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!

Barbara Robinson sent us this link -
After watching this (most of us have been a part of this history), you could say that.... only..."time flies".

Someone has done a great job of compiling vintage airline and aircraft pictures and showing them to a moving soundtrack by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.

This is especially nostalgic to those who worked for or dealt with Eastern, Pan Am, TWA and others in our youth.

Click here: Time to Say Goodbye

I found this question and answer regarding WiFi and thought our 'travelling" readers may be interested.

I'm taking off on a road trip across the country soon for about a month and I'm lugging my laptop along for the ride to check e-mail, get maps and directions, and everything in between to make the best out of my trip. I will be using a wireless connection to access the Internet at hotels, Starbucks, and other hot spots that are available, but my concern is always security in these public areas. What do I need to know to be safe?

Answer: Once you are on the road, observe the following precautions:

1. Watch when you are connecting that the name of the wireless router you are connecting to is the real router name. These days the desk or the clerk will have that information available. I saw one hijack attempt in which the strongest signal was coming from "Comfort net", but the correct connection was to "Comfort Inn." I was in the back corner of the Comfort Inn and their signal was much weaker at that point. The stronger signal was from someone in a van in the parking lot - until the police arrived.

2. Watch your back. It may seem "un-cool" or paranoid to check for people watching your online activities, but it is much better to be un-cool than a victim. Position yourself such that your body or your bag prevents others from clearly seeing your keyboard and screen. Be aware of who may be watching you - be a little paranoid even.

3. When computing in a public place, turn down the backlighting on your screen so the screen is still readable to you, but someone farther away would have a tough time reading it. You may also wish to use a higher-resolution display setting so the letters on the screen appear smaller, and therefore more difficult to read from a distance. (Keep reading glasses handy instead of using giant fonts.)

4. Avoid connecting to sites that may have your financial & personal information unless you absolutely need to use them.

5. When you no longer need to use the connection, right-click on the wireless icon in your system tray and actually disconnect. Just closing your browser does not disconnect you.

6. Keep a log of any purchases you make and the account you used, then reconcile them with your statements as they arrive after your trip.

7. Don't leave your computer unsecured in your room while you are gone - and certainly not logged in and ready to go. Make sure it is shut down and that you have configured it to require a power-on password and a windows login password.

For a complete list of tips and do's and dont's follow this link.

Air Canada - our first 70 years

1939  March 1st

It takes 15 hours and 45 minutes to fly across Canada in 1939.

That's what CBC reporter Jack Peach will be doing as he hitches
a ride across the country on Canada's first air mail flight. A Trans-Canada Air Lines plane is set to transport about 315 kilograms of mail - or 35,000 letters - from Victoria to Montreal. Peach and the TCA staff get a grand send-off with flowers, a parade and a lineup of people mailing letters. TCA became Canada's only national airline linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in 1937. The government-owned airline was born by an act of Parliament after years of stalling during the strapped Depression-era years. Now the engines are roaring, as heard in this CBC Radio clip.
Broadcast Date: March 1, 1939


  • Jan 1st Edmonton was the first city in the TCA system to receive all-turbine service when both DC-8 and Vanguard were inaugurated.
  • Jan 16th Inauguration of DC-8 service to Tampa, Florida.
  • Apr 1st -   Vanguard service inaugurated to Bermuda from Toronto.

Apr 5th
trinidadVanguard service inaugurated to Trinidad, here are the cabin crew. via Antigua and Barbados.

barbadosHere are the ground hostesses at Barbados.

  • Apr 7th Vanguard service inaugurated to Jamaica.

1961 - DC-8 Jetliner service inaugurated between Cleveland and London, England.


yesterdayThis article by Jim Bruce in "Between Ourselves" magazine.   

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 "Between Ourselves" magazine -

Issue dated March 1961 February 16th was the inauguration of the YYZ-Tampa DC-8 service

tampaHere we have this photo.

Issue dated April 1961

The last North Star flight to the Caribbean was made on January 28th. During a refueling stop at Nassau,  Capt's Johnny Paulain and Peter Bartman posed on the stabilizer of North Star CF-TFQ.

lastnorthstarHere they are.

Issue dated May 1961

tampa-1Here we have this photo of the crew and some Tampa employees on the arrival of the inaugural Vanguard flight.

On May 10th 1941, New York first achieved status as an international air terminal when a Trans-Canada Air Lines Lockheed 1080A "Lodestar" touched down at La Guardia Airport from Toronto. The company's first flight was commanded by Capt. Frank Young, F/O Dan Driscoll with stewardess Georgie Ingram.

