The NetLetter #898
The NetLetter
Since Oct/95 Oct 2, 2005


Number 898

About us!

Still more on those North Stars

Reader Feedback

Where are they now!

Other News


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.


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Dear NetLetter,

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  • Still more on those North Stars
  • As far as I can remember, the North Star that went off of the end of the icy runway and into the Sydney swamp, was Aircraft Fin No. 212, CF-TFL. It was an M-2 Series. George Land headed up the Salvage Team.

    That Incident was in the mid to late fifties - the Spring of 1956 I think. A couple of bulldozers were hired to take away and re-grade the steep slope at the end of the runway over-run into a more gentle slope.

    Once the extraction of the aircraft was completed, they put all that earth back into place, and restored the original profile. We put the nose of the aircraft onto a stone-boat style skid that we made from Railway Ties. Cables were attached to the Main Landing Gear and the aircraft was pulled back up, out of the Swamp and towed to the other end of the same runway. Once there, the nose was raised, using an improvised sling plus a crane from one of the area Mines, to place the aircraft in a level position, on a cribbing of Railway Ties. At that point, I believe we removed the engines. Ed Andrechuk operated the Crane, to carry out the job. The Nose Gear was then installed in the fixed down position, for the flight back to Base. Final repairs were carried out at Dorval.

    The earlier incident at Sydney was the M-1 Series North Star.

    That sure was quite a while ago.

    Project North Star Link
  • Reader Feedback
  • (From Netletter #897 - repeated for reference to paragraph below) Prairie Airways Beechcraft S-18D
    I'm doing research on the two Beechcraft S-18D twin- engine transport aircraft that were owned and operated by Prairie Airways Ltd., of Moose Jaw SK from 1938 to 1942. They were amalgamated into the Canadian Pacific Air Lines fleet in 1944 when CPAL bought Prairie Airways.
    Both airplanes still exist - one in a museum in Tennessee (in Prairie Airways colours) and the other in a museum in Arizona, with bare metal.
    I would like to hear from anyone who might have anecdotal experience with either aircraft CF-BKO or CF-BKN during their working career, and in particular if there are any photos of the aircraft while in Prairie Airways service - also photos of any facilities of that company in Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Prince Albert or North Battleford; the route that these aircraft operated. This is a bit of a personal challenge, as my first ever airplane ride was on one of the two planes - from Moose Jaw to Regina - in 1942 when I was thirteen.!
    Many Thanks, Bill Cameron (Retired 1986 from CPAir)

    Picking up from where we left off in NetLetter 897(see above)

    Re: Prairie Airways Beechcraft S-18D
    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    I've talked with E.L. (Ted) West of YYJ who also flew the Beechcraft aircraft for both Prairie Airways and CPAL from 1941 to 1945. He's given me some good leads, including a taped interview by Mel Know in the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in Wetaskiwin, AB.

    I'm going up there next week to find it and do an extract.

    I've also got much information from the two Museums in the U.S.A. which have the two Priairie Airways S- 18D's, including a copy of the original bill of sale for CF-BKN by Beechcraft Airplance Co. to Prairie Airways Ltd., of Moose Jaw, Sask.

    There's a chap in the Regina Leader Post who has inundated me with materials as well about the two Beechcraft aircraft and early flying in Saskatchewan in general, including an excellent - previously unpublished photo of CF-BKO.

    My interest stems from my first ever airplane ride - from Moose Jaw to Regina - in one of the two Beechcraft S-18D's. Don't know which one!

    The Radio Operator/Agent in June of 1942 at Moose Jaw - for Prairie Airways - was, I believe one, Betty George. I often wonder if she maybe had photos of the airplanes or of the PAL terminal or facilities at Moose Jaw, Rosedale airport. I lived in Moose Jaw during 1944/1945 on Caribou Street West, and often watched the CPAL Boeing 247's float down to a landing on that grass field!..

    Good to hear from you Bruce.. Many thanks again for the information. My intent on writing a research article on the two Beechcraft S-18D's is that they (of 30 built prior to 1940) are the only two still extant - and I'll submit the paper to the CAHS Journal for their consideration..

    Bill Cameron
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The C&SS Reunion held at the Viscount Gort in Winnipeg on Sept. 9, 2005 was a great success. Thank you to everyone who came out. The food was great, the company was great and wonderful to see so many faces, newer and older. Reminded me of days gone by seeing some of you and enjoying a few laughs. We had about 114 people register. There were a few cancellations and some no-shows but on the whole we had a good turnout. Thanks again to everyone who helped in some way or other. Your help was greatly appreciated. Stay in touch. Sincerely, Linda Corbeil.

