The NetLetter

For retirees of the Air Canada family

NetLetter Number 1075
June 27th, 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!

The Amelia Earhart Centre
Erected to commemorate the unexpected landing of Amelia Earhart on her historic solo flight across the Atlantic on 21 May 1932. This small interpretative centre is located on the outskirts of the city of Londonderry, Northern Ireland within the beautiful Ballyarnett natural park.

ameliaThe centre includes a recently renovated exhibition detailing the local aviation history, with particular reference to Amelia Earhart, who landed on the site in 1932, following her pioneering solo Trans - Atlantic flight.

For more info, see website here...

Air Canada - our first 70 years

TCA - Air Canada1966 - New bilateral agreement between Canada and the U.S. announced to allow operation of direct flights between designated cities. New Free and Reduced-rate transportation policy changes to give greater benefits to active and retired 25-year employees introduced. Jan 7th - First of six DC-9 aircraft arrives at YUL. Under the command of George Lothian.

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 January 1966

- The founders at the Canadian Airline Pilots Association met recently in Winnipeg and announced that they would present a trophy to be awarded annually to the person who has made an outstanding contribution to flight safety.

calpaSome of those who attended the meeting were, front row, from the left: Capt. Lindy Rood, Capt. Jock Barclay, Capt. Bill Rogers, (holding the trophy); Capt. Gord Haslett, Back row, from the left: Capt. Art Ronkin,  Capt. Peter Hamilton, Capt. Rene Giguere, and Bruce Middleton of Imperial Oil.

A group of eight Company employees attended a British European Airways World Interline School, a week long seminar.

interlineHere we have this photo of the group.

For the seventh year in a row, employees of the Data Processing Centre at the Dorval Base have presented a Merry Christmas to four needy families.

dpcHere is a photo of the group. L to right: Dorothy Eliason, Loretta Trepanier, Claude Barrette, Norm Claude, Bob Powney, Virginia Forbes, Andy Mc Cready, and Phoebe Wiens

Congratulations to four Purchases & Stores employees at Dorval who joined the company 25 years ago.

pnsSeated is Howard Cotterell V.P. P & S who presented the pins at a luncheon. left: R. J. "Roy" Olson, R. D. "Dick" Tritt,  N. P. "Norm" Carter, and extreme right G. R. "Ray" Perry.   K. E. Olson second from right also attended the luncheon.

Brian Dunn,
editor of YYZ News at sent us this nostalgia and several photos of this incident.

cftij-1Nostalgia... those of us old enough to remember 1973 will recall this accident at YYZ Terminal 2.


This was a DC-8-53 CF-TIJ fin # 822 c/n 45962 being fueled for non-stop Toronto-Zurich flight around 18:30hrs in the evening. At one point the burning fuel was flowing out across the apron area creating a "lake of fire".

The "Horizons" magazine
Issue dated July 1973 had this report -
Seek cause of DC-8 fire

Station Attendant Owen Nimmo is reported improving following his injuries when DC-8 aircraft number 822 caught fire during refueling at Toronto. The only other person injured was an employee of Consolidated Fuel who was fuelling the aircraft. He is said to be in serious but not critical condition. Nimmo was loading baggage aboard scheduled Flight 890 for Zurich and Vienna when an explosion
and fire broke out. Passengers had not yet boarded the flight and the eight-member crew was evacuated without injury.The flight Captain was Charlie Fogal, with crew members A.D. Dimarco, A.J. Chesire and M. Zietsoff. The cabin crew was comprised of Purser J. Reicher, Acting Purser P. Lebrun and flight attendants H. Tartarotti, H. Beviere and H. Neilsen. Their next of kin were quickly advised that all were uninjured. Aircraft 822 was completely destroyed and part of the loading finger at gate 83 was damaged. The Air Canada terminal was evacuated quickly but normal service resumed an hour later.

Investigating cause, John Blair, Manager of Flight Safety, is coordinating field work by an Air Canada team that is assisting the Ministry of Transport. Slim Munson, Manager, Maintenance A/C Programs, heads up another group which is adding its expertise to the MOT investigators seeking the cause of the accident.

