Vesta's Corner

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!

I have come across a short slide show video you may find interesting. It has aerial views of 21 different cities worldwide.

Niagra FallsAny of you thinking of a vacation may find them interesting, just follow this link to a breathtaking slideshow:

Over the holidays I acquired a book titled 'History of Canadian Airports' copyrighted by T.M.McGrath. Mr McGrath's bio comes with a heavy list of his aviation experience  (plus he's a newfie <G>)
In meantime you may want to go to your friendly public library and
borrow ISBN;0-921633-11-4.

Air Canada - our first 70 years

1966 -   Aug 1st - Inaugural DC-9 flight between YYZ and MIA commanded by Capt. Ralph Leek.


  • Sept 1st - Non-smokers are able to sit in separate areas on all aircraft on all system routes. For example Viscount rows 1 - 5, Vanguard rows 1 to 5 in forward economy cabin, DC-9 rows 5 to 9.
  • Sept 16th - Inaugurate scheduled service between Thunder Bay and Fort William/Port Arthur with 10 passenger Lockheed L14 aircraft from Lakehead Airport.
  • Oct 25th - Last flight between Montreal and Goose Bay and the daily service Montreal-Trois-Rivieries-Quebec

1988 - April 12th - Canadian government take first steps to privatize Air Canada.

Air Canada News

Air CanadaDemolition began in mid January of the TCA hangar #1 and the original engineering and component shops at YUL. Built in the early 40's this building was home to the GSE shop,
central baggage tracing and lost and found, which moved to a new facility on December 6, 2008.

Two Trans-Canada Air Lines cement logos weighing 1,200 lbs each, have been saved and will have new homes at the Montreal HQ building and the new GSE shops.

early-1We have these photos from the 1950 era. and one of Hangar # 2, from "Between Ourselves" issued May 1971.


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.

Selections from "Regional News" loaned by Robert Sedlak -

Issue dated July/Aug 1981

charityHere is a photo of the charitable campaign team.

Issue dated Sept/Oct 1981
New York'ers went on a sales blitz visiting employees at other airlines operating into JFK, LGA and Newark airports spreading the news about Air Canada services.

nycstaffHere we have this photo of the group.

yowlaunchOn October 7th 1981, Boston opened a new cargo facility. Here is a photo.

From the "Xpressly Yours" magazine loaned by Robert Sedlak.

Issue nr 5 dated May 1988
Ottawa Product Launch was highlighted during a reception on February 10th.

yowlaunchHere we have this photo.

Issue  nr 11/12 dated Nov/Dec 1988 the final issue -

charlottetownWe have this photo of the Charlottetown Cargo gang.

dc-3And this photo of DC-3 CF-TET fin #392 "Cargo Liner".

cf-tcyAnd also this photo of CF-TCY at YUL 1944. (This aircraft is presently being restored in B.C.- eds) 

Bytes and Pieces

Alan Rust
CAT 3 ILS Landing

Nice video below of a Cat 3 landing. I'm not sure where it was taken or when or what type of aircraft.

It just makes you appreciate the skill of our pilots and the faith they have in their instruments and of the technicians who maintain the aircraft they fly. The standards must be very high so that they can have complete confidence in the aircraft and it's systems.

Cat 3 approachTo see the video, click on the image or follow this link.

More about the autoland system can be found here. (not sure if it was used in the video or not).

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 the "INFO Canadi>n" magazine

Issue dated January 21st 1988
On January 12th, flight 43 with 255 passengers and 13 crew departed Amsterdam destined for Edmonton and Vancouver. Early in the flight, a flight attendant found an envelop which contained a demand for ca$10 million with details of where the explosive devices had been placed on the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely at
Edmonton and no devices were found.

Issue dated February 4th 1988

euroHere we have this photo of the participants in the first
Canadian Airlines European Region meeting, which took place in the
Italian resort of Sardinia
(not too hard to take we think - eds)

A bit of history was recorded on January 18th when the airline made its first out-of-province flight from Edmonton's Municipal airport.

cp647Here we have the crew of flight CP647 bound for Fort Smith, Hay River and Yellowknife. Under the command of Capt. Gordie Russell.

Issue dated April 1988

resstaffReservation calls from Ottawa are handled at Montreal where government travel business is routed to these three specialists.

