The NetLetter
For retirees of the Air Canada family
NetLetter Number 1069
May 16th, 2009
We first published in October 1995, 14 years ago.

4,333 subscribers

Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson in Victoria, B.C.
Co-pilot - Terry Baker in Nanaimo, B.C.
Flight Engineer -
Alan Rust in Surrey, B.C.
our email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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!

Air Canada - our first 70 years

1965 - spring The new terminal at London Ontario was officially opened.
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.

Musings from the "Between Ourselves" magazines
Issue dated January 1965
Under the heading "Baby born on flight between YEG and YVR".
The story of the baby being born on December 26th. Fortunately, onboard was a heart specialist Dr Criollos from Mexico who delivered the baby with the assistance of stewardess Loiuse Lapointe, Purser Paul Gendreau and Mrs Ken Adams the mother. The flight, commanded by Capt. Roger Smith, who circled the airport, at the doctors request, while the birth took place. The rest of the crew were F/O John Crosby and Stewardesses L.Heuhaus and M.Hawes.

Sales personnel were shipped into Vancouver from across the system to assist in "Operation Evergreen", one of the largest and most comprehensive sales project ever undertaken.

salesforceHere is a photo of the sales force.

On December 14th 1964, seven armed bandits staged a robbery at the Montreal freight import warehouse. Brian Feeley, Air Canada freight agent was on duty at the time. Feeley, a BOAC agent and a customs officer were herded, at gunpoint, into the employees lunch room and handcuffed to shower pipes. Walt Winkler, an Air Canada employee found the handcuffed men and called the RCMP. The haul of gold, watches and some coins amounted to ca$100,000.00. The thieves had no time to take any of the vast quantities of liquor which was also in the warehouse. There is no report that either the capture of the robbers or the booty being recovered.

Lakehead's new Operations and Terminal building is officially opened.

openlakeheadHere we have a photo of four employees who had a distinctive role in the ceremonies.

lakeheadAnd here is a photo of the new building. 

The new terminal is an expansion of the one that opened in 1953.
The Lakehead airport dates back to 1938 when the city of Fort William bought and developed the site.The DOT took over the operation from 1939, and in 1947 named it Lakehead Airport, the same year TCA made Fort William/Port Arthur a scheduled stop.

The Communications conference in London, UK attracts European Managers.

speech-1Here we have these two photos of the participants.


A team of experienced moderators, headed by Ross Smyth included
Jean Le Pottier and Rod Belcher. The two day sessions were held at the Europa Hotel in London.

Issue dated April 1965.
The Montreal Effective Speech Workshop was held at the Holiday Inn on March 20th.

speechgradsHere we have this photo of the graduates.
Star Alliance news

Star AllianceContinental Airlines plan on joining the Alliance in October.
Alan's Space
Alan Rust
I received a follow up from Ed Leckett regarding last weeks article about the Boeing 797 (see NetLetter 1068). Seems there is more to the story than I thought and I didn't go past the "Snopes" web site that I quoted.

From Ed Leckett: Perhaps in the not too distant future? Boeing X-48B flew July 10th 2007. OK, so its not a full blown passenger a/c but could be in about 15 yrs or so.

Quantas could paint one to look like a boomerang!

(from Wikipedia)
Ever since Boeing introduced the 707 in the 1950s
, passenger jets have looked pretty much the same: long tubes with tails, engines mounted below the wings. That shape may one day be transformed into the graceful silhouette of a manta ray. In February, a 400-pound, 21-foot (6.4 m)-wide prototype of just such a bird will start practicing unmanned takeoffs, landings, and tricky slow-speed maneuvers at Edwards Air Force Base. Called the X-48B, it's a scaled-down model of a theoretical 500-ton, 240-foot (73 m)-wide blended-wing aircraft. Aeronautical engineers have long known that this design could be much quieter, more fuel efficient, and far roomier than a conventional cylinder. But recent advances-lightweight composite materials, fly-by-wire controls, sophisticated flight systems-have made building one of these planes more feasible. Commercial versions have been proposed-imagine a flying auditorium-but the X-48B is more likely to debut as a US military transport plane circa 2022.