Star Alliance News

Star AllianceFive Star Alliance member carriers, Austrian, Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and TAP have moved from Terminal 2 to the refurbished Terminal 1 at London's Heathrow Airport. They join Air New Zealand, Asiana, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, South African Airways, United and US Airways who were already operating from Terminal 1. Air Canada is expected to remain at T3 until 2013.  

kissnflyKISS + FLY - New name for the short-term parking area for Lufthansa crew drop-off at Frankfurt? Rhein-Main airport.

Alan's Space

Alan Rust

Wings Over Canada
Darren sets out to find the most remote air strips across Northern Vancouver Island. Landing on abandoned logging strips, sandbars when the tide is low, beautiful beaches, and privately owned strips, Darren shows a different side of the aviation life. He takes in some amazing sights, and shares the excitement of landing on the paths less traveled. Darren truly takes freedom flying to the extreme!

(Alan) - I never thought that it would be safe to land on sandy beaches, but this guy knows what he's doing.

From Season 10 - Episode 16

Wing Oer Canada
To view video, click on image or go to:

Another sneak photo of our new B777
in its Olympic livery.

B777 Olympic

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.

From the "Connections" magazine
Issue dated March 1989 edition
Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous
This high spirited winter carnival was held  February 17 - 26, 1989

whitehorse(This photo is, we believe, are employees from Whitehorse - eds)
Back Row: Left to Right Scott Lyle, Robyn Firth, Alaino Fletcher, Laverne Randall, Sue Sawyer, Marie Aylward, Bruce Laurie Front Row: Left to Right - Al Fozard, Becky Duncan, Pat Besier. Gayle AIford, Frank Close, Phil Dyke, Right in Front: Dave Griffiths. Frank Close is a 4th generation Yukoner whose father has Watson Lake Flying Service. (We believe Pat Besier has been involved in the "CP Air Whitehorse reunion" check

Perusing the "INFOCARGO" magazine
Issue Vol 1 nr 1 January/February 1989
This is the first issue of this magazine.

JohnstonWe have selected several photos from this edition




Issue Vol 1 nr 2 March/April/May 1989

sfoHere are Cargo Agents Canna Yamamoto and Emma Schaumket in SFO.

trudyTopflight Cargo Canadians is the headline over these four employees Trudy Sperling and Klaus Hildebrandt of Edmonton.

terryTerry Wittkopf of Edmonton and Al Fozzard of Whitehorse.

This n That


FOLLOWING a brand review involving consultation with a number of key stakeholders, the name 'Cardiff Airport' and 'Maes Awyr Caerdydd' has replaced Cardiff International Airport as the title of the facility. The revised name has been accompanied by a new visual identity and logo. It had earlier been suggested that such names as 'Gavin and Stacey Airport', 'Zeta-Jones International' and 'The Dame Shirley Bassey Gateway' were being considered.

U.K. Airport traffic for year 2008
Again, LHR Heathrow makes the top spot with 67,054,745 pas,sengers down 1.49% over 2007. Number 2 is LGW, Gatwick, 34,205,772 down 2.67%         

Readers Feedback

Bob Affleck sends us this set of photographs: On October 11,1989, Air Canada hosted a reunion, in YVR for those who served in the
C.G.T.A.S. I recently found these and thought they might be of interest to and your readers.

I have 5 of these, Captains, First Officers, Navigators. Flight Radio Officers and Pursers,

radioRadio Operators

firstFirst Officers




From, Bob Affleck

cgtas(When we received these photos we check on "Horizons" magazine issue dated January 10th 1990 and have this photo  of a group of retirees who worked for the Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service (CGTAS). - eds)

Here is the final episode of the "Old Ground Hotel" started in NetLetter nr 1073 - The station manager now came and joined us for a cup of tea. Jack had found accommodation for us at the 'Old Ground Hotel' the best hotel in the area where we would stay until called. The passengers had been given rooms at different hotels in the area. No more rooms were available at the Ground as an annual auction was being held in that hotel and all the other rooms were occupied. We checked into our rooms after a thirty minute taxi ride and were very impressed by this beautiful old hotel. There was the main building and extensions set amid old-world landscaping, flower gardens and rockeries and pleasant pathways. Our rooms were clean and comfortable. For some reason I had drawn the bridal suite
whose main attraction seemed to be the enormous four poster bed complete with hand holds on the headboard. I would love to have had a holiday in that place but tomorrow we would be on our way.