The airline's no-smoking policy was expanded effective May 1st to all North American flights.

This and That


Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Pionairs District
is proud to host the 2009 National Pionairs Golf Tournament.

Golf Tournament Package - $240.00

Early Bird Special - Register and pay before March 15, 2009 and save $20

(Cost before March 15 is $220, after March 15 it will increase to $240)


  • 2 rounds of golf at Olympic View Golf Course (OVGC)
  • Admission to the Reception & Banquet
  • Golf cart for each round
  • 2 golf course lunches
  • Golf memorabilia gift
  • "Best of BC" Banquet Menu at OVGC

Hurry and sign up today maximum 120 golfers. Registration
cut off is April 30, 2009.

Complete information is available on the National Pionairs Events and Registration web site under at:

Readers Feedback

The photo of the sign "The Dawn of Civilized Travel" published in NetLetter nr 1057 was sent to us by Hilton Cranston-Whittaker and NOT Harold Whittaker. Our apologies to Hilton.

A.G.Driver sends us his observations regarding photos in NetLetter nr 1057 - Norman Wells aircraft miss-identified in pics below the C46 is a SINGLE Otter [see exhaust stacks below cowling] and the pic saying Ottor fleet....the pic is of a BEAVER

A.G Driver

And Ken Collie sends us this information about the same photos -
In netletter #1057 in the photos of PWA the photo identified as a Twin Otter is misidentified, the aircraft is indeed a DHC-3 Otter, the twin otter did not have augmented exhaust system and the first Twin Otter flight was not till the spring of 1965.

I did enjoy looking at the photos, brings back memories of years gone by in another part of the arctic and another airline, thanks!

Ken Collie.

Ken did a quick reassessment of the information above, and sends this email -

Ten seconds ago I pointed out a mis-identification of a DHC-3 Otter.
Now I point out that the photo identified as a PWA Otter is in fact a DHC-2 Beaver, CF-GQV

Ken Collie

And so did Bev May who pointed out the discrepancy - Your photo caption of Twin Otter and Norman Wells 1955. That isn't a Twin Otter. It's a single engine Otter DHC3. Your photo caption of P.W.A. Otter at Norman Wells. That is a Beaver aircraft DHC2.


Bev. May
(Thank you all for sending in those comments - we are only the messenger - eds)

cfmakHere we have another set of photos contributed by John Anderton -
Alan Hardie next to CF-MAK at YZF January 1955.

John Anderton sends these web sites for a follow up of the registration CF-MAK -

cftfxCF-TFX of Wardair at YZF in 1955.

CF- GBYCF-GBY of Wardair at YZF in 1955

cfcuyCF-CUY Canadian Pacific Convair at Prince George 1956.

After reading the article about the Great Air Race, Gerdina Olson sent us this information -
While catching up on my e-mail messages I came across the stories in your newsletters about the Great Air Race. I thought you might be interested to know that there was another Air Canada pilot participating in the race. My late husband, Myron Olson, was an F.O.on DC8s at the time. He piloted a Staggerwing Beech from Calgary to London and back across to Victoria.

The Staggerwing was the only bi-plane in the race and the only "fabric" one. They were sponsored by the Royal Trust Company, who were also instrumental in the design of the 260 special letters, carried by the airplane,depicting a photo of the Staggerwing on the envelope and signed by both the owner, George LeMay and the pilot, Myron Olson.

The envelopes bore the postmark of the Abingdon Post Office, where the race started July1, and the Victoria Post Office where the race ended, July 7. Letters were accepted by the Queen, the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Premiers and Mayors of the provinces and cities through which the Race passed.

My husband always considered this race the highlight of his flying career. Though I must say, he must have wondered at some point during that endless Atlantic crossing what possessed him to trade the relatively comfortable seat on the flight deck of a DC8 with 4 engines and 2 wings, with the extremely cramped and uncomfortable quarters of a fabric aeroplane with 1 engine and 4 wings!!  
And cramped quarters they were, what with extra fuel tanks etc.etc.,and Myron being 6'5"! 

I just thought you might like to add this additional story about the Great London-Victoria Air Race to aviation history.

olson-1Gerdina has sent us these three photos.



