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 year 2010 will be the 80th anniversary for the first airline stewardesses. In 1930 the idea of a stewardess was born in the mind of a Boeing official who was on a rough flight from SFO to Reno.The pilot and co-pilot were kept busy trying to keep the wings level, so the official took over their job of handing out coffee and sandwiches to any passenger able to swallow. Why not, thought the official, hire a steward to perform this duty. This idea was passed to the Boeing top brass who were too busy to tackle the suggestion as they had received a request from SFO nurse Ellen Church, who suggested that airlines hire nurses to combat the air sickness problem. She was told to hire nurses for the SFO to ORD segment on a three month trial.

The stipulation was each girl should be no more than 25 years old, weigh no more than 115 lbs, no taller than 64 inches tall and be paid us$150.00 per month for 100 hours flying. To everyone's surprise, except Miss Church's, the stewardess plan was a success. By 1940 most airlines waived the nurse rule. (Trans-Canada Air Lines dropped the rule in 1957).

Pilots, who once put the girls in the same category as an engine failure, now concede the girls are an integral part of commercial aviation.

(Story, in part, from "Between Ourselves" issue March 1960
entitled "Airline Stewardesses mark their 30th birthday in '60"- eds)

Air Canada News

Air CanadaTwo Airbus A340-300 have been parked pending sub lease. We have no four engine aircraft in the fleet.

Daily Vancouver - Paris service.
Between July 1 and September 29, 2009. This service complements daily non-stop services between Toronto-Paris, and Montréal-Paris using brand new 349-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Effective June 1, 2009, a new Montréal-Geneva service is starting.

Air Canada - our first 70 years

1960 -

  • Feb 1

vanguardTCA Vanguards in production at Vickers-Armstrongs Weybridge works in the U.K. . Work has commenced on the tenth aircraft.

  • Mar 25 Third DC-8 delivered.
  • May

vanguarsd-1First flight of fin nr 901 Vanguard at Weybridge UK.  

  • May 27 Pre-inaugural Jet Flight Sets Two Records to London (LHR). The jet covered to 3,334 statute miles in 5 hours 55.22 minutes between YOW and LHR. The YUL to LHR was covered in 5 hours and 44.42 minutes. The flight was under the command of Capts R.M. Smith and G.B Lothian. (In case you are wondering, the flight left YOW and overflew YUL to establish a departure time - eds)
  • Oct 12

reginaRegina's new terminal was officially opened.

yulhangerHere we have a photo of the new hangar at YUL under construction.

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" magazines donated by Bob Sedlak

sedlakWe came across this photo of a Bob Sedlak in Info:Cargo issued Jan/Feb 1994.

Issue dated April 1960

They are at it again, yet another incident of TCA aircrews rescuing a lost aircraft. This time a Beaver flying over Lake Huron with only 5 gallons of gas left and 5 passengers was loosing radio contact.

A TCA flight from Toronto to the Lakehead was preparing to land at the Soo. Kincheolle asked the Captain H.W.Angus to stay aloft and take part in the search.

beaverHere we have a photo of the Viscount crew.

pursersThe Overseas Region "Purser Leadership" seminar was conducted at Montreal during March and here are the participants.

saintjohnDuring March the personnel at Saint John met to bring themselves up to date with the present and future operation.

Issue dated June 1960

qualityQuality Analysts from across the system met at a general meeting in Montreal. The new quality measurement program was introduced to this group.

Issue dated November 1960

northstarThe beginning of the end for the North Star came on October 29th 1960 when the last of the company's passenger carrying North Star was withdrawn from service in Western Canada

Emily Coxon was the first woman in the company to reach 20 years service in October..

Issue dated December 1960
boohooHere we have Winnipeg Passenger Agent Daphne Graham shedding a tear as the final North Star service to Western Canada passes through Winnipeg.

Alan's Honey Bucket

Alan Rust

Where old aircraft go to die
CHATEAUROUX, France - A windswept plateau in the center of France is an unlikely place to assess the health of the world's airline industry. Yet nowhere are the fortunes of global aviation displayed as starkly as on this remote stretch of pavement, which was one of the biggest U.S. Air Force bases in Europe during the Cold War.