One of the most difficult problem (they apparently have solved) if they should ever build a passenger version was that of ensuring passengers a safe and fast escape in case of an accident, since emergency door locations were completely different from those in a conventional aircraft.

Here's a photo of the Boeing X-48B that flew on July 10, 2007 and on many other test flights. It is a small-scale unmanned prototype of the BWB concept" Still, it's quite a feat - and one that will hopefully develop into better, more efficient aircraft in the future.

Boeing X48b

Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
Over 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.

Perusing "Info Canadi>n" magazine
Issue dated April 2nd 1992
The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip visited the Vancouver Ops Centre on March 9th, and was suitably impressed.

princeHere we have this photo of those the Prince met.

Canadian Airlines celebrates its fifth birthday, and employees were asked what kind of airline Canadian will be in the next five years. The name was officially launched March 24th 1987, but the airline began operations as Canadian Airlines International on April 26th.

davedebbieHere are photos of five employees who responded and had their thoughts published.



An overnight snowstorm March 11th at Ottawa didn't stop Canadian from getting all of its flights out on time, but Air Canada wasn't so lucky, they had decided to cancel all of its overnight flights into Ottawa, therefore there were no aircraft available for its morning flights. All of Canadian's flights managed to land during the evening of the 11th and were available for operation the next morning.

In keeping with the new noise regulation compliance at Los Angeles (LAX), Canadian replaced its service by B737 aircraft with Airbus A320, a much quieter aircraft. The first A320 to arrive at LAX was on March 9th.

a320laxHere we have this photo.  

Checking through the "Blue Skies" magazine
Issue undated possibly 1978
On May 4th 1958, the first of CP Air's Bristol Britannia turbo prop launched the airline's transcontinental service. The "Whispering Giant" flew regularly between Vancouver, Winnipeg Toronto and Montreal.

britanniaHere is the Britannia awaiting its passengers at Vancouver.

potterCaptain J.K.Potter had the honor of commanding the flight out of YVR.

harveyjohnstonCaptain Harvey Johnston had the honor of commanding the westbound inaugural flight.

jeanetteJeanette Sylvestre was one of the stewardesses preparing the first class meal service.

Gordie Brown, Aircraft Maintenance Technical Support, had this comment included in a later edition of the magazine -said quite positively, "I liked the 'Brit'; it seems that you either liked the airplane or you hated it. It was a difficult plane to learn, but once you did, it would perform for you. Gordie recalled the transcontinental inaugural flight when Mr. McConachie wanted the departure and arrival to be on time, right to the very minute; everything was on sked into Montreal and, on touchdown, the 'Brit' blew all the mainwheel tires, and the passengers had to be bused to the terminal from the middle of the runway. The braking anti-skid system was a peculiarity of the 'Brit', and challenged the pilots as well as the mechanics." In summary, we can say a lot of things for and against the "Britannia", but one thing is certain - she had a very distinct personality.
This n That
Canadian-American Airline Inc was a US based airline which operated a service from St.Paul Minneapolis to Winnipeg in 1929.
Canadian-Colinial Airways Ltd, another US based airline, operated a service from Buffalo to Toronto with a Sikorsky Amphibian in 1929,
and from Newark Metrolpolitan Airport NJ to Montreal (St.Hubert Airport) in 1929, taking 4 hours. In 1939 the service was by DC-3 taking 2 hours. Baggage allowance was 40 pounds free. Over weight baggage was charged at 1/2% of the one-way fare and a transportation tax indtroduced in 1946 (Does the baggage charge and the tax sound familiar? - eds)