As you know, the "PRESS" always goes for the sensational incidents, but there are many untold stories out there....... By the way, there was another airline pilot in The Race, Doug Ireland. Doug was a colleague of my husband way back in Associated Airways days. Doug flew a Howard DGA aircraft in the race. He retired from Canadian Airlines on the Boeing 747 in July 1982. He just recently passed away,  on Jan.17 2009. Larry O'Brien, at that time a navigator with Air Canada, co-piloted a Piper PA-30-160 in the race.

Kindest regards,
Gerdina Olson,
Langley, B.C.

lhryyjand from "Horizons" issue July 1971, we have this photo of the trophy.

Glen Jeffrey
sends us this information following the "Spirit of Skeena" saga which started in NetLetter nr 1053 -

Regarding DC3 aircraft now called "Spirit of Skeena" while I was CP air base Engineer in Terrace B.C. a strike was called by the Machinists union. The local airline at Terrace, Trans Provincial Airlines, chief mechanic Peter Dychakowsky asked me to come and work for them while I was temporarily jobless, he asked me to commence dismantling DC3 PWH which was considered time expired and a derelict. The wings were removed and horizontal stabilizer together with elevators and ailerons and any parts considered salvageable.

The wings and fuselage were to wedged outside into the bushes where they sat for some years where they were vandalized, later they were obtained by the museum people in Langley.

A small piece of that aircraft may be still be flying, while I was in Terrace I was the owner of a Cessna 185 and while converting this aircraft from floats to wheels we needed a small hydraulic fitting the TPA stores not having the correct part one was obtained from the old DC3, no doubt there are many other parts from the old bird still in the skies.

Best regards to all from Glenn Jeffrey Lake country BE.CO.

Dave Wenham sent us this information following the article regarding in-flight entertainment in NetLetter nr 1055

Hi, folks!
I enjoyed the "Air Canada - our first 70 years" mention of the first BE-747 in 1971, and how AC was a Canadian pioneer in in-flight entertainment.  Meanwhile, we at CP finally got to enjoy in-flight movies early in 1974 on our new B-747 acquired late in 1973.

I remember the very first picture shown was "A Touch of Class".  
The name of the film was added to the flights/gates list taped to each check-in counter (for agents' viewing only). 

Of course, some of my naughty colleagues were quick to scratch out the "CL" portion of the last word in the title.  Perhaps they envisioned that a humorous inadvertent error might be read out to one of our customers! 

More "X-rated" alterations followed, notably a complete substitution for the word "Touch", which I will leave to your imaginations.  
Those were fun days and a bit of adolescent humor alleviated some of the professional attitude we all strove to maintain! 

Sincerely, Dave Welham, Pionair.

Terry's travel tips

Terry BakerUS Airways will return complimentary beverage service to the coach cabin on all mainline and US Airways Express flights beginning March 1.

The airline has been charging for nonalcoholic beverages ($2 for soda/juice, $1 for coffee/tea) as part of its transition to a more a la carte business since last August.

Ryanair to eliminate airport check-in
Ryanair intends to close all its airport check-in counters by year end
in a cost-cutting move."All we will have is a bag drop where passengers can drop off their luggage, otherwise everything will be done online. Ultimately, we want just one in five people to check in luggage," CEO Michael O'Leary told
The Daily Telegraph.

Approximately 75% of the LCC's passengers currently use online check-in. "We are trying to encourage the remaining 25% to do the same," O'Leary added. According to Ryanair's website, passengers can check in online from 14 days to up to 4 hr. prior to departure

Antigua, Guatemala recognized as the top tourism city in 2009
Antigua Guatemala. The British magazine Wanderlust designated Antigua,
Guatemala as "the best city for 2009" in the Wanderlust Travel Awards
2009; announcing the awards at the end of the Destinations Travel
Show, in London. The colonial city took first place over cities such as Kyoto, Japan;  Boston, MA; and 600 other worldwide destinations.

The travel event was held in London from 5th through the 8th of
February, and Wanderlust took advantage of the venue to announce the
winners its travel awards.This specialized tourism publication also announced travel awards for the best country, travel agency, travel guidebook and airline; as
determined by readership selection, in which they express their satisfaction with a specific destination.

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