The NetLetter
For retirees of the Air Canada family
NetLetter Number 1079
July 25th, 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!

Steve FossetNTSB Releases Probable Cause Of  Fossett Crash - Downdraft
The NTSB has determined downdrafts were the probable cause of the fatal September 3, 2007, crash near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., of a Bellanca 8KCAB-180 piloted by Steve Fossett. The Board determined the aircraft inadvertently encountered descending air that exceeded the climb capabilities of the Bellanca, which was flying over
mountainous terrain at a high density altitude. Fossett's
disappearance initiated a month-long search that involved the Civil Air Patrol, state and county authorities, Fossett's friends and an unknown number of private citizenswho participated online by scanning the latest satellite imagery of the search area. But it was not until a hiker found some of the pilot's personal affects on October 7, 2008, that an approximation of the wreckage's whereabouts was determined. An aerial search based on the findings discovered the wreckage about half a mile away at an elevation of approximately 10,000 feet. Fossett was a pioneering aviator and set records for distance and speed flown in numerous aircraft types. He was also the first person to fly solo around the world in a balloon.

Among Fossett's long list of world records, he holds those for the
longest non-stop flight in aviation history (25,766 miles flown in the
Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer); fastest speed flown in a manned balloon
(200 mph); and longest out-and-back flight in a glider (1,244 miles).

More on Fossett here
Air Canada - our first 70 years
TCA - Air Canada

  • Jan 26th - Ground breaking ceremonies for the new JFK terminal for AC and BOAC.
  • March - Orders for 23 jet aircraft placed with Douglas comprised of (17) DC9-32, (3) DC8-61 and (3) DC8-63 aircraft.
  • May 1st - Pooling agreement signed with Aer Lingus who inaugurated service to YUL on May 2nd 1966. Air Canada service to Shannon began October 1st 1947.
From "Between Ourselves" issue August 1967
Do you know that...

Air Canada
pioneered propeller de-icing strips, then fluid  shoes, then electric de-icing shoes for preventing and/or removal of ice on propellers in collaboration with Goodrich and N.R.C. and
redesigned Pitot Static Heads and pioneered relocation of electric heaters, with increased wattage and installed water drain holes to ensure system reliability, through icing weather.
TCA/AC People Gallery
TCAOver 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 "Between Ourselves" magazine.
Issue dated March 1967

busElderly and incapacitated passengers at YYZ were transported to their aircraft by bus which was a service operated for all airlines.
(before the days of the boarding bridges - eds)

A LONG WAY UP - and a long way down too, for passengers deplaning from one of Aeroflot's huge turbo-prop TU-114 aircraft.

airstairsA special extension had to be built and added to the regular DC-8 passenger stand when the Russian line inaugurated Montreal service.
From the left, Frank Brennan and Paul Levac, Mechanics, Ramp Equipment Maintenance, who built the extension and Len Weigh, Technician, Flight Support Group, who designed the special stand. Mechanic Leo Pichette, who helped in the fabrication, was missing at the time the photo was taken.

The Sales and Operations staff at Saskatoon turned out en masse recently to say farewell to Neil Hepburn, Station Operations Manager, who is being loaned by the Company to Air Jamaica for the next 18 months.

He is shown with a handsome briefcase and pen & pencil set, presented to him for the occasion.

hepburnFrom the left are: Mrs Hepburn; Lyle Shaver, Station Operations Assistant; Hepburn; Dick Jones, Station Agent; and Joan Letourneou, Hepburn's Secretary.

The first mechanic group completes apprentice course. The program began in Winnipeg in 1958 on a trial basis and consists of several hours of theoretical study and on-the-job training over a period of five years.

apprenticesFrom the left, front row Norman KelIn, Joseph Guest, Michael Garvill, Doug Clifford, Supervisor, Training and Publications; Fred Pink, Director, Maintenance Base; Gary Stephens, Donald Brown, Robert Johnston, and Roland Gervais. Back row, from the left: John Finlay, Richard Docking, Samuel Hutchings, James Badali, Hugh Mabberley, Gabriel Paradis, Karl Lenchuk, Gary Demarski, Russell Moody, Charles Walker, Jack Mclachlan, Kenneth Creran, Marcel Candaele, and Aime Arnould. Missing from photo is Ernest Bradawaski

Planning for the Company's inauguration of service to Los Angeles included meetings with a Los Angeles marketing firm.

plannersShown above prior to those meetings are the members of the Company contingent, from the left: Don Richardson, Director, Passenger Sales Development; Bob Nicholson, Manager, North American Passenger Sales Development; Gord Gaffikin, District Manager, Los Angeles; Gord Froede, Supervisor, Canadian Passenger Sales Development; Pat Labrie, District Passenger Sales Manager, Toronto; and D. W. Lusk, Los Angeles Marketing Executive.

