The NetLetter #908
The NetLetter
Since Oct/95 Dec 10, 2005


Number 908

About us!

Need to know...

Where are they now?

Air Canada News

Found on the Internet

Reader Feedback

European trip continued

Terry's Travel Tips


NetLetter Archives

About us!

Since October 1995, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker have been issuing an email newsletter for those ex Air Canada types who have provided us with their email addresses. The Newsletter was created by Vesta, who gave the name 'NetLetter' and added 'Between Ourselves' - a TCA periodical with which you are probably familiar with from the 50's and 60's. It was then changed to "Between Yourselves" to avoid confusion when "Horizons" resurrected the name. Then finally simplified to just "The NetLetter".

We believe that our NetLetter, which originates from Vancouver Island, was the FIRST to use this medium to disperse information for retirees of Air Canada.

The NetLetter contains airline related information such as anecdotes or stories supplied by some of the recipients, Internet tips, travel news, cheap... excuse me, "inexpensive" accommodations, tours, interline travel, and, in some small way, we help keep our Air Canada family together and in touch.

Our 'NetLetter' is NOT sponsored by any Pionair group, nor are we seeking any financial support, only the Internet email addresses of those who would like to receive our 'NetLetter'. Please forward this to other retirees who can then subscribe right from the forwarded link at the bottom of this email.


Please visit our Sponsors


Dear NetLetter,

For our new readers

We now estimate that the NetLetter is read by over 2703 retirees when counting our email distribution and those that print the NetLetter and give them out to their friends.

To get in touch with either the Editor/Pilot or Co- Pilot our email address is still This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To make changes to your e-mail address or to unsubscribe, please see the links at the bottom of the page for "Update Profile/Email address" and SafeUnsubscribe. This is now automated so that you can remove yourself from the list or change your email address (or name) without our assistance. We will still do this manually if you have any difficulties.

Many of our members are having difficulty finding these links. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page, the link in similar to the following image. (The image below doesn't work but your links at the bottom will).

Thank you

Alan Rust - ACFamily Administrator

  • Need to know...
  • Vesta

    New ACaeronet Portal now available to most branches. Over the past few weeks, the new Air Canada Portal - ACaeronet - has been launched on a branch-by-branch basis and is now available to most Air Canada employees.

    Retirees will also be provided access to the new portal in the coming weeks. Once this process is complete, all Air Canada employees and retirees will have access to company news, work tools and the personal data they want and need. The new Portal at (http://acaeron provides us with a new and easier way of communicating and accessing Air Canada information as it is more targeted to individual and branch specific needs.

    About logging on to the Portal: If you have an Air Canada e-mail address simply use your current e-mail password to log on. All other employees and retirees were sent letters in May and June with a unique password. Use this along with your User ID (AC012345). If you have forgotten your password to ACaeronet or misplaced this letter, please contact the Help Desk at (514) 422-4357 in Montreal or 866-274-5444.

    Internet browser requirements. To open ACaeronet you'll need to use a supported browser such as Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, Netscape 7.x or Mozilla Firefox 1.x. If you have a Mac, both Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox 1.x work. The Portal cannot be accessed using Netscape 4.7x.

    Visit the Aeronet Portal
  • Where are they now?
  • Bill Wood sends us an update on the fate of the B737 fin 740 (540) C-GBPW -
    Peter Luckham's Boeing 737 is ready for takeoff straight into the briny sea off Chemainus. After three years of frustrating false starts, the gleaming Boeing 737 parked on Thetis Island will be sunk in Stuart Channel Jan. 14, becoming the world's only airframe artificial reef.

    In the past weeks, Thetis trustee and diver Peter Luckham completed consultations with local First Nations communities, and Environment Canada signed-off on the disposal at sea permit. Jan. 14 coincides with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday long weekend in the U.S. "It's a great relief to get to this stage," said Luckham, who is sinking the plane on behalf of the Artificial Reef Society of B.C. "The next stage is predictable, negotiating with First Nations was not quite as predictable." Luckham said he was determined to have First Nations on side with the project, and spent the past months negotiating with the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group, Chemainus and Penelakut band leaders. "We have been given permission because we went the extra mile to do meaningful consultations," he said. "There is huge economic opportunity for First Nations. There's going to be a lot of eco-tourism and a lot of divers."

