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!

Air Canada - our first 70 years

1969 - The company announced an order of simulators with CAE Industries Ltd for the B-747 and L-1011 wide bodied aircraft being delivered.
"Between Ourselves" issue December 1969 has these articles -

On December 2nd 1949 TCA introduced the first scheduled service to Barbados with the North Star aircraft, Ron Peel was the navigator. 20 years later, in 1969, the company withdrew the Vanguard aircraft from this route, having replaced it with a DC-8 service.

vanguardbdaHere is a photo of the  final Vanguard prior to departing Barbados. No identifications but the flight was commanded by Capt. Nellis Trerice.

moscowThe first long bodied DC-8 aircraft ever to arrive in Moscow was by Air Canada during December 1969. Here we have this photo marking the event..

At the official opening ceremonies of Peterborough airport in Ontario, Air Canada sent a Viscount for a static display, and it was the first company aircraft ever to land at the Peterborough airport.
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"

Issue dated September 1969
Into the heart of CP Air territory went a DC-8 charter for members of the Whitehorse Canadian Legion bound for London, England.

whitehorseFortunately there was total cooperation, here are the participants.

yowgirlsThese Ottawa girls are very happy with their new uniforms. Check this out!

Issue dated October 1969

ywgbaseThe Winnipeg Overhaul Base was officially handed over to CAE Aircraft Ltd in a ceremony in hanger # 2, and here we have this photo.

ywgduoTwo pairs of Winnipeg based Stewardesses have several male Station Attendants baffled, as this photo shows.

clevelandA champagne toast is enjoyed by ladies of the Cleveland office.

sasdc8DC-8's don't usually operate into Saskatoon, but they had ten charters during the year, and here we have a photo of the ground crew dispatching one of them.

lhrcargoThe official acceptance of the in-floor dragline conveyor system for the LHR cargo terminal, here we have this photo.

Issue dated January 1970

Making only its second appearance outside the United States, Boeing's B-747 called at YUL during mid December 1969. But not an Air Canada example, it was the aircraft painted in Trans World Airlines colors and on a world tour.

stewsOur own flight instructresses were on hand to assist the TWA cabin crew during two courtesy flights. We have this photo.   

Bytes and Pieces
Alan Rust Plane Crash in the Hudson River

I'm taking for granted that most of you watch the news and are aware of the "Miracle on the Hudson River" that happened in New York on Thursday, January 15, 2009. If you happened to miss this news see:

The following is an article reprinted from the RAPCAN Emailnews

Hero Pilot Faces Mandatory Retirement, Reduced Pension

At age 57, Chesley Sullenberger hardly qualifies as a geezer in my book. But as commercial airline pilots go, the man who is being hailed for his flawless emergency landing of a U.S. Airways jet in the Hudson River is certainly getting up there in years.

A320 in Hudson River

The San Francisco Examiner summarized their local hero's extensive background: If a Hollywood producer called central casting in search of an actor to play a pilot in a disaster movie, he would probably wind up with somebody who looked a lot like "Sully" Sullenberger"Sully" Sullenberger: the silver hair of experience, the trimmed mustache of precision and the kind of twinkly, fatherly eyes that lend confidence when accompanying a friendly "Welcome aboard."

Sullenberger has decades of experience not only flying planes-first F-4's for the US Air Force and since 1980 all kinds of aircraft for US Airways-but of studying and teaching how to fly them more safely. His resume shows experience flying everything from a glider to a jumbo jet.

After both engines blew, Sullenberger reportedly told his 150 passengers to "brace for impact because we're going down" before maneuvering over a bridge and between skyscrapers to land the plane safely on the river. He walked the length of the sinking jet twice to verify that no one was aboard before exiting himself. The Wall Street Journal described Sullenberger's handling of what it called "one of the rarest and most technically challenging feats in commercial aviation".

Although commercial jetliners are equipped with life vests and inflatable slides, there have been few successful attempts at water landings during the jet age. Indeed, even though pilots go through the motions of learning to ditch a plane in water, the generally held belief is that such landings would almost certainly result in fatalities.

Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III, a veteran US Airways pilot, pulled it off while simultaneously coping with numerous other challenges.
Might Sullenberger's 40 years of experience have something to with this feat? It's well worth asking, since until last year, the hero pilot would have been less than three years away from forced retirement. In December 2007, after decades of debate, the federal government finally passed a law raising the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots from 60 to 65. Until 2006, the United States wouldn't even allow foreign planes with pilots over 60 to land at American airports.

One reason older pilots wanted to keep working was to make up for their decimated pensions. When U.S. Airways went bankrupt (for the first time) in 2002, the company's underfunding of its pension plan had reached some $2.5 million. The federal government's Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. agreed to take over the plan, but is covering only a fraction of the losses.

As the Chicago Tribune reported at the time, older pilots who wanted to keep working faced opposition even from some of their own colleagues, who worried that "safety may be compromised since pilots in their 60s may find it tougher to battle fatigue or rebound from jet lag than younger colleagues."

These folks might want to ask the passengers on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 if they would have preferred a 30-year-old at the controls today.
Note: We'd like to thank the RAPCAN EmailNews ( for allowing us to repeat this article from their newsletter.
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.

Pickings from the "CP Air News" magazine.

Issue dated February 1985

New Air B.C. route between Victoria B.C. and Seattle Washington to start Apr 29th.
CP Air's DC-10-30 daily average utilization is 13 hours and 10 hours for the DC-10-10.

rupertPrince Rupert B.C. is a base with a difference, you take a ferry to the airport. Here we have this photo of 3 employees.  

Issue dated April 1985

b737-1The first B-737-300 is delivered on April 12th 1985 and named "Empress of Ontario" goes into service April 17th Vancouver to Edmonton.

b737-2The first B-737-200 was first in service on the Vancouver-San Francisco sector November 6th 1968.

Whitehorse greets its first jumbo when CP Air DC-10 charter on April 11th carrying 279 Shriners and, at the time, set a record as the largest aircraft to land there.

CP Air will reintroduce domestic service back into Halifax on May 13th.

Issue dated August 1985

Pandas fly in style. CP Air played a big part in the Pandamania. Four rows of seats were removed from a window section so the Pandas could travel in the comfort of the passenger cabin.

pandaThe Pandas were destined for Toronto. Here we have a photo of Flight Attendant Alan Heung providing service between Tokyo and Toronto.

(We are not sure if the service is to the Pandas or passengers - hard to tell - eds)

DC-10 charters make history in Prince George B.C. The first ever wide bodied aircraft to visit was on August 1st 1985 to pick up 250 athletes for the B.C.Summer Games being held in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The airport at Nanaimo is unable to accommodate large aircraft and the athletes were bussed from the Comox Military base.

AirBC are due to receive two Dash 8's this fall to augment their present fleet of (12) Twin Otters and (4) Dash 7's.

CP Air announce several new flights effective Oct 27th -
- First ever non-stop between Toronto and Tokyo.
- First ever non-stop between Vancouver and Hong Kong.
On November 1st re-establishing Toronto-Honolulu-Auckland with B-747 equipment.

Issue dated October 1985

CP Air announced on October 8th that it proposed to merge with Nordair at a press conference. The merger to take place December 31st.

Nordair had its beginnings as Boreal Airways Ltd founded May 28th 1947 in St.Felicien, QC.

The company became Nordair in 1956 when it acquired Mont Laurier Aviation Ltd.

In 1960 Nordair purchased Wheeler Airlines Ltd. At one time, Air Canada acquired 86.46% in 1972 but was forced to relinquish the holding in 1979 by Federal decree.

Issue dated November 1985

aucklandA happy gathering at Auckland after the inaugural in November.
The CP Air B-747 inaugural Auckland to Honolulu carried a cargo record of 77,251 pounds.

Star Alliance News
Another exciting milestone has been set by Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380.

The Airline is expecting to fly its one millionth A380 customer in February 2009, less than four months after it celebrated its first anniversary of commercial services.
Reader's Feedback

Gordie Aitchison
sent us this follow up to the "Air Race" story we serialized in NetLetter 1050 and NetLetter 1051.

I was one of the PIK team of 3 who helped Bill and Paul through in record time - the 12 mins mentioned was touchdown to takeoff using the distant runway because the main runway was under resurfacing during the dark hours! It was only beaten by 1 minute the following morning by an aircraft which was then able to use the main adjacent runway and required no fuel!