Issue dated June 1961
DC-8 Jetliner service inaugurated between Cleveland and London, England.

cleresHere is a photo of the Cleveland Reservations and Airport personnel.

Issue dated July 1961

"The North Star makes its exit from TCA as all-cargo and all economy plane" That was the headline to an article regarding the last of the 21 North Stars which disappeared from scheduled all cargo service on June 30th 1961. Passenger service stopped on April 30th 1961 with flight 7751 Sydney to Montreal, there were no passengers as this was the turn around flight 762 April 29th which operated YUL-YHZ-Sydney.- the last revenue flight of the North Star fleet.

lastnorthstarcrewHere we have a photo of the crew.

All cargo North Star flights were discontinued July 1st when Capt. Dan Orr and F/O R.D.Johnson brought CF-TFJ fin nr 210 to YUL from YVR.

northstarsignaturesThe photo shows the signatures of those who serviced the aircraft.

15 North Star aircraft have been sold to Overseas Aviation Limited a U.K. company, and one has been sold to International Airfreighters Limited of Edmonton, Alberta.

A joint meeting of Airport Passenger Office managers from across the system meet in Winnipeg.

jointmeetingHere is a photo of the participants.

service was inaugurated during June to New York and Chicago.

vanguardcrewsHere are the two crews involved.  .

Alan's Space

Alan Rust

The Beer Spitfire
Take a close look at the images below. No, those are not drop tanks, they are beer kegs! This clever chap flew what had to be a very close contender for best fighter aircraft of WWII.

Beer Spitfire #1His unit was stationed in France shortly after D-Day.  He had some reason to return to England, then returned to France with some unofficial "ordnance" under the wings of his Spitfire.

Beer Spitfire #2When he came down from altitude, his "cargo" was chilled to just the right  temperature for a hot June afternoon.

Beer Spitfire #3Needless to say, his aircraft received some of the best servicing work from grateful ground crews.

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 January 19th 1989

P.W.A. Corporation announces intention to acquire Wardair

Issue dated February 9th 1989

salesrepsAbout half the company's sales reps met for a course in October 1988 and here are the participants.

Alan Palmer
, Capt. B-737 and brother Bob Palmer, F/O B737, crewed a flight to Kamloops, their home town.

familyHere they are -

Issue dated February 14th 1989

hongkongstaffersHere is a photo of several Hong Kong staffers.

Issue dated March 9th 1989

Canadian Airlines began serving Chicago's Midway airport from YYZ on March 6th.

Issue dated July 13th, 1989
Under the heading "40 years in the Pacific" is an article laying out the story of setting up the routes across the Pacific. The first proving flight was April 19th 1949 using a North Star CF-TEP on loan from the RCAF.

provingHere is a photo of the crew. The routing was Vancouver, Anchorage, Shemya, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Issue dated July 20th 1989

knockoutThis passenger was a knockout with a group of Sydney based flight attendants.

Issue dated August 31st 1989

Under the heading "Last Ice Patrol" is the story of the last Canadi>n Ice Patrol. The arrival at YUL of the Lockheed Electra CG-NDZ from Inuvik on July 31st, marked the end of the use of propeller driven aircraft by Canadian Airlines International and 17 years of ice patrol operations, mainly through its predecessor airline Nordair. On the same day CG-NAY also ended its service with Canadian and began a new career with Inter-Canadian on ice patrol service based in Iqaluit NWT. Ice patrol operations with the Electra's started November 1972.

icepatrolHere we have this photo taken at Inuvik (YEV.)

Readers Feedback

Harvey Jones
sends us this information and web site details.

Subject: Restoration of TCA's L-1049C/G Super Constellation CF-TGE
I am sure this will be of interest for your edition. I worked on this a/c as a mechanic on line maintenance and service in 1955 in Vancouver. I retired from Canadian in 1988.

regards Harvey Jones


cf-tge2(Here we have some early information about CF-TGE - eds)


Fred Bowman send us this comment in reference to the article in NetLetter nr 1063 - read with interest the article re  C.Drolet. I had the pleasure of working with Cam back in the heady days of the Britannia and DC8 aircraft. He was for a time, resident mtce eng in Madrid,. A most likeable chap.

F Bowman.