    In January, Luckham plans to barge the plane to roughly one kilometre north of Hospital Point in Chemainus. A massive sea-going crane will lower the craft in a controlled sink, while divers guide it to a pre-surveyed spot with GPS precision. Spectators should have a clear view of the scuttling from Kin Beach. Luckham said the Chemainus-based ferry might take passengers out to view the event, although that needs to be confirmed. "There won't be explosions, but sinking it won't take long," noted Howard Robins, president of the artificial reef society. Long before the 100-foot, 18-tonne aircraft arrived on Thetis, it was stripped and scrubbed of any toxic materials and metals. Luckham has since fitted the frame with aluminum pedestals for stability and to minimize its footprint in the seabed.

    The ARSBC first tried to scuttle the old plane in Howe Sound near Vancouver in 2002, and then near Sechelt, but plans were sunk due to community opposition and little money. Then an ill-conceived plan to down the plane in Comox harbour raised the ire of the local First Nation community. Luckham adopted the project early this year, raising thousands of dollars to barge the plane from Comox to Thetis in May (a spectacle unto itself) and to install the struts, while tackling the regulatory process. He still needs to raise $12,000 to hire the crane and barge, and is selling premium ad space on the fuselage. Since receiving the final permit, Luckham said it has become a "real project" and should quickly attract sponsors.

    Discovery Channel program Megabuilders has filmed the plane's transformation since it was floated to Thetis, and will return for the sinking. "Discovery has suggested that this program will reach 100 million viewers world wide," Robins said. "We are all very excited about receiving this kind of media coverage."

    Major diving media pegs Vancouver Island as one of the premier cold-water spots in the world, and Robin and Luckham expect the aircraft to bring the spotlight to Chemainus. Luckham expects hundreds of new divers per year, generating at least $200,000 of direct economic spinoffs. The plane will also complement Nanaimo's four scuttled ships, already generating a multi-million dollar dive industry, which is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade. The plane should also revitalize local sea life, ravaged from years of shipping and sawmill pollution. A condition of the permit is long-term observation of area biology and biological changes.

    Robins said their experience from scuttled frigates is ocean flora and fauna bloom within weeks. "It literally becomes a garden underwater. We expect the same from the plane." "This is completely unique; a plane has never been used before. This will be great exposure for the region and great for dive tourism," Robins said. "We expect big things from this." For more info and photos, visit: efs/AR-540/index.htm

    CPAir DC-10-30 fin 901 c/n 46540 C- GCPC 'Empress of Sydney British Columbia' has been reregistered as N304SP and flying for Centurion Air Cargo.

    Link to the Artificial Reef Society of BC
  • Air Canada News
  • The Federal Conservative political party is using an A319 fin 288 C-GITT during their 2005 campaign. This is the same aircraft used in the 2004 campaign.

    The N.D.P. is using A319 fin 287 C-GITR for their 2005 campaign. Jazz to launch daily non-stop service between Edmonton and Los Angeles.

    Effective May 1, 2006, Air Canada Jazz will launch daily non-stop flights to Los Angeles using its next-generation Bombardier CRJ-705 aircraft.

  • Found on the Internet
  • Heathrow Construction Workers Vote To Strike - Hundreds of workers building a fifth terminal at London's Heathrow Airport have voted to strike, escalating a dispute over pay bonuses, their union said.

  • Reader Feedback
  • From: Jacqueline Frampton Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Vancouver Island Chapter CAHS Christmas lunch - All Vancouver Island Chapter CAHS members and friends.

    Note: Chapter Christmas lunch will be held; Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 11:30 am., at Mary's Blue Moon Cafe across from the BC Aviation Museum. Everybody welcome, everybody buys their own lunch. Get together and enjoy the season with other aviation enthusiasts.

    Please, RSVP with Stoney Jackson (250-478-7567, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or myself (250-544-2183 ). We need to reserve a table at Mary's.

    Please note that the Chapter's first meeting of the New Year will be January 11, 2006, 1:00 pm, at the BC Aviation Museum. All the Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

    Sincerely, Jacqueline Frampton

    CANADIAN MAPLE WINGS ASSOCIATION: Flight Attendant History. Editor, April Tredgett. Private Publishing. 2005.

    Layout , photographs and jacket cover, Underline Studio, Toronto Jacket cover photo, graduating class on a downtown Montreal street, 1951.

    Publication of a 500-page volume of flight attendant memoirs. The 133 storytellers offer lively, informative, and amusing insights into their work experiences during the formative years of TCA/Air Canada.

    Black and white edition $40 Special colour edition $80 Plus $10 Canada Post and packaging.

