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Your crew is: Chief Pilot  - Vesta Stevenson
Co-pilot     - Terry Baker

number 242     date Mar 1st 1998

Published since October  1995.

. George Smith and Florence Nelson-Smith have changed their email to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


. Your Co-pilot recently had some R & R in Portugal -
Our visit was for 10 days in the Algarve and 3 days in Lisbon.
The accommodations in Albufeira was a studio with kitchen facilities
and three couches which convert to single beds. In Lisbon we had
a 4 star hotel with continental breakfast. A car was supplied with
unlimited mileage and no drop off charge at Lisbon. All for
CA$125.00 pp dbl. We flew into Faro and departed from Lisbon.
Local bus transportation is efficient, and a rover type pass for 7
days costs CA$15.00, so a car is not necessary - unless you are
departing from a different part of the country.
Cost of the long distance bus from Lisbon to the Algarve is CA$17.00
Gas is rather pricey at CA$1.35 a litre. Gas stations do not always
accept Visa or Enroute credit cards.
There is no departure tax at Lisbon Airport, and as Expo 98 is being
held in Lisbon later this year, the airport is in a reconstruction
phase, so returning a rented car is quite a challenge!
Our temperature was 17-21 degrees daily, but cool in the evenings.
Food prices are comparable to North America.
Getting there - use a pass to London and a 'zed' fare to Faro is
approx CA$62.00.
To rent a 1 bedroom appartment with kitchen, lounge, balconey, TV
and overlooking the beach at Quarteira can be had for 2 months
for CA$1100.00.

" ' "

. Bill Norberg sends us another of his facinating stories -

I wonder how many people remember the year TCA purchased 3 Bristol
freighter aircraft. The year was 1953 and CPAIR had applied to the
Government to operate a trans continental air freight service.
At this time they were still limited as to the number of
passenger flights they could operate.
TCA did not have any freighter type aircraft at the time and any
airfreight was carried in the belly compartments.
As I remember it there was to be a hearing to decide this issue.
TCA immediately set about to acquire a true airfreight capability.
They elected to purchase 3 Bristol freighters from the UK and
modify them for Canadian operating conditions. The aircraft were
ferried from the UK by TCA pilots. In order to have the necessary
communication systems for these flights a set of radio equipment
was sent over from Canada and temporarily installed for the flight.
When the first aircraft arrived in Canada the radio equipment was
removed and sent to the Uk for the next flight etc.
These aircraft arrived in Dorval in the fall of 1953 to have the
necessary modifications carried out. The modifications were
extensive and included, a complete radio communications system,
a completely new flight instrument panel, heating and ventilating
system, interior modifications to permit the proper loading of heavy
loads, and a propeller auto coarsening system.
There was a tight schedule for this modification program as the
aircraft had to be available for operations by Jan. 1st 1954.
These modifications were barely underway when it was determined the
aircraft wiring system did not meet TCA standards. As a result every
piece of wiring in the total aircraft was removed and replaced by AN
standard wiring.
This action required a complete set of engineering wiring drawings
which had to be developed as the wiring was being replaced. We
could not afford to await completion of the drawings. The schedule
was  very tight and this wiring replacement decision placed the
whole program in jeopardy.
The sight of literally armloads of new wiring all with small white
tags on their many ends hanging out of the cockpit windows is
something I will never forget. It looked hopeless.
The final electrical wiring diagrams were delivered to us at
midnight of the day before the first ground run was scheduled to
occur. Every able bodied person in the Dorval Base who knew anything
about electrical wiring was pressed into service. Many of us worked
16 hour days for weeks and on one occasion I worked 24 hours to
complete the task.
The aircraft were completed for the Jan 1 1954 deadline although
they did not see service until some time later.
The aircraft was without doubt one of the ugliest I have ever seen.
The bulbous nose with its big doors with the cockpit perched on
top. A large fixed undercarriage, and a very severe design concept
made it unusual to say the least. There is one still available to
see in the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg. It had
Bristol sleeve valve powerplants built in true British design. Why
use 4 bolts when 8 will do? They were however successful powerplants
as they never had an in-flight failure as long as they were in TCA
There is one amusing story told about this aircraft on its first
flight into New York. The flight was in contact with the tower for
approach instructions and the tower asked the flight Captain what
type of aircraft was it operating?
They had never seen one quite like it before.
The captain proudly identified the aircraft and its features.
The response from the tower was.."Make it yourself?"
Bill Norberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

" ' "

. Found on the Internet.