  • Where are they now!
  • Airbus A321 C-GKOJ fin 467 c/n 684 is now with CSA Czech Airlines since May 20th., 2005.

    Ex-Air Canada B747-400 N575GP [25075, ex C-GAGN] was ferried from Victorville to Shannon on 09 Aug- 2005 after serving over two months at Edwards Air Force Base. The aircraft served as a testbed for a new carbon brake system.

  • Other News
  • ACE completes investment in merged US Airways-America West carrier. Today, Ace Aviation Holdings completed its planned $75 million US ($87 million Cdn) investment in the merged US Airways- America West entity in conjunction with US Airways’ successful exit from US bankruptcy proceedings. Robert Milton, ACE Chairman, President and CEO will serve as a director on the Board of US Airways Group Inc. solidifying a planned partnership with the merged entity. "This is an important transaction with great strategic significance for ACE and we look forward to working with Doug Parker’s management team going forward," said Robert. "The new US Airways is now the fifth largest carrier in the US and their extended network further strengthens Star Alliance’s position as the world’s leading airline alliance." "UK Edition" launched last week. Earlier this summer changes were made to to allow Air Canada customers with a UK address the opportunity to book their flights in their local currency (GBP) and to have their tickets issued electronically through On Friday, Sept 23, we launched a fully dedicated website for the UK that includes local content and special offers. We will soon be following this up with the launch of a UK agency site as well as other International sites. This is just one more example of our ongoing strategy of using web technology to simplify the travel experience of our customers.

    CanJet to Serve Ft. Lauderdale Halifax- based CanJet Airlines on Friday announced that Ft. Lauderdale will be the airline's fifth Florida destination, with seasonal Toronto/Ft. Lauderdale service.

    CanJet will begin Toronto/Ft. Lauderdale nonstop service Saturday, Nov. 5. with a second weekly nonstop being added Wednesday, Dec. 21. The Wednesday Toronto/Ft. Lauderdale nonstop flight will operate until May 3, 2006 while the Saturday nonstop service will continue until May 27, 2006 with connecting service from Halifax; St. John’s, Newfoundland and Moncton, New Brunswick.

    On its new route, CanJet will compete with Air Canada, which operates year-round daily nonstop service between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale, increasing to three times a day during the winter. WestJet also operates five times a week nonstop from Toronto to Ft. Lauderdale during the summer months, increasing to six times a week during the winter months. AirTransat operates the route three times a week during the winter and all the carriers also operate service from Montréal.

    CanJet Airlines also will add the following new nonstop Florida flights for the fall and winter of 2005/06:
    · Halifax/Sarasota Bradenton Wednesday nonstop service until May 3, 2006
    · Two Toronto/St. Petersburg nonstop flights. The first flight operates on Fridays from Nov. 4 to May 26, 2006 while the second weekly service operates on Mondays until May 1, 2006
    · Four Toronto/Sarasota Bradenton nonstop flights: Saturday until May 27, 2006; Tuesdays until May 2, 2006; Wednesdays until May 3, 2006; and Sundays until May 7, 2006.

    Zoom to Increase Fleet
    England's Sunday Times reports that Ottawa-based Zoom Airlines plans to triple its fleet to increase its frequency of flights in its trans-Atlantic market.

    The airline, founded by a wealthy Scottish family and billing itself as a low-cost carrier, reportedly will take delivery of a fourth aircraft later this year and a fifth aircraft next summer. The company also reportedly hopes to have a fleet of eight aircraft within the next 2-3 years.

    Zoom already operates three Boeing 767s, primarily between Canadian cities and destinations in the U.K. and Paris and makes a notable effort to market to vacations on both sides of the Atlantic, rather than just the Canadian market. In the winter months, the company sells southern sun vacations to consumers direct through its own network of agencies.

    Four microphones attached to tripods in remote areas of the Grand Canyon

    National Park are working for 50 days this summer to record the natural sounds of the park, in an effort to establish a baseline for "natural quiet." The microphones record 10 seconds of sound every two minutes. That database, combined with another 50 days to be recorded this winter, will be analyzed by a computer to determine a "natural" decibel level, which can then be used to decide whether the current noise regulations that restrict overflights of the park are adequate. The goal is to have natural quiet in 50 percent of the park at least 75 percent of the time.

  • Smilie
  • Smiley

    You've Never Heard a Flight Announcement Like This

    Wouldn't you love to have this attendant on your next flight? Thanks to a retired Delta Captain for sending this "paraphrase" of a memorable safety PA (public announcement) from their Flight Attendants. In his own words....