Wings and Wheels FestivalThe 4th annual Wings & Wheels Heritage Festival is being held at Downsview Park in central Toronto on May 22, 23 and 24th. The Festival is an annual showcase of vintage and modern aircraft and classic cars, motorcycles and vehicles held in the heart of Toronto, just 3 km North of Highway 401 and the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. This year's Festival celebrates the Canadian Centennial of Flight. This year's show will be the eastern Canada debut of the restored Canadair CF-86 "Hawk One" painted in 1959 era Gold Hawks aerobatic team colours. Other aircraft on display will include Air Canada's Lockheed 10A CF-TCC. This is the only weekend of the year when Bombardier Aerospace's private Downsview Airport is open to fly-in aircraft. To take advantage of this unique opportunity, pilots must register their aircraft on the Festival web site. Admission for fly-in pilots and their passengers is free.
The Festival is the annual fundraising event for the Canadian Air & Space Museum (Toronto Aerospace Museum) at Downsview Park which is undergoing a revitalization and expansion program. Expansion plans include a major gallery on the history of the Canadian airline industry and its pioneers. For details see Ken Swartz Board Member Canadian Air & Space Museum
(Ken subscribes to our NetLetter - eds)
Readers Feedback

John Rodger sends us comment regarding NetLetter #1067.
It is with interest that you put a photo of the NDT x-ray of the DC8.
I was in that Dept from 1974 until I retired in 92. A slight error in the names it should read Doug Lovat. The late Doug Sr was my foreman for several years in NDT and his son Doug Jr was the Director of Pensions and Benefits until he retired a few years ago.
John Rodger

Also Frank Murphy sent us this info
Correction required to Netletter #1067. N.D.T.  x ray of  DC8 fuselage. The name of the teck. inside the Aircraft is, Doug Lovat. (Douglas) The person outside is Frank Murphy.
Sincerely, Frank Murphy.

lhrmtceAlbert Siegmann sends us this photo
Some of those peoples from London Maintenance, around 1972. Thank You all 3 for Your good  job. Albert Siegmann. Montréal.
(If anyone can identify anyone here, please let us know and we will pass the info along -eds)
Terry's Travel Tips
Terry BakerA new system is being introduced at YVR for Canadian's returning from international destinations.
Instead of going through a verbal exchange with an immigration officer, you will now have to attend a kiosk, similar to the kiosk used for check-in.

The touch screen first asks you the spoken language you prefer, then the number in your party - remember a customs form which you can complete on the aircraft, allows for up to four family members on the one form - this is the number required. Then you open the passport at the information/photo page and hold it on a scanner on the left hand side below the screen. Once the screen acknowledges the information, you offer the next passport, if applicable. The completed customs form is then fed into the machine on the upper right side of the screen, and returned with the names printed on it, together with that magical number which you hope does not mean going to customs. After all that, you are free to go and locate your luggage, and exit the area.

Just a gentle reminder for those golfers wishing to attend this years
Pionairs National Golf Tournament in Victoria June 2/3. Time is running out to attend this very popular annual event, and not to be missed. For registering go to our website - registration cut off extended to May 23rd and click onto the golf ball in the right hand corner. You will then be guided through the  registration form allowing you to pay by cheque or credit card.
Trevor Baron
District Director

Starting  June 1, 2009 U.S. law requires that all Canadian citizens present a valid  passport or other approved secure document to enter the U.S. by land or sea.  

Motorhome Packages
Venture west to Vancouver, British Columbia, future sight of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Choose from 3 different departure sites:
Calgary to Vancouver, 5 days, 1200kms incl., $99.00
Whitehorse to Vancouver, 7 days, 3000kms incl., $199.00
Halifax to Vancouver, 12 days, 7500 kms incl., $299.00
Unit types: Vary.
Inclusions: Insurance, Preparation Fees, Kits (all supplies).
For more details, check the web site for this and other deals under Packages.
The NetLetter is the longest running newsletter dedicated to Air Canada retirees (since 1995). We are always looking to add Air Canada, Canadi>n, CPAir, AirBC, etc. retirees to our list. Please feel free to forward this email using the links at the bottom of this issue. Those receiving this email (when forwarded) will then have the choice to subscribe to us through those links as well. If you have friends that may want to join us, please send them to our web site at where they can sign up at the top of the page. .

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(Vesta, Terry, Alan)

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Vesta Stevenson, Terry Baker and Alan Rust
The NetLetter Team
Issue # 1069
Vesta's Jump Seat
Air Canada - first 70 years
TCA/AC People Gallery
Star Alliance News
Alan's Space
This n That
Reader's Feedback
Terry's travel tips
Important reminder
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Terry, Vesta and Alan at the Pionairs AGM, March 2007
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