    Contact Beryl Smith email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (905)728-8499

  • European trip continued
  • Here is the next stage of our European trip continued from NetLetter nr 906 -

    Wednesday Sept 14th - We leave Innsbruck for Vienna via Saltzburg, through rolling hills and we see several narrow church spires. Saltzburg, is the birthplace of Mozart. Our guided tour takes us to the location of the movie 'The Sound of Music' Hollywood's version of the Trapp family and their escape during WW11. Then, an optional tour to visit the Eagle's Nest the war time haven for Adolf Hilter at Berchtesgadener. A gift from Martin Bormann for Hitler's 50th birthday. The route up is by a very winding road, the road built by Italians and took 13 months of blasting the rock making it a unique road way. The great difference in elevation from start to finish is reached by bus and with just one hair pin bend. The bus drops you at the Kehlstein parking lot where one takes a stone lined tunnel 400 foot straight into the mountain to reach an elevator which takes one up another 400 foot to the residence.

    After our visit, and back on our coach, we retraced part of our route on the way to Saltzburg where Veronica was to be our guide. We were shown the cathedral which, during WW11, had a bomb drop through the dome before exploding, but the damage is not discernable now after restoration.

    On leaving Saltzburg, we had at least an hours delay just over the border due to an earlier accident, and, towards the end of it, Freddie noticed that he could bypass many vehicles by driving through a gas station and alongside the roadway for a spell then cutting back this, to the utter amazement of the group, was followed by an loud expression of appreciation and applause. We had great respect for Freddie, who had taken our bus down roads, alleyways and side streets which we would not even have driven a motor bike down, let alone a large tour bus!

    This evening the group went and listened to some chamber music an optional extra. We had front row seats, again organized by our tour director. The musicians consisted of 2 violins, 2 bass and a flutist. Excellent music. There were also performances of small ballet segments, and singing by a tenor and opera singer.. During the interval, we had a complementary flute of champagne too. A very enjoyable evening.

    Our hotel here in Vienna, for the next two nights, is the Hilton Vienna Danube was the most luxurious yet. Our room was just huge, and over looks the Danube river.

    Thursday Sept 15th - After breakfast this morning, we visit the city highlights with views of city hall, the Opera, the Hofburg, Parliament and the Imperial Boulevards. Also the Stadtpark where there is a beautiful gold statue of Richard Strauss At the entrance to the park, we were shown the painted line depicting the zone changes of the four occupation forces after WW11. We also saw where the citizens, during WW11, were encouraged to use allotments, patches of land for cultivation of crops and now, each year, a lottery is held for the 600 plots in the courtyard of the palace which is surrounded by fencing made up of old bedsteads, planks of wood, doors, window frames anything, just like during the war.

    Since 1955, Austria has declared itself neutral and only supports a defensive army. There are a few United Nation agencies established in Vienna.

    We toured Schonbrunn Palace, crypt and gardens. Normal cost euro 14. but euro 12.50 with the Vienna Card Coupon Book Then we mouched around the gardens. Afterwards, we wandered around the old section of the city, with our guide before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

    Our group was taken to the Vienna woods, and a quaint restaurant called Schrieber Haus, in a suburban setting, but very quiet with terraced gardens at the rear, which had picnic tables on each level. We were in a large room for a great meal, which consisted of large platters of food, including blood pudding, from which we helped ourselves and the evening was accompanied by an accordion player. The restaurant had its own vine yard, and the wine served was not aged, so we could drink copiously. Train travel from Vienna is quite cheap. To get to Amsterdam is euro 9 and only euro 29 to any of the other capitals in Europe via SkyEurope.

    Friday Sept 16th - After a long drive from Vienna through the eastern end of the Alps, called the Dolomites, we arrived at our quaint hotel in Venice at 16.30. Room cost was euro 160 and euro 14 pp for breakfast. We rested up and dinner was at 18:30. Prior to that, we opened our wine bottle with the opener we had bought en route at a motorway stop during the lunch break. Buying the opener was an exercise too, when an assistant came and asked if I needed help she spoke Italian, another language amongst worlds languages which I had not mastered so I did a twisting motion with my hands and said "pop" she immediately recognized the international sign and proceeded to point me to the various types of openers on offer. Our supper was pasta, then pork, then a dessert taken in the hotel. Afterwards, we left by coach to the lagoon, boarded a water taxi and arrived at St. Mark's Square. What a sight, surrounded by cafes and restaurants. There were four different musical combos at different spots, and they take turns in performing. Our tour director had secured front row seats for our group, which included a complementary drink while listening to the band perform. The group consisted of a pianist, bass, 2 violinists and an accordionist. Great music too. The lead violinist was quite a character and would twirl his violin around before settling the instrument on his shoulder to play, and could he play. He would fool around and stand straight while people took their photographs, and, while Rick was taking a video of him, he snuck right up to the lens and stuck his nose on it. Great stuff!