Where old airplanes go to dieAt Châteauroux-Déols airport, 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, south of Paris, Bartin Aero Recycling and its partner, Europe Aviation, specialize in recycling old airplanes for scrap. It is one of just two sites of its type in the world. The other is the Evergreen Air Center in Marana, Arizona.

This tiny business at the forgotten end of aviation is where all the issues with which airline executives are now grappling - oil price volatility, declining traffic, evaporating aircraft finance, even hitches in the development of new aircraft - play out.

Judging by the scene on a recent weekday, the state of the industry is pretty bleak. Jets belonging to the Moscow city council and to a number of low-cost European carriers were arrayed in the airport's parking lot, clearly visible to a reporter standing on the wing of a DC-10 - once a 380-seat workhorse for the bankrupt French airline AOM - that was being rocked by a heavyweight Bartin pincer as it gnawed off a chunk for recycling.

For full story, click on image above or Click here

Where old airplanes go to die - video

For video, click on image above or Click here

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.

CF-PWUKen Bjorge has sent us these photos of Pacific Western Airlines aircraft.



Karin Fulcher sent us this comment and these two photographs.
I continue to enjoy The NetLetter (1059) - great picture of Vesta!!
I thought you might be interested in the attached two pictures:

dc3The DC- 3 is in Smithers BC - my late husband, Bob Fulcher, flew that aircraft in his early days with Canadian Pacific, so my guess is that the picture was probably taken in the winter of 1962- 63 - he joined the company in 1962

(We notice there is no registration or fin nr so we asked Karin and this was the answer we received - eds)

That is a very good question - not? perhaps!!

Unfortunately Bob's good pal Hugh Forbes who joined the same time as Bob, and who also flew the DC3 in his early career, died from the same cancer (non Hodgkins Lymphoma) a year and 6 days after Bob - 2006, and 2007 - so I can't ask him. But that might be a question to put out to the wider readership? I have honestly never noticed that before!! very strange. I look forward to hearing suggestions/answers.

MU2The second picture is of our son William some 40 years later in the same spot in April 2003 with the MU2 he was operating when flying with NavAir. William is now with Skyservice in Toronto flying the B757

Karin Fulcher  Tsawwassen BC.

Readers Feedback

Bill Cooke
in the UK sends us this interesting URL -
This youtube item was sent to me by a friend in YVR who is ex-CP/AC,

Hope you can include it in your netletter which I read with great pleasure. I am ex-CPAir from YYZ reservations,1969-1982 and London UK,res/ticket office from 1983-1990.Have many happy memories of my airline days and still have contact with ex-colleagues in yyz and yvr.

Here the conclusion of the story "Aircraft down" from NetLetter nr 1061 - sent in by Bernie McCormack.

I cannot recall the name of the lake because of an event I will recount on the second part of this story. I felt that the aircraft involved, ATC or search and rescue would eventually contact us and as time passes more quickly than any of us care to admit, about a year went by. I decided I might have to search the records to determine whom we had saved from at least a very unpleasant stay on an insect infested northern lake and at worst a much more serious conclusion. (I was secure in the knowledge that I had the lake and aircraft identification recorded on my map)

We admitted a chap to the flight deck some months later as we were about to pass the west coast of Greenland. The passenger was a well-dressed first class passenger and he seemed only too pleased to tell us he had chartered a large cargo ship to transport some goods to and then take on cargo from one of the communities at the end of a bay on the coast. We located the community and then he returned to his seat, satisfied I felt, that he had suitably impressed us. About thirty minutes later our flight attendant came up to the flight deck and asked if the individual I have described could borrow the map. I turned and looked her in the eye and said he could look at it but that it was quite important to me that he return it. Well, I probably don't have to relate any more story. We were busy with our responsibilities on the flight deck, time passed by, we landed in Vancouver and my map with the information on it deplaned with the businessman.  We never did hear from any of the participants of the downed aircraft.             
Bernie McCormack.