    "I was flying to San Francisco from Seattle this weekend, and the flight attendant, reading the flight safety information, had the whole plane looking at each other like "what the heck?" (Getting Seattle people to look at each other is an accomplishment.) So once we got airborne, I took out my laptop and typed up what she said so I wouldn't forget. I've left out a few parts, I'm sure, but this is most of it."


    Hello, and welcome to Alaska Flight 438 to San Francisco. If you're going to San Francisco, you're in the right place. If you're not going to San Francisco, you're about to have a really long evening. We'd like to tell you now about some important safety features of this aircraft. The most important safety feature we have aboard this plane is ...... The Flight Attendants. Please look at one now.

    There are five exits aboard this plane: two at the front, two over the wings, and one out the plane's rear end. If you're seated in one of the exit rows, please do not store your bags by your feet. That would be a really bad idea. Please take a moment and look around and find the nearest exit. Count the rows of seats between you and the exit. In the event that the need arises to find one, trust me, you'll be glad you did. We have pretty blinking lights on the floor that will blink in the direction of the exits. White ones along the normal rows, and pretty red ones at the exit rows.

    In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, these baggy things will drop down over your head. You stick it over your nose and mouth like the flight attendant is doing now. The bag won't inflate, but there's oxygen there, I promise. If you are sitting next to a small child, or someone who is acting like a small child, please do us all a favour and put on your mask first. If you are traveling with two or more children, please take a moment now to decide which one is your favourite. Help that one first and then work your way down.

    In the seat pocket in front of you is a pamphlet about the safety features of this plane. I usually use it as a fan when I'm having my own personal summer. It makes a very good fan. It also has pretty pictures. Please take it out and play with it now.

    Please take a moment now to make sure your seat belts are fastened low and tight about your hips. To fasten the belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle. To release, it's a pulley thing -- not a pushy thing like your car, because you're in an airplane -- HELLO.

    There is no smoking in the cabin on this flight. There is also no smoking in the lavatories. If we see smoke coming from the lavatories, we will assume you are on fire and put you out. This is a free service we provide.

    There are two smoking sections on this flight, one outside each wing exit. We do have a movie in the smoking sections tonight ... hold on, let me check what it is ... Oh here it is ... the movie tonight is "Gone With the Wind."

    In a moment we will be turning off the cabin lights, and it's going to get really dark, really fast. If you're afraid of the dark, now would be a good time to reach up and press the yellow button. The yellow button turns on your reading light. Please don't press the orange button unless you absolutely have to. The orange button is your seat ejection button.

    We're glad to have you with us on board this flight. Thank you for choosing Alaska Air, and giving us your business and your money. If there's anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please don't hesitate to ask.

    If you all weren't strapped down you would have given me a standing ovation, wouldn't you?


    Welcome to the San Francisco International Airport. Sorry about the bumpy landing. It's not the Captain's fault. It's not the Co-pilot's fault. It's the Asphalt. Please remain seated until the plane is parked at the gate. At no time in history has a passenger beaten a plane to the gate. So please don't even try.

    Also, please be careful opening the overhead bins, because "shift happens."

  • Terry's Travel Tips
  • Phone number for reservations at London, England is 0871-2201111

    Al Blackwood shares this info -
    Hi Terry, for your information we stayed at the Heathrow Lodge and found it very austere but the price was right at 45 GBP. phone 01753-686970

    Many cons at London , some there for several days. Talking to one girl , she stayed at the "Premier Travel Inn" phone 087 0990 6612. She said it is a new Inn and very nice. Also give AC a discount and she quoted 50 GBP. It is on the M4 and the shuttle bus is H8 .

    (Heathrow Park Hotel 0181-759-5278 have been known to give an airline rate - eds)

    Interline Deals
    For the following and more DEALS at .....please call them TOLL FREE at 1-866-772-5240. In ATL pls call us at 404-766-3660

    Please call us to see if your chosen dates have been interlined. REMEMBER: We NEVER charge a booking or cancellation service fee.**
    Balconies and suites may be available on some sailings.

    3, 18-Oct Statendam Circle Hawaii (SAN-SAN) 15 nts
    Inside $1,599; Oceanview $1,799.00

    8-Oct Oosterdam Mexican Riviera (SAN-SAN) 7 nts
    Inside $549 or just $79/nt; Oceanview $599; Balcony $649.00

    8-Oct Ryndam Mexican Riviera (SAN-SAN) 10 nts
    Inside $649 or just $65/nt; Oceanview $699; Balcony $749.00

    Prices in US $ are per person double occupancy unless otherwise stated.
    Taxes are extra. Subject to availability, and capacity controlled.

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