The NetLetter

For retirees of the Air Canada family

NetLetter Number 1071
May 30th, 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

Air Canada1965

  • July - An order for two additional DC-8 jetliners placed and will bring to 18 the total in the company's fleet of DC-8.
    - Announced inauguration of three new services to Guadeloupe, Freeport and Bermuda planned for this fall.
  • Sept - Final two of the original eight DC-9-32 on order have been changed to -14 series.
    - Increase in baggage allowance on North American flights.

1985 - Dec - Two additional DC-8-63's being converted to freighters being performed by Aeronavali Venice Italy. The previous (6) were converted by McDonnell Douglas at Tulsa in 1980.

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 the "Between Ourselves" magazines
Issue dated July/Aug 1965

frederictonFredericton's new terminal was officially opened. Presently the company operates six flights a day through Fredericton.

Western Region Management annual meeting was held at Harrison Hot Springs June 8-9th attended by 30 managers Hosted by T.F.K.Edmison.

A group checked on the progress of the DC-9 destined  at for the company the Douglas Long Beach Calif. plant.

dc9progressHere is a photo of that group.

The first annual meeting of the Maintenance Department was held in June at the Tremblant Club, St.Jovite, QC.

mtcemeetingWe have this group photographed.

oldtimesUnder the banner of "Les Girls" reunion. In June 38 of the girls in the photo who worked for the company in the "Frivolous Forties" got together at a reunion at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel to talk over old times.

The annual Purchases and Stores Management meeting took place at St.Jovite QC on June 1-3rd.

pandsmeetingHere are the attendees to the two-day event.

Issue dated September 1965

Under the banner "Increased Baggage Allowances on North American Flights" were these details - Effective Sept 17th, economy and first class passengers will be permitted to carry (3) pieces of luggage free of charge, provided the outside dimensions did not exceed 62 inches overall. A charge will be made for oversized or additional luggage.

Effective July, Sales personnel from both Air Canada and Canadian Pacific Air Lines teamed up for a major combined sales effort to promote "Travel Canadian".

From the "Cargo News" magazine
Issue dated December 1985

yhzcargoNew cargo terminal opens at Halifax International Airport on July 8th.  

From the "Expressly Yours" magazine
Issue dated May 1987
Lead Cargo Agent Mike Dunlop at LHR handles the International Express shipments.

lhrcargoHere he is in this photo from the DC-8 freighter prior to customs clearance.

Star Alliance news.

Star AllianceAir New Zealand biofuel test flight report shows significant fuel saving. Scientific testing has found that up to 1.4 tonnes of fuel can be saved on a twelve-hour long haul flight powered by a 50/50 blend of second generation jatropha sustainable biofuel and traditional Jet A1.

Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, shrubs and trees (some are deciduous, like Jatropha curcas L.), from the family Euphorbiaceae. ...(So instead of a fuel tax, we will have a veggie tax, and second generation we won't go there! - eds)

The Star Alliance Chief Executive Board accepted Aegean Airlines' membership application, Star CEO Jaan Albrecht announced at a news conference in Athens. It is confident it will finalize its integration by May 2010. Star currently has 21 full members, with an additional four preparing to join. Star Alliance was not bothered by the fact that his group will be the only one of the three global alliances to lack a Russian member. Star talked to S7, the defunct AiRUnion Alliance and Transaero Airlines in the past as part of its strategy to recruit members in Russia, Brazil, India and China.

starallianceIt has secured commitments from major carriers in the latter three nations.

Alan's Space

Alan Rust

(Both Tom Grant and Terry Baker sent me this)


WebTrak is an innovative system providing the community with information on where and how high aircraft fly, as well as noise levels of these operations.

It allows members of the public access to detailed information on aircraft operations around major airports.

WebTrak is part of the largest integrated Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System in the world.

How does it work?

WebTrak uses information from air traffic control secondary surveillance radars to monitor aircraft:

* within 55 km of the airport
* up to a height of 3000m above ground level

Aircraft noise data is downloaded daily from noise monitors strategically located about the communities close to the airport.

The information is then displayed on a detailed map (road or aerial) which enables the user to zoom down to their street level.

In Current Flights mode you can view current operations (delayed by 40 minutes for aviation security reasons) around the airport.