Bill Norberg sends us this memory.
You no doubt remember the terrible incident in 1970 at YYZ when we lost a DC-8 and 109 passengers and crew. As you may know the cause of that crash was an unforgivable pilot error when the ground spoilers were activated about 100 feet above the runway. This caused a serious lost of lift and the aircraft slammed into the runway with a force of about 19 G's. The result was the separation of #4 powerplant which ripped a large hole in the lower wing skin causing a large loss of fuel. The end result was tragic. After this incident the Dept. of Transport headed by Walter McLeish who was their Chief Aeronautical Engineer, wanted some major modifications to the DC-8's so it would be impossible to have a similar incident ever again.

They obviously had ground spoiler activation on their minds when they were refusing to give type certification for the L-1011 to operate in Canada. Their concern centered around the L-1011 activation of ground spoilers in flight as part of the Direct Lift Control system. I should back up a bit.  In normal automatic approach systems, the elevator system is activated by the autopilot to keep the aircraft on the ILS glideslope. during approaches. This tends to give a hunting effect as it corrects for deviations. To overcome this effect, the L-1011 system biased the ground spoilers to a 10 degree angle and any correction signals were fed into the spoiler actuators to either increase or decrease the spoiler angle. This of course caused the aircraft to rise or fall vertically rather than using the elevator system . This resulted in a tighter capture of the ILS glideslope.with less hunting.

To convince the DOT we had to arrange to take then to Palmdale and have them see the operation in flight and better understand the system. We used the L-1011 being used for flight testing which was equipped with special instrumentation as well as water tanks throughout the cabin so the C of G could be varied and controlled for various testing configurations. There was a  limited number of seats for passengers and each one was assigned a parachute stored in a rack just beside the escape chute. This was a large duct directed though one of the baggage compartment doors.There was a complete engineering station at the centre of the cabin which was fully instrumented for all of their flight tests. It was  fascinating flight needless to say and we came very close to reaching the sound barrier. We made our point with the DOT and the L-1011 was certified for Canadian operations. As a minor point of interest, Bob Christie shown on the picture was the replacement for Bun Moore who was lost in the YYZ incident.
Regards Bill

MEMORIES by Jannet Tricarico Pionair's District Director - YVR

As the Aviation Industry and the Air Force in Canada will be celebrating the 100 year of powered flight in Canada in 2009, I automatically thought back on the "good old days".

expo86I retired from Air Canada in 2001 after about 30 years and have so many memories in my history with Air Canada, where I was stationed in Vancouver, that it is hard to choose a specific commemorative moment, that made me extremely proud.

However 2 special memories comes to mind!

jannet_tca1986I can't go back 100 years but I can go back 23 years to 1986 where I was chosen to be part of the EXPO86 team and work at the Air Canada Pavilion,  what an exciting opportunity.

The L10A - CF-TCA also called The Silver Giant was part of our exhibition including a laser show and smoke when the engine started up inside the AC pavilion. Together with a multi-screen Kaleidoscope presentation and utilizing 195 projectors, 65 screens and 1,6000 slides of days gone by, it was a fantastic show, and I was proud to be part of Expo86. In addition - the most heart-warming moment, I shall always remember with deep fondness was the surprise letter I received in 1996 from the YVR Recognition Committee announcing that they had nominated and selected me for outstanding performance, dedication and excellent service to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experience of a scenic tour on-board our historic L-10A CF-TCC - the sister-ship of the same aircraft, that I had worked with at EXPO86  what a thrill.

jannet_tcc1996Here I am in 1996.

Air Canada - Thanks for the memories

Jannet Tricarico District Director  YVR (Retired Training Instructor YVR airport) AC Pionairs

Whilst on the subject of EXPO 86, we received this from John White.
We had the pleasure of handling the British Airways Concord during Expo 86 at YVR.

concord yvrThe aircraft is sitting in the aircraft parking area on the North ramp, with the north shore mountains in the background.  John White

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker

caesarHere's a trip to Ireland you may want to take. (Click on image)


SmileyFood for thought.

Frequent flyer miles are awarded to those who join a plan and, usually, receive one mile for each mile flown. With these credits one, can redeem gifts or free flights, depending upon the number of miles accumulated.

This system is most beneficial to business people who fly "frequently", so they are able to redeem for "free" flights, and pay just the taxes.  Have you ever wondered who subsidizes these "free" flights? - yes the passenger who pays for their flight!

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