williamsonR.D.Williamson Regional Operations Manager, Halifax received a warm welcome by the staff of Saint John when he paid an official visit. Unfortunately, except for Williamson seventh from the left front row, and Bill Hagen Station Operations Manager, Saint John, we have no other identities.
(Any offers at identifying some or all - eds)
Alan's Space
Alan Rust
Pet Airways
Below you can watch Pet Airways' first commercial. Pet Airways is a pet-only airline where pets fly in the main cabin, not in cargo. A pet attendant (P/A) takes care of the pets at all times and your pet will always be under a watchful eye. Pet Airway's first flights will be to New York, Balt./Wash D.C., Chicago, Denver and, Los Angeles.

Pet Airways, operated by Omaha-based Suburban Air Freight, operated its inaugural flight on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 on a New York Republic-Baltimore-Chicago Midway routing with 35-40 pets on board. The airline's Beech 1900 has had the seats and overhead bins removed, leaving space for pet carriers in the main cabin. It also will serve Denver Rocky Mountain and Los Angeles Hawthorne.
(Low Cost Carriers (LCC) were probably the forerunner of this concept - Terry)

This reminded me of a story I heard a long time ago:

A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation.

He wrote:"I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?"

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, "I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."

See: for more information or click on image below for Youtube video of their first commercial.

Pet Airways
Click on image for video

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

Jim Rogers from Honolulu has sent us some information, some of which we printed in NetLetter nr 1073 and more in 1076 - here is a brief bio.
A Brief History of James J. Rogers
Started in 1956 as a Airport Traffic Assistant in Honolulu for CPAL
then to Senior Airport Agent in Charge of Reservations and Airport Traffic. Advanced to Assistant Station Manager in Mar 1962 until Mar 1969 to become Station Manager Operations and Reservations.
In Sep 1971 Customer Service Manager Reservations. Then in Jun 1972 was transferred to Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport as Customer Service Manager Operations 'till Feb 1075 and transferred to Nanda Fiji as Customer Service Manager Operations. then in Jul 1976 transferred to Honolulu as Customer Service Manager CTO/RES until retired with over 28 yrs service.

rogersHere we have this photo from "the communicator" issue August 1970.

Jim Rogers
sends us this information about the Reservation system in Honolulu -Availability boards - status symbols used prior to the computer age -Hnl Res had two 4 x 4 ft. boards for a 8 foot wide for flights mostly sold over our flight system.

symbolsThe code letters were recorded by flight in a 3 ring binder and up dated daily. Large Res offices YVRIYWGIYYZ/YUL had larger symbols and the board was the whole wide of one wall in the Res office. Jim Rogers CPAL Retired
This n That

said it "will continue to explore the concept of 'fare-free standing' flights with Boeing and the relevant aviation authorities in the US and EU" after 66% of 120,000 passengers participating in an online poll said they would be willing to stand in the cabin on flights 1 hr. or shorter if the fare was free. The LCC said 42% would stand for half price and 60% felt standing should be an option (Strange Ryanair propose carrying "stand-up" pax for free, BUT charge to use the bathroom! - eds)

emiratesEmirates will operate one of its two daily Dubai-Birmingham UK (BHX)  flights with an A380 on Sept. 9 to celebrate Birmingham International's 70th anniversary. "We hope that many travelers from around the region will take advantage of this opportunity to fly on the superjumbo for the first time,"

Airbus and AirVenture officials say they've done the math and they can barely squeeze the world's largest airliner into Wittman Regional Airport for its first air show appearance in North America.

The A380 will arrive in Milwaukee on July 27 for customs clearance and crew rest and take off for Oshkosh the next day for a planned arrival at 3 p.m. The aircraft will do a seven-minute flight display before setting up for landing on Runway 36. In a web conference Friday, Airbus test pilot Terry Lutz said that while the 8,000X150 runway is plenty for the A380, there's only one taxiway that will accommodate the aircraft, although, happily, it's the one that leads to Aeroshell Square. That gives the crew about 5,500 feet before the turnoff, which Lutz said will be plenty, even with a 10-knot tailwind.
The aircraft that's coming is a test plane and will land at about 720,000 lbs, about 60 percent of its maximum weight.

Readers Feedback

Following the exchange of information about landing on the beach,
has prompted Betty Morgan to send us this information - Maybe Fred Coyle would remember my brother, Harry Slipp, when he worked for MCA in the early 50's. He used to write funny letters home about his time there.

Art Boudreau, also worked for MCA. He took me to my High School graduation dance. Ed Sword also was a pilot for MCA before he went with Swissair. I sang at Ed and Joan's wedding. It is so much fun to remember things while reading Netletter.

I have been trying to get Jack to write some of his experiences to send to you.