The bathtub deserves a mention; it stood in the big bathroom on its four legs, sparkling white and at least half as big again as any I had previously seen. The plug was unusual and the tub had no overflow arrangement so the plug served that purpose, it was a hollow metal tube about a foot long which you plugged into the bath outlet; if more than a foot of water entered the tub it would escape by overflowing down the tube and out through the drain.
(I'd never seen one like that.)

Walking around the garden later I met one of my favorite screen personalities who happened to be staying there, Alistair Simm (of St. Trinian's Fame). That evening the dining room was crowded yet the service and food were superb. The following morning we received a crew call as our replacement aircraft was being prepared for our homeward flight. We were feeling reluctant to bring this unplanned visit to an end, but all in good time the passengers' luggage, victualing, and servicing all came together and we were once more ready to go. But just before we departed Jack Horan came up the aircraft loading ramp and broke the news to me that there had been an accident at our hotel. During the auction which was being held in the huge entrance foyer, the mezzanine on the second floor which was badly overcrowded, collapsed and people had been hurt. We had missed the accident by thirty minutes.

I don't remember the flight home, but we arrived back in Montreal about 24 hours late. The passengers were all very appreciative of the flight and the care that had been given. And for the crew it was just another successful flight, and for me an extra report that would
have to be written which no one would read anyway.

trevTrev included this photo. Nin DeRoche and me with an unknown passenger over the Atlantic on a Super Constellation.

Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips

Terry Baker
Terry's trivia corner

In last weeks NetLetter we asked if anyone knew why luggage carousels usually rotate counter-clockwise.

Graham Horne sent this suggestion regarding the carousel question in NetLetter nr 1074 -Most people are right-handed and stand looking left with the grab hand ready.

Regards, Graham Horne, AC'69/WD,70-72.


Carol Murgatroyd
wades in with her thoughts on the carousel question.

Well, of course, answers to "pressing questions" are usually only a click away these days, but I didn't have the patience to wade through all the info regarding the horsey type of carousel which came up first. FYI, I did see that it is not always the case that they run counter clockwise or "anti-clockwise." So, using the old noggin' instead....I concluded that, given that the majority of human beans
are right handed, it would seem to be physically easier to grab one's bag with the right hand when it's approaching from the left than from the right and therefore less likely to cause injury...something carousel manufacturers would have surely considered. Carol Murgatroyd Retired AC In-Charge 1971-2003

Terry Kerr sends us his thoughts.
My guess as to why baggage carousels go anti-clockwise is as most passengers (90%) would be right handed, as bags are picked off the carousel their arm would move away from their body making it easier to pull the bag off going in the direction of the carousel. A clockwise carousel would have your right arm crossing your body and eliminating any forward sway motion. Also may put you off balance.
A long shot I know, not ever worked in baggage services. (Purchasing & Tech Ops)
Terry Kerr

Terry's travel tips.

Take note you cruisers!
Cruise lines  reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $CAD10.62 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $USD70 per barrel.

Although Star Alliance members at LHR Heathrow have moved into Terminal 1, Air Canada is expected to remain at T3 until 2013.  

British Airways have revised their baggage charges.
Effective April 1st the standard maximum size of  checked luggage is
35.5in x 29.5in x 16in. Items larger will be charged gbp25.00 each.

Here we have the second and final episode to the cruise and train trip by Aureen and Jack Morath LHR started in NetLetter nr 1070

Our Travel Experience (with tips) - Part 2 from Jack Morath. Our ship the Vollendam was berthed for two days in Sydney harbour next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the famous Opera House, so we were able to go on board the ship for the first day after lunch and stay on board until it departed the next night. The cruise stopped at Whitson Island, Cairns, and then on through the Great Barrier Reef to Darwin. Darwin was a new city for us so we took a half-day tour there which we arranged by visiting a tours shop along the street.
Tours from the cruise ships are much more expensive than you can arrange on shore yourselves. After Darwin we cruised through the Indonesian Islands to Bali and Samaurang. These two stops were not at the tourist areas, but places that had not been commercialized and so we were able to see the locals going about their own everyday business. Our final stop was Singapore where a thousand passengers disembarked, and a new group of passengers embarked.  We were off the ship by 10.30 and caught a taxi for the short ride to the railway station. Here we picked up our tickets for the six-hour ride to Kuala Lumpur. We had booked our places on the trains by phone to the Malaysian Railway offices in Kuala Lumpur some weeks beforehand.