    After the music was finished, we gathered to the waterfront and into a water taxi for a trip back to where our coach awaited, the route was through the Grand Canal and we witnessed some incredible architecture.

    Saturday Sept 17th - Another early start for the day to Venice and a private launch across the lagoon to St. Mark's Square again. We were taken to a glass factory where we witnessed an artisan create a wine decanter. Then got an explanation regarding the types of glassware and to detect the forgeries being offered on the streets. We were shown some very expensive creations, the salesman roughly gathered a set of wine glasses, thumping them down on the table to the gasps of concern from the group but then he explained the toughness of the product. Cost of a decanter and 6 glasses was euro 830 including packing, shipping and insurance. A decanter set with gold trim would set one back euro 1900 including packing etc.

    Then the group dispersed to do their own thing for a while. As it started to rain, we chose to visit the Doge Palace. Cost euro 11, but only euro 5.50 for residents of Europe. The palace has lots of intricate moldings, gold leaf and huge paintings. We went over the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the dungeons hence the name and we toured the dungeons, not a place to reside for any length of time. When we came out of the palace, there were huge crowds waiting to get in, so go early if you plan on a visit.

    As the tide was rising, the water came up through the drainage and floods the square and surrounding dock side. This is over come by placing lengths of decking, especially constructed, which allows the crowds to move around without getting wet feet.

    After the group had reassembled, we went by private launch for a ride of about 21 miles to the island of Burano where we had lunch arranged for us in a converted school where fine hand made lace used to be taught..

    The waters surrounding this area are quite shallow and, during the war, the channel markers were removed to thwart an enemies passage but, now, with the advent of the large cruise ships, the channels have been dredged deeper which has also affected the tides.

    After our sumptuous lunch, we checked out the fine hand made lace in the near by store, and watched a lady making the wing of a butterfly. So intrigued by the work, Dawn bought a set of three small pictures of birds, which are exquisite.

    Back to St. Mark's Square for our gondola ride, which was fascinating to see the different architecture of the palaces up close.

    During our return trip to our coach, across the lagoon, after the gondola ride, it really poured rain. So we were very fortunate in getting our gondola ride in comfort. After we boarded the bus to go back to the hotel, there was a real storm accompanied with thunder and lightening, so we really were lucky dodging the rain storms today.

    (The next segment will be in a later NetLetter - eds)

  • Terry's Travel Tips
  • Visiting Victoria on Vancouver Island this winter? - Following are some regular rates advertised -

    - Laurel Point Inn $129 1-800-663-7667
    - Days Inn $52 1-888-468-3514
    - Huntington Hotel $89 1-800-663-7557
    - Quality Inn $62 1-800-661-4115 www.victori
    - Queen Victoria Hotel $75 1-800-663-7007
    - Traveller's Inn $49.95 1-800-753-3774
    - Chateau Victoria $84 1-800-663-5891 www.chatea
    - The Embassy Inn $199 1-800-268- 8161
    - Royal Scot Suite Hotel $89 1-800-663- 7515
    - Stathcona Hotel $66 1-800-663-7476
    - Pauls Motor Inn $59 1-866-333-7285
    - Spinnakers $99 1-877-838-2739

    Holland America deals from Aero-Marine Interline

    Veendam - December 27 sails roundtrip from Tampa to the Western Caribbean for 8 days 7 nights. Our Price: $779 pp dbl

    Zuiderdam - December 30 sails roundtrip from Ft Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean for 8 days 7 nights. Save $125 per person!! Our Price: $1324 pp dbl

    If one of these sailings won't work for you, check out the complete listing on our website. It does change once or twice a week due to the availability.
    Aero-Marine Interline
    voice: 800-255-2376 (ALL-AERO)

    Prices include the port charges, but not the government tax. Rates are subject to change without notice.

  • Sponsors
  • The mailing and formating of the NetLetter for HTML format is provided by the ACFamily Network and Nerds On Site. Content is researched and submitted by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker. Thank you for letting us into your homes!

    Please support the ACFamily Network
  • NetLetter Archives
  • The archives of the NetLetter are kept on the ACFamily Network Forums area. They are in plain text format so you can print them from there if desired. If you are not a member of the ACFamily Network yet, we encourage you to join us there. Non members can Register here. (It's Free!)

    NetLetter Archives Link
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