In Replay Mode you can access flight information and noise data for the previous two weeks.

Below is a map captured from YVR showing the aircraft in flight and the noise levels. Just change "yvr" in the link to your airport in order to check it out. Pretty interesting!

Web Trak

Click on map or visit:

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 "INFO:CARGO" magazine
Issue dated March 1990
The cargo facility at St. Johns International Airport (YYT) was opened.

yytcargoHere we have a photo of the ribbon cutting event. (l to r)
Mike Ryan, Jim Wendall, Doreen Manon, Pat McGrory, Derrick Monk, Susan Parsons, Jim Mesh, Byran McFarlane, Marcel Harnet, Don Hussy, J. Ian Booth and Stewart Marden

The worlds first ever Cargo conference was held on Jan 29/30th at Calgary.The conference was titled "Focused on the 90s" and was attended by 140 managers, Supervisors and Sales personnel.

A three month campaign of Cargo's GAD competition ended with the winners were awarded their spoils at ceremonies held in Flin Flon, who happened to be the overall winners.

yfocargoHere they are with their silverware.

Issue dated August 1990

Canadi>n AirCargo operates at both Edmonton Municipal Airport (YXD) and Edmonton International Airport (YEG).

yxdcargoHere we have this photo of the gang at YXD.

telephoneHere we have a photo of the four Cargo Telephone Sales supervisors.
(l to r) Murray Olson (YYC), Hope-Ann Weidman (YVR), Gloria Safolio (YUL) and Debbie Falconi (YYZ).

This n That

When habitat management isn't enough to deter birds, YVR uses a number of tools to scare away birds from the airport and reduce safety risks. A variety of high and low tech harrassment techniques are used to move approximately 1.5 million birds away from YVR's runways each year.

These include the use of pyrotechniques, sirens, lights, lasers, propane cannons and specially trained border collies who work alongside the two wildlife management officers who patrol  YVR's 1,300 hectare grounds 24/7.

YVR was the first  International airport in Canada and only the second in North America to incorporate dogs into their wildlife program.


Ginette Bertrand sends us this appeal.

Class of December 1965/graduation January 1966.

I have lost my Graduation Photo of my Flight Attendant class which was the first class to graduate in January 1966 (group classes started in Dec. 1965)...any way we could post a request for anyone who has a copy to forward to me or to post on the NetLetter?

Ginette Bertrand
1966 to 1971: yul based
1971 to 1978: ywg based
1978 to 1982: yvr based
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Facebook

Readers Feedback

Frank Pedder has sent us some photos of CF-TGE Super Constellation which has now been restored and painted in Trans-Canada Air Lines colours..

cftgeHere is one of them, and more are on web site

George Brien
is a frequent conttributor to our NetLetter, and here is his latest.

Subject: Pan American Airways
Hi there
Here is  some early Aviation  History of N.S. Hard to believe that PAA flew in here over 75 years ago??

paa-1This picture from the NS Archives of a Pan American Airways building at the old Halifax Chebucto Road airport - dated 1931 - tweaked my interest in the "rest of the story." From a newspaper article that I had saved from 2005, an Article by Owen McCarron marking the 75th anniversary of the original Halifax Airport gave the follow information..The Halifax newspapers reported as follows.

"Jul 26th /31 - PAA announced they would build station facilities at the airport. By Aug 31, a terminal building had been erected for use as an office and waiting room. It was 20' by 10' with a veranda, 6' wide on one side, 8' on the other, plus a wood rail fence between the office and the loading apron. The building was painted with Pan Am's colors on the outside. It would be completed by Aug 31. They also constructed a 10,00 sq. ft concrete pad for loading and mooring planes at night". What was PAA, at that time the largest airline in North America, doing in Halifax? Juan Trippe, the high profile president of PAA, by 1931 had built a large network based out of Miami. Serving the Caribbean with a fleet of Sikorsky s41's flying boats, he continued to buy up/takeover Various South American airlines to expand his lucrative US Postal Mail contracts.

paa-2Here's a look at his base at MIA in 1930. He had visions of someday flying the Atlantic and when a PAA connector airline (Boston & Maine -(later to become North East Airlines) obtained a US postal contract between Boston and Halifax, PAA sent up two Sikorsky S- 41's and crews to operate the route. The air service was inaugurated on Aug 1st. There would be two aircraft on tri-weekly trips flying at 2-3 miles a minute. The plane was powered with twin Pratt and Whitney "Hornet" engines, each developing 576 horsepower with a cruising speed of 106 mph. It had 12 passenger seating, fuel capacity of 575 gallons of gasoline in two centered wing tanks with auxiliary tanks in its pontoon.

From the Halifax newspapers of the day the following was reported.
"Pan American Airways, the largest air transportation system in the world, was to have a daily air service from Boston to Halifax beginning Aug 1. The city was ecstatic!

paa-4On July 29th, a strange looking plane a big twin engined Sikorsky Amphibian S-41, arrived at Halifax Airport and continued on a southern course until it reached Point Pleasant Park and then over Halifax harbour and Bedford Basin before executing a perfect landing at the airport. This trip was made solely to acquaint the ship's Captain with conditions prevailing over the route to be flown. He would make a series of test landings during his four hour tour.

After completing the tests, the aircraft headed for Saint John then on to Boston. " The first scheduled flight was described as follows
"The plane, which was to arrive here at 1830, was delayed due to head winds. It arrived instead at 1930, piloted by Leo Terletsky. He carried greetings from the people of Boston. Mostly dignitaries were on board, and they were greeted by thousands of onlookers who had
never seen a large plane like this. The plane took off the next morning on a return flight to Boston carrying one passenger from Halifax. The cost , one way, was $35.00".
This link to the 1931 timetable of Boston&Maine shows the schedule and PAA's unique involvement in this route.

The route was meant to be only summer seasonal and unfortunately one of the two aircraft , NC41V, crashed into Massachusetts Bay while on a test flight on 27 Aug 1931.

PAA ran about 60 flights before ending the experiment and there is no record of them returning in 1932. This was not the end of  PAA and  the Maritimes.

paa-3By 1937, the Sikorsky S-42 "Clipper 111" was testing out the Trans Atlantic route via LGA/Shediac NB/Botwood NL/Foynes Ireland.
And by Jun 28,1939, using the larger  Boeing B314  "Yankee Clipper', regular passenger service was  began on this route. Unfortunately, the  outbreak of WWII  quickly ended this service.

foynes-1(Your copilot was recently in Ireland, and picked up this brochure for Foynes museum - eds)


Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerOn June 1, American Airlines will go cashless onboard flights within the continental United States, as well as flights to and from Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada.
(Unfortunately that doesn't mean everything is free - eds)

Who Do I Contact
Effective February 26, 2008
To access your profile and for all information regarding your travel privileges, use the Employee Travel Website by clicking on the 'Employee Travel' icon.
For any information about your travel profile, policies, or, if you have any queries regarding your billing please contact us from:
Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 Eastern Time
* In North America: 1-866-473-4732
* Internationally: 1-213-337-3646
Or by:
* E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For the reset of your PIN 1-800-413-1113
For Other Airline personal travel:
* ZED tickets are available on line on the Employee Travel Site
* ID50: 1-800-413-1113
* ID90 (SQ only): 1-800-413-1113
For Family Affaire bookings: 1-888-247-2262

Luton Airport (UK) is offering a special traffic lane with additional space for dropping off passengers. But the convenience will cost £1 to use the dedicated area, which offers better lighting and more space to offload luggage. The zone can be used for up to 10 min. A free drop-off facility with transportation to the terminal also is available in the airport's mid-term car park.

From the London England Pionairs May newsletter -

French  Bed & Breakfast:
One of our Pionairs who is living in France, Liz Hanna and her husband, Andrew, operate a Bed and Breakfast in South Vendee.   
They would love to receive any colleagues and friends to their charming place in peaceful and rural surroundings which is just 45 minutes from La Rochelle.  It's ideal for relaxing, walking, cycling and bird-watching. Liz says that they are a friendly and outgoing couple.  She used to work for Air Canada in London. Andrew makes a variety of wines and aperitifs with his French friends, and you will be most welcome to taste them all.   
You can get more information from their web site which is


SmileyHere is a complaint received from a travel agency - was one blaming the conception of a child on the hotel an engaged couple stayed in: "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room". We now hold you responsible for the fact that 1 find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

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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Your NetLetter Team
(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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