With our carriage and set numbers we boarded the train having booked a First Class cabin for only £17.  Seniors  - including us - get a 50% discount if you are over sixty and applies to foreign tourists as well. All the information together with pictures is on the computer. We arrived in the evening in Kuala Lumpur, another new city for us to visit and during the three days we were there we took our usual half-day tour. We had found and booked our hotel on the computer. The next day we picked up our tickets from the railway station to cover the next two sections of our train journey to Bangkok, and afterwards we explored downtown and the famous high twin towers. Lots of shops in the bottom five or six floors and in the basement many eating courts where you could get food of all types from different countries.

We left Kuala Lumpur at 8pm using the overnight cabin and arrived at Butterworth the following morning around 5.00am. As we had a wait until 2.30pm for our next train, we used the first ferry over to the island of Penang at 5.30am. The journey was only 15 minutes and cost just a few pence one way. Coming back was free. We had made friends with an Australian family and a young American student who was backpacking around the Far East, and we traveled together into
Georgetown city centre on the free bus shuttle from the port.  We looked for a good class hotel to have breakfast and we found an excellent five-star hotel where we had an excellent buffet breakfast,
eating as much as you wanted. It was a good opportunity to use the toilets as those on the train were not all that good. By now the shops were open and we were able to walk about for an hour or two before making our way back to the railway station the same way we had come.

We had left all our baggage locked up at the station, so we didn't have to worry about carrying it around with us. A tip to the station attendant ensured it was all safe. Our diesel train left on time starting off with three carriages picking up about ten more along the way on the 20-hour journey overnight. There is no First Class on Thai Railways and so we had Second Class which was quite comfortable
and we were well looked after. The bench seats were folded up by the attendant in the evening with curtains to ensure privacy. We ordered breakfast for the morning before drawing the curtains, and we found the bunks very comfortable. We arrived at Bangkok main station late morning half an hour early, and then caught a taxi to our hotel meeting up again with the very friendly staff there. After four nights we took the Eva Air flight back to London. It was showing wide open up to the day before when we checked with the airline, but on the day it filled up due to the number of people returning to the UK as the riots took place on that day in the city centre. Our hotel was outside the city centre so we did not see any of the problems. Eva Air is handled by Air Canada in London, and it was almost a twelve-hour flight in a Boeing 777ER aircraft. 

We left Bangkok airport at lunchtime and arrived in London the same evening on time around 7.30pm. As we did not use all of our tickets, ie one-way on Thai and one-way on Eva Air, we can claim the money back by completing a form to send to the ticketing offices of Air Canada in Winnipeg. Our total trip was four weeks, which is longer than we would normally do, but after going that distance, we made the most of it. It was another enjoyable and exciting experience now behind us.  Now, where shall we go next year?


SmileyAfter pulling back from the gate on a Southwest flight the plane taxied for what seemed like forever, never seeming to get to the runway. Finally a flight attendant comes on the PA and announces, "You all may be wondering why your tickets were so cheap? It's because we're driving you to Phoenix!"

cartoonIt seems that the winter experienced at YVR during 2008/9 was similar to that shown in the cartoon which appeared in the "Between Ourselves" January 1966 edition by Eliot.

Mike Willard
contributed this to the "Info:Cargo" magazine
dated January 1991 I'm the fellow who goes into a restaurant, sits down and patiently waits while the waiters do everything but take I my order. I'm the fellow who goes into a department store and stands quietly while the sales clerks finish their chit-chat. I'm the man who drives into a gasoline station and never blows his horn but waits patiently while the attendant finishes reading a comic book.
Yes, you might say I'm a good guy.

But do you know what else I am?

I'm the fellow who never Comes Back and it amuses me to see you spending thousands of dollars every year to get me back when I was
there in the first place and all you had to do to keep me was to give me a little service and show me a little courtesy.

Author Unknown

(This could also apply to an airline we know! - eds)

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Vesta Stevenson, Terry Baker and Alan Rust
The NetLetter Team

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