Perhaps soon.
Betty Morgan
Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips
Terry Baker
Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips

broomJohn Rodger
has sent us a photo of the Silver Broom Pin. Does anyone know what the initials stand for?

(and remember this is a family oriented publication! - eds)

Terry's travel tips.

If the "stand-up" concept proposed by Ryanair becomes a reality - DON'T get confused when you travel "stand-by" on a pass, they are really "space available" - eds)

strangeSome of the strangest sounding airports

1. Gorom-Gorom Airport (XGG), Burkina Faso
2. Wee Waa Airport (WEW), Australia
3. Wagga Wagga Airport (WGA), Australia
4. Woodie Woodie Airport (WWI), Australia
5. Wuhu Airport (WHU), China
6. Xingning Airport (XIN), China
7. Puka Puka Airport (PZK), Cook Islands
8. Flin Flon Airport (YFO), Canada
9. Kar Kar Airport (KRX), Papua New Guinea
10. Linga Linga Airport (LGN), Papua New Guinea
11. Muko-Muko Airport (MAL), Indonesia
12. Mala Mala Airport (AAM), South Africa
13. Sabi Sabi Airport (GSS), South Africa

Any of you planning to roam around the UK may be interested in this report of a recent visit by the U.K. Pionairs to the Wiltshire area. This trip was organized by Jack & Aureen Morath and this report is by Jane from the U.K.Pionairs monthly newsletter.

Pionairs Day Trip to Wiltshire - Thursday, 4th June 2009

PionairsA bright and sunny start to the day as we arrived at Radius Park, to be expertly directed to parking by Alan Washington in a style we have come to expect. We boarded the coach for an on-time departure at 9.30 am. We were at our first port of call, the village of Castle Combe, for 11.30 am. The village is famous for its well known race circuit. The driver parked at the top of the village and we meandered down the slope into the "square".

This is a very picturesque place with a population of only about 350 people - hope they all remembered to vote as it was polling day and the booths were open. After a wander through the village and a cuppa, the driver kindly brought the coach down the hill to spare us the climb back up.

Our next stop was the town of Bradford-on-Avon, so named for its 'broad ford' across the river. After some nifty moves the driver found a spot to set us down and Jack let us have an hour and half here to either explore the town, find the market or more importantly, avail ourselves of a good lunch. The town has a very impressive bridge, and from its location in the western corner of Wiltshire, Bradford-on-Avon is an ideal "starting point" to explore the surrounding countryside which is rich in history with lots of other lovely little villages to see.

Castor BridgeOur third and final visit in Jack's trio was to Lacock, with its Abbey founded in 1232. The village is also the home of the Fox Talbot MuseumWilliam Henry Fox Talbot, photographic pioneer and inventor of the negative/positive photographic process, created in 1835 the first known example of a photographic negative, taken of an oriel window on the south side of the Abbey. The Abbey, together with most of the village, Manor Farm and Bewley Common, was donated to the National Trust by Matilda Talbot between 1944 -1946. The quaint old buildings and tiny streets make the spot a favourite with film makers, with the likes of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, The Mayor of Castor Bridge and some of the Harry Potter scenes to its credit. As we strolled around, workmen were building a set for a forthcoming TV program called Cranford.

We headed back to the coach at 4.30 p.m. for the return journey home, the sun was still shining and had been kind to us all day long.  Andreas, our driver for the day, had done a splendid job of manoeuvering us through the narrow streets of Wiltshire and we arrived safely back at Radius Park about 7.00 p.m. Our thanks to Jack and Aureen for another well-chosen excursion. Hopefully many of us having sampled a taste of Wiltshire will want to return in the future.

SmileyThese two smilies are from "The Sky's The Limit" by Bob Todd and printed in the "Between Ourselves" magazine issue March 1967.

A reader sent us this little note he found recently in the galley of one of our DC-8's. It was written on a piece of masking tape and stuck on the fridge door. It read:
Captain - Coffee black (left hand)
Captain - Coffee & Cream (right hand)
Second Officer - Coffee and a small kiss
Navigator - Coffee, cream and sugar.

Who said Captains had the best of everything?

Then there was this item in the Winnipeg Tribune. A new flight attendant was doing her recorded message on a recent flight from Winnipeg to Vancouver. "Ladies and gentlemen," she intoned. "the captain is experiencing some slight turbulence. Would you kindly remain seated with your seat belts fastened until the aircraft comes to a complete stop." And that's when the passengers broke up. The plane had just taken off, and she had inadvertently given a medley of her take off and landing routines.
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 Stevenson, Terry Baker and Alan Rust
The NetLetter Team
Issue # 1079
Vesta's Jump Seat
Air Canada - first 70 years
TCA/AC People Gallery
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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