covered in spots by a foot of snow, in case the crew continued to Moose Jaw.

Mile above Prairies
Flying at 8,000 feet, the machine passed over the city with a muffled roar, and dispatcher Williamson, standing out on the field with a extension phone, reported: "You are directly north of the airport.",

 "The fog is spotty. We can see Moose Jaw. Will hang around up here for 10 or 15 minutes," came the reply.

At 11:20 a.m., another report came from overhead. "Fog 12 foot thick. We are going west." The roar of the big Lockheed Electra died away as orders came from Winnipeg for the machine to land at Moose Jaw if Regina's fog did not clear, but a few minutes later, the pilots reported they were going to "Try for a landing." the machine roared back and crossed over the field at 500 feet.

Lost again in the fog, it could be heard to circle the city, then the roar died away and the machine nosed out of a thick ground fog and taxied to the hangar. Smiling, the youthful pilots, in business suits, stepped out to report, unloaded their mail, obtained weather reports, and roared westward again after a 15 minute stop. Conditions cleared over Regina before the machine left and weather at Maple Creek and Lethbridge was reported good

New York Air Service Speeded.
Air mail service from Regina to New York has been improved by more than eight hours, according to an announcement made by Leo LaBelle, Regina postmaster. Trans-Canada Air Lines have now arranged a service connecting Toronto with New York and all mail from the west  will now go by Toronto rather than Montreal to New York. A 13-hour and 23 minute service is now available from Regina to New York for mail going out on the eastbound afternoon plane. Mail leaving Regina at 12.05 noon will arrive in New York at 1:30 the next morning and will be delivered in New York during the morning. A faster service is provided by the night plane but it will be delivered later in New York. The plane leaves Regina at 11.05 standard time in the evening.

Betty Draper found this article in the Leader-Post dated March 1st, 1963 -

TCA lends three planes to TransAir.
Trans-Canada Air Lines will be loaning three aircraft - 2 DC-3 and a Viscount - to operate the Prairie regional routes in Saskatchewan. No cash payment by TransAir would be involved since it was taking over unprofitable lines for TCA. TCA will be making other routes available to TransAir.

Office facilities for ticket sales would be offered. Spare parts would be put at the disposal of TransAir and TCA will do the maintenance on the Viscount. When Pacific Western Airlines operated the northern part of the regional service up until the fall of 1962 before the North Battleford link was eliminated the government  paid a $25,000 monthly subsidy. This was cut off when TCA took over. The crown air company (TCA) financed the operating loss out of its own funds. Under the new agreement, TCA will continue to help finance the operation through the loan of facilities but no direct cash payment to TransAir is to be made.

Current Mail List

Join our Mail List

Please use the form below to sign up to our mail list.
Thank you for subscribing to The NetLetter.