Wexford Management signed a Letter Of Intent (LOI) with Brazilian
aircraft manufacturer Embraer for the purchase of 20 37 seat ERJ-135
regional jets with an option for 20 more. In addition, Wexford
Management has recently ordered 40 50 seat Embraer RJ-145 for a total
combined value of USD 1.2 billions.

The Sri Lankan government has announced it is in exclusive talks with
Emirates Airlines for the sale of a 40% stake in state owned carrier
Air Lanka.

" ' "

. Interline stuff.

When exchanging money at your local bank prior to your vacation,
if you have the bank's Visa or Mastercharge card, you can avoid
service charges.


BC/AB TO SEA.....CA$115
SK/MB TO SEA.....CA$165
ONT TO SEA.......CA$240 .....VIA YYZ NON-STOP AC697/AC698
QUE TO SEA.......CA$249 .....VIA YYZ NON-STOP AC697/AC698
MARITIMES........CA$305 .....VIA YYZ NON-STOP AC697/AC698
Call 1-800-413-1113 Winnipeg Call Centre for details.

Deals from Canadian Interline Travel -

Cruise on a New Ship
"Norwegian Sea" - NCL -7 Night Southern Sailing
San Juan Return - Mar 1 thru Apr 5/98
Inside from US$349, ppd  Outside from US$449-US$549,ppd

M/V "MELODY" - 12 Day Caribbean & Turks & Caicos Cruise
Departures: Mar 20 & Apr 11/98
Inside from US$799, ppd   Outside from US$899, ppd

Princess cruises has some new deals!
"Royal Princess" - Europe - April 9/98
13 Days Barcelona to  Lisbon
Itinerary:  Barcelona, Malta, Taormina, Capri/Naples - Italy, Rome,
Florence/Pisa - Italy, Portofino, Monte Carlo,
Gibraltar, Casablanca, Lisbon
from US$999 - US$1099, ppd
includes port chgs. Gov't fees additional from US$19.06 -
US$41.06 pp

"Pacific Princess" - Holy Land  March 23/98
14 Days Rome to Istanbul
Itinerary:  Rome, Capri/Naples, Cairo, Port Said, Jerusalem
/Tel Aviv, Nazareth/Galilee, Rhodes, Athens, Ephesus,
Cruising Mt Athos Peninsula, Istanbul
from US$799 - US$899, ppd  (includes port charges).
Gov't fees additional from US$37.61 - US$59.61, pp

HAWAII CRUISE - NCL - "Norwegian Dynasty'
10 Days days departing Apr 5/98
Ensenda, Hilo, Kona, Maui, Kauai, Honolulu
from US$499 ppd Inside & US$599 ppd Outside

Call 1-800-665-3100 for details and mention Pionairs.

African Safaris.
8 days/4 nights from US$1129
10 days/6 nights from US$1509
11 days/7 nights from US$1849
prices pp dbl includes space available air.

Call 1-800-422-3727 for further details.


. Smilie.
Vesta found this and thought this would give you a chuckle -

This guy used to fly to Piper Warrior from the Brampton flying
club. While doing the routine preflight, he figured he had
better do his own "personal preflight" and headed back to the
clubhouse to the boys room. He put his case and the headphones on
the tank. Later when he lifted the case and headphones up he heard
a peculiar splash-clunk. The toilet hadn't quite finished flushing.
What was it that dropped into the bowl?
Gosh, just then he realized he had been holding on to the plane's
keys. NOW WHAT? He stood there contemplating what to tell dispatch.
Did they have spare keys? ...he so badly still wanted to go flying.
Should he pull up his sleeve and...he whispered a little prayer and
couldn't believe what happened next. To his amazement like a slot
machine, the keys began to reappear. At first, he was sure this was
wishful thinking - a mirage. No his vision was real and the keys
were real. Yup he give them a good wash and they were shinier than
ever.  anon.


.  That's it for this time, please we need your input, send
comments and email addresses of any others who may be
interested to Vesta with a copy to Terry.

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