Art Walsh sends us this memory prompted by the article on Camille Drolet in NetLetter nr 1063 - I really enjoyed the article accompanied by the photograph of Camille Drolet. I had the privilege of working with him in Rouyn/Noranda during the early 1950's. Camille used to commute on a daily basis between Val D'or and Rouyn/Noranda. During the layover he was busy refueling and during general maintenance.

As mentioned, he was a rather small man but I think he had the largest car in Rouyn, a 1952 Hudson Wasp. He lent me the car one time but failed to inform me that he had wooden blocks on the peddles. Interesting, to say the least.

Thank you for the article, it sure brings back memories.

Art Walsh
YYB Retired

Gilles Hudicourt sent us this memory about a North Star - I have no military background. I began to fly commercially in the Caribbean in 1986. Sometime around 1987, I landed in the Southernmost Island of the Bahamas, Great Inagua and on the tarmac was a four engined DC-4 looking aircraft with V-12 engines and a red lightning trim on the sides (my logbook indicates my first flight to Great Inagua was on Oct 6th 1986 so this might have been the date I first saw it). I was told it was a drug runner that had made an emergency landing there after one or more of its glycol cooled engines had sprung a leak, overheated and seized. 

I later learned that this aircraft was an ex-Air RCAF North Star, a modified DC-4 with pressurization and Merlin engines. Year later, I went again to Great Inagua, and joyfully noted the aircraft was gone. I enquired about it to the local policeman. He pointed to some scrub on the side of the ramp. Through the brush, I could see a pair of landing gears pointing at the sky. I walked over and saw they were connected to the center wing section of an aircraft which was lying upside down in the dirt.  The rest of the aircraft was no-where to be seen. The North Star had been cut for scrap and that was all that remained of it.
Gilles Hudicourt

Here is the conclusion of the story from NetLetter nr 1063 about Camille Drolet In 1957 Canadian Pacific Air Lines began International Operations from Montreal, Dorval Airport to Santa Maria, Azores - Lisbon, Portugal - and Mexico City - via Toronto.

Camille Drolet became a Line Engineer, flying with the DC6-B aircraft; and later the Bristol 'Britannia'; operating to the various bases overseas. The Britannia was a great airplane in the air, but due to the proliferation of electrical relays in its systems, it was quite often a problem on the ground. On one occasion in 1961 the pilots had difficulty getting the engines started on departure at Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy. Camille came back into the passenger cabin; excused himself to the lady sitting on the aisle in the fourth or fifth row; and jumped up and down - where upon the relay kicked in, and the engines started. When the same problem occurred at Lisbon, the lady passenger spoke to the Flight Attendant and suggested a similar procedure, and the Base Engineer, Angelo Luz, did so, and it worked.

Camille became the permanent Base Air Engineer at Rome around 1963, and remained there after his retirement, ca.,1990. I became the Station Manager at Rome in 1966, remaining there until 1971. Camille and I were the only two Canadians in the Rome staff of 40 or more, and I worked closely with Camille; and was immensely impressed with his abilities for all those five years Camille's knowledge of the systems of the DC-8-43 and DC-8-63 aircraft was prodigious.

He was a born mechanic, and could diagnose and fix problems of electrical, hydraulic, electronics; airframe with incredible skill. I know that the great majority of pilots who flew into Rome during those years would agree that Camille was an outstanding Air Engineer. One of the ingenious devices he made was a simple 'wire coat hangar' hook. By using the coat hangar to hold open all fueling valve switches on the engineer's panel of the DC-8, Camille was able to flow fuel into all the transfer lines between tanks on the aircraft. This resulted in loading - with normal Specific Gravity - much more, perhaps a couple of thousand lbs, than the normal tank capacity. The extra fuel often made the difference between a non-stop flight from Rome to Toronto, and an enroute fuel stop - with extra costs.
Terry Nunn, a CPAL Air Engineer of the same era said "Camille was my best buddy, and one of the best engineers we ever had. He got us out of a lot of problems, and he got along well with all the flight crews". That says it all. Camille remained in Italy after retirement, and passed away there in 1994.

Raul Cifuentes sends us this information about the following book

bush pilot"Bush pilot with a brief case" by Ronald Keith about Grant McConachie former President of CP. which may interest some of you.


familiarHere we came across this photo of a group in the Info:Cargo issue August 1991 that met in Santiago, Chili - (Is that Raul standing on the left side? - eds)

simpsonThis photo and the ones below were  sent in by Ken Bjorge - YVR

First T.C.A. air express
consignment on October 17th, 1938 at Regina airport (YQR).

cftheViscount CF-THE fin 623 at Halifax (YHZ) 1960.

ticketRemember those paper tickets?
Here's one a half fare ticket Fredericton - Montreal return 1952.

(Before you ask - the passenger is not related to our co-pilot - eds)

busyyhzA busy ramp at Halifax (YHZ).

shortsA Short 360 of Time Air at YVR November 1985.

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker


Start saving on your next holiday right now with "RabbitRates". With over 50,000 hotels and resorts worldwide you're about to start Interlining the way Interlining was meant to be. Rabbit Rates offer "the" best price available at time of booking, because Interline prices may or may not be the best price.

We'd also like to thank and acknowledge RumRabbit for being a Sponsor for the upcoming Pionair's Golf Tournament being held in Victoria, June 1 - 3, 2009 See more info at:

Reacting to the formal decision by the Dutch government to abolish their Air Passenger Tax, ACI Europe - the voice of Europe's airports - warmly welcomed the news.

The air passenger tax originally introduced in the Netherlands as a so-called 'environmental' tax, was a purely economic measure, that had little or no benefit to the environment. Similar taxes remain in place in the UK and Ireland. Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, commented  I hope that the governments in the UK and Ireland are taking note."

Ryanair called on the Irish Government to take immediate steps to reverse the current collapse of traffic and tourism at the Irish airports by scrapping the failed €10 tourist tax. The UK which introduced a £10 APD tax continues to suffer substantial traffic and tourism losses at almost all of its international airports. From 30th March, every passenger departing from Dublin Airport will suffer a €10 tourist tax payable to the Government, on top of the €15 departure fee to the Government owned DAA monopoly.

A big Interline Travel Party at Margarita Rocks in Tempe, AZ
(just blocks from US Airways HQ's) on Apr. 24th from 5 to 8pm.

That night enjoy $2.50 wells, domestic bottled beer and house margaritas from 5pm till 8pm. There will be a free Mexican style buffet for your enjoyment, tacos, enchiladas etc.,

Also you can enter to win free trips, meet travel suppliers and attractions and meet your fellow interliners from the Phoenix Area.

Pass the word!!! Margarita Rocks can easily hold over 1,000 people and we have exclusive access to it until 8pm! Let's pack the place! Yes, parents, spouses and retirees (with or without the employee) are all welcomed. You can also bring non-interline friends, they just are not eligible to enter the drawings for the prizes.

So if you know of any interliners, parents or airline retirees who live in the Greater Phoenix area, pass the word to them about this fun event!
Check more information on this party and other deals

Sheila MoscoeSheila Moscoe is on her travels again, and we thought that you might be interested -

Hi everyone Well, as you can see I'm on the road again.This time it's around the world in 30 days!

I found a cruise that I couldn't refuse on the Royal Princess from Hong Kong to Dubai. It's a 22 night segment of their 107 day world cruise. Our stops are Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Andaman Islands (India), Mumbai, and Dubai. No, I'm not working as a Tour Manager for Senior Tours Canada, but am traveling with my friend Shirley.  Needless to say we are quite excited! However, the first hurdle is trying to fly on standby on Air Canada from Toronto to Hong Kong.

This is the Ontario school break so the flights are quite full.  BUT, we managed to get on at our first try. Fortunately, we have the privilege of purchasing Business Class passes and so we lucked in and we are now flying in style on a Boeing 777 nonstop Toronto-Hong Kong (almost 16 hours). We are staying in Hong Kong for 3 nights and will join the ship on Friday, March 20th.

As a frequent cruiser on the Princess line, I get 500 free Internet minutes, which will greatly reduce the cost of buying time. I will send you travel letters so you can follow my trip - just like the 2006 around the world  trip which included a cruise from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia.

Hope you're all well,
Until next time...

Love, Sheila


cartoonThis cartoon from the Nanaimo News Bulletin Apr 4th 2009.


Air New Zealand says it will have to cancel 25 regional flights so tower staff at five small airports can comply with new labor rules. The rules require lunch breaks to be scheduled, rather than allowing staff to take them as workload permits. The result is the five towers will have to be closed twice a day for up to 45 minutes while staff have their meal break. "We appear to be the victims of an overly rigid dictate to business on how to achieve a healthy and safe workplace, not to mention further constraints to the agility and adaptability we need in these incredibly challenging times," airline spokesman Bruce Parton told reporters.       

(A compromise has since been reached - eds)

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