The NetLetter

For retirees of the Air Canada family

NetLetter Number 1074
June 20th, 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!

arcThis year celebrates 80 Years of Women Transcontinental Air Racing!
Fly the Air Race Classic 2009!

When: June 23 - 26, 2009: Denver, CO to Atlantic, IA 2359.0 nm/2714.7 sm 2009 ARC Race Route.

Denver, CO (APA) hosted by the Colorado Chapter of the Ninety-Nines Liberal, KS (LBL),  Sweetwater, TX (SWW), Lufkin, TX (LFK), Russellville, AR (RUE), Grenada, MS (GNF), Sparta, TN (SRB), Jacksonville, IL (IJX), Racine, WI (RAC)

Atlantic, IA (AIO)

Women's air racing all started in 1929 with the First Women's Air Derby. Twenty pilots raced from Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH, site of the National Air Races. Racing continued through the '30's and was renewed again after WWII when the All Women's Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR), better known as the Powder Puff Derby, came into being. The AWTAR held its 30th, final and commemorative flight in 1977. When the AWTAR was discontinued, the Air Race Classic, Ltd., (ARC) stepped in to continue the tradition of transcontinental speed competition for women pilots and staged its premier race. The Air Race Classic was reincorporated in 2002 into the Air Race Classic, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

For more information check out their web site

Air Canada - our first 70 years

TCA - Air Canada

In "Alan's Space", NetLetter nr 1072, Alan told us about a web site with Old Airline advertisements. Here are a couple more of TCA's.


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.

cfthiJohn Anderton has sent us these two photos. Viscount CF-THI at YEG 1956/7.

connieSuper Constellation inaugural flight at YVR Sept. 1954. (connie.jpg)

Musings from the "Between Ourselves" magazines
Issue dated December 1965
Air Canada teamed up with others to produce the first week long
International Travel Fair held in Toronto.

bobbyHere we have several photos.
Ground Hostesses Karin Rudolph and Christine Ritterhausen rig Buz Sawyer up as a London bobby.

depperHere Stewardess Helen Depper did a packing demo.

bahamasPassenger Agent Pat Ford and Bill Tressam Sales Agency Clerk look on as they peruse a brochure on the Bahamas (with a view to plussing there maybe! -eds).

churchillHere we have a happy Passenger Agent Helen Wedge at Dorval surrounded by Churchill Crowns from the U.K. designed to the Royal Trust Company. It is the first time that English currency has carried a likeness of anyone on its coinage other than the reigning monarch.

Also in this edition was a report of the Flight Operations golf tourney held at the Runaway Bay Hotel and Country Club 9n Jamaica during November.

golfersHere we have this photo complete with identities.

aldersonOperating the Visitors Bureau in London England is Elizabeth Alderson, here she is providing information about Canada.

Air Canada News

Air CanadaAir Canada inaugurates the only daily, non-stop service between Calgary and Portland, Oregon. June 15th's departure of flight AC 8315 marks the launch of the only daily, non-stop service between Calgary and Portland, OR.

Effective July 1, 2009, we will accept a limited number of small dogs and cats as a carry-on item that can be stowed under the seat. To ensure availability customers are asked to register their pet by contacting Air Canada Reservations within 24 hours of completing their booking. A service fee of $50 for domestic and transborder and $100 for international flights each way will apply. In order to also meet the needs of passengers with allergies, the number of small pets accepted in the cabin will be limited to a maximum of two or four depending on aircraft type.

Alan's Space

Alan Rust

Air Canada's 18th and final Boeing 777 will touch down in Vancouver on Wednesday, July 8, sporting a brand new Vancouver 2010 themed exterior. Air Canada is holding a special event for employees, retirees and their families on this day to allow everyone to celebrate this momentous occasion together. Officials from the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), representatives from the Vancouver Airport Authority and media will also be in attendance.

The event will take place at the Vancouver Ops Centre, Bay 4 Hangar, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Make sure you bring your AC ID if you attend. There will be a Pionairs booth there as well. If you haven't joined yet, here's your chance!

Below is a photo of the new Olympics design on the Ops Centre hanger, which is hard to miss to anyone approaching the airport by vehicle. Also, the bottom photo is a sneak preview of the Olympic themed livery of our newest B777 which will be at the opening.

YVR Hanger

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.

Some more photos sent in by John Anderton

lloydA photo of Tony and Peter LLoyd taken at YVR in the '50's.

woodHere is Ken Wood, CPA Agent at YSM taken circa 1955.

pwaSeveral PWA aircraft at YZF to service the Dew Line in 1955/6.

Perusing "INFO:CARGO" magazine
Issue dated March/April 1994

yxdffYXDFF celebrate their Cargo Service Quality Award measured during 1993.( l to r) Jim Phelan, Trudy Sperling, Marg Johnson, Scott Gosling, Scott Wilton, and Bob Drummond.

Daily service between YYZ and LHR commenced June 1st 1994.

This n That

British airline's wedding plans fail to take off:

A British budget airline's plan to conduct weddings in the sky crashed recently after local officials said they could not grant permission.

Easyjet said earlier this month it had applied to the local council at its base Luton airport, north of London, but the council has now written to the airline refusing permission on grounds that the law does not permit it. Under the plans, pilots would have officiated at the weddings. Easyjet said the airline was "very disappointed. It would appear that faceless bureaucrats in windowless offices have scuppered the dreams of many who wished to get married in the air".

Readers Feedback
Len Kruller
sent us this information -
Re article and picture of the retirement party for John Bombardier, published in the Company monthly paper "Between Ourselves", dated October 1965. in NetLetter nr 1072. I tried to identify several more attendees included in the above mentioned party but after almost 44 years, I discovered that my eye sight had suffered less than my memory. I do remember specifically that John was the very first cat. 22 tech., to retire at the YUL overhaul Base. One other thing I will always remember was his method of troubleshooting radio equipment. While all other tech's would use the available test equipment to troubleshoot and repair the aircraft radio equipment, John instead would use two fingers and touch the various circuitry points within the unit and reveal to us if / or approximately how much voltage he would detect, thus telling us where to find the problem. To the best of my recollection, our "Girl Friday", Marie, worked as the admin. for the same Shop, during my 28 year career with the Company.

bombardierHere we have the photo resubmitted by Len with some identities.

Finally my sincere thanks also for all your contribution and efforts to keep us informed about the past, present and hopefully, future of your periodic "Netletter".
Sincerely,  Len Kruller

Carol Murgatroyd sends us this information.

Further to the piece in NetLetter 1072 on the gorgeous conversion of a B727 to a hotel suite in Costa Rica, I was curious about the company, written up in Forbes, that inspired the conversion by selling old 727s as private homes. It took a bit of "Googling" but I managed to find the company, which is (was?*) located in Smyrna, Tennessee. Their website is:

They give quite a detailed and interesting explanation of what's involved in the conversion. Prices start in the "high $200,000". The website hasn't been updated since 2003, so perhaps the idea wasn't as popular as they thought it would be....or perhaps they're too busy to have it updated!! Thanks for all your interesting articles etc.

Carol Murgatroyd
Retired Air Canada In-Charge (1971-2003)

Fred Coyle sends us this information regarding the photo in NetLetter nr 1072

In the 1965 photo of the managers meeting in the Bahamas I recognize Clayton Glenn, Dunc Laing, Jack Dyment, George Goode, Gordon Wood, Bill Sadler and Norm Donnelly. There are some other familiar faces but I can't put  names on them. I thoroughly enjoy the Netletter and love the old pictures. It's a challenge to identify people from the past and a lot of fun. Keep up the great work!!!
Regards, Fred Coyle Victoria BC

Jack Stephens recently visited the Pima Air Museum, and sends this report plus some photos. He had the opportunity to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson and to check on our first Viscount.




No change in her situation, only that the cactus and tumble weeds are a bit more plentiful beneath her belly. It was Sunday so my contact at the Museum was away. Did have a chance to tour the various displays which are really excellent.  Things have really slowed down with the Vickers Viscount site. The webmaster has stalled with his work, so much of the ongoing momentum has been lost. Keep well,

After seeing the photos of Higham and Arnold recipients of suggestion awards in NetLetter nr 1073, Jack sent this memory - (regarding) the two photos of the winners, who I well remember as it is the very Accessory Shop I worked in. Art Higham was the Lead Mechanic in the Electrical section. Rollie Eade was over both the Electrical and the Mechanical. I worked with Doug Arnold and Fuel Flow Control Unit which I worked on as well.  Thanks for this trip back!  

Here we have another episode in the story "The Old Ground Hotel" started in NetLetter nr 1073

I had completed my pre-takeoff duties and taken my seat for departure. We had finished our taxiing and were doing a run up testing the engines at take off power. Everything checked out
perfectly and now lined up on the runway the pilots increased power and we began to move. Louder and louder roared the engines as the power was increased and faster and faster the craft rolled down the runway towards the point where we would become air-borne. These were exciting moments. You could sense the enormous power and feel the engines almost vibrating as the propellers bit into the air. In the cockpit you could hear above the roar of the engines the
engineer calling out various engine checks and the pilots confirming the figures with quiet confidence. The first officer called  VEE ONE as the point was passed where the flight could be aborted for any reason. Not long after the co-pilot reported VEE TWO, at this point take-off procedures were to be completed. Within a few seconds you could hear the odd sound of an engine starting to increase power from its maximum and Flight Engineer Cooke call out to the
Captain, "Runaway engine Number three". Captain Albulet ordered the engineer to shut down and feather the engine while he and the first officer continued to fly the plane. Within a matter of seconds Aubrey called "captain, the engine is switched off but it won't
feather".  In the meantime the bad engine was over-speeding faster and faster and the noise increasing like the clappers of hell, it was obvious we were in trouble. Steve replied, "Oh shit, try it again".

We were air-borne now and at any moment our over-speeding engine
could seize up, burn or disintegrate. It took only a few seconds to start an emergency go-around to get back on the ground as quickly as possible, at the same time advising the Shannon authorities of our problem. Fuel had been shut down to that engine but not being able to feather the prop, it was still rotating at a dangerous speed. It only took a few minutes to get back safely on the ground when the overheated engine seized up, fortunately it didn't disintegrate. Once on the ground the cabin staff went about their duties and it didn't take long before we were at the ramp and deplaning the passengers.

The crew met in the restaurant, where the Captain gave us the news. The engine was broken and a replacement engine was needed. The front end crew would ferry the aircraft on three engines to London where the company kept a spare replacement engine. A plane would be flown in from Montreal and we would fly our passengers to Montreal when the plane arrived.
(Final episode of this story in the next NetLetter - eds)

Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips

Terry Baker
If you look like your passport need a holiday!

We thought we'd try some airline/airport/aircraft trivia and see what comes back.

Here's our first trivia question:

Ever wonder why luggage carousels at airports go anti- clockwise or left to right? (for those with digital timepieces or too young to know what anti clockwise is!)

What do you think the answer is? We'll tell you what we believe the answer is in next weeks NetLetter.

Sheila MoscoeHere is the next  segment of the "Round the world" trip by Sheila Moscoe we started in NetLetter nr 1064
Well, hi everyone again! This letter will tell you about our first port of call in India. The day after leaving Port Kelang, we sailed in a north westerly course towards Port Blair, navigating through Malacca Strait and Andaman Sea. And on this night we moved our clocks back 1 ½ hours.  (I thought of our Newfoundland/Labrador province!) Like I said, it's always good to gain an hour or two along the way. Port Blair is the territorial capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which are located 600 miles off the coast of India, in the Bay of Bengal. When we arrived at Port Blair, we took the free Princess shuttle to town and when we disembarked, we were mobbed by tuk-tuk drivers. These drivers operate a small motorized vehicle with 2 seats behind under a canopy. While I negotiated a price of $10USD (approximately 500 rupees) for the day for both of us, we finally managed to break away from the other drivers!

Our first stop was the Cellular Jail (National Memorial). I have never seen anything like this. It is designed like a spider with the tower as the head, and rows upon rows of long buildings forking out like spider legs. Our driver was our guide and told us stories and showed us
around and we just couldn't believe how inhumane the British were to these Indians. At this point, it was around 36C with very high humidity...stifling hot, needless to say! As we drove along, we made a short stop at a coconut stand where Shirley had a drink from the shell (too sweet for me). He then took us to the Fisheries Museum (aquarium) with a display of more than 350 species of sea-life that lie in the waters off these islands. We also visited the Anthropological Museum, displaying, in miniature, the lives of aboriginals of these islands. It was very interesting to get a glimpse of another world over here. We also visited the Cottage Industries Emporium located inside a shop (away from the extreme heat), where they displayed a variety of arts and crafts made in mother of pearl and local wood. Miniature Nicobarese Canoes and palm mats for floors and tables were also available. But, we elected to buy handcrafted purses. Shirley and I had a great 4 hours with our driver and he took us back to our ship.

We had decided to give him more money for all little things that he did for us, but when he looked at it, he was disappointed. Believe me, it was more than we had agreed upon. We were disappointed to end the day that way. But, all around us we heard the other passengers having the same conversation with their drivers! A lot of the passengers never took the opportunity to have drivers and so they never saw this part of India. But, what they did see, they were very disappointed and so we heard a lot of grumbling. One lady at the dining table thought that I was a romantic when I told them of
all the fascinating things we saw and what we did and all the interesting smells of spices, etc. They saw poverty, filth, bad smells, mainly a bad experience. Can't please everyone! It was good to get back on board the ship, and we then sailed away towards our next
port of call Mumbai (formerly Bombay). In my next letter, I'll tell you about that journey.

In the meantime, I hope you're all well.
Love, Sheila


SmileyEven more complaints heard by travel agents· "We had to queue outside with no air conditioning," groused another.

A couple who visited Goa, India, said they were disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry:"We don't like spicy food at all." As writer G.K. Chesterton's said: "They say travel broadens the mind; but you must have the mind."

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

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Terry, Vesta and Alan at the Pionairs AGM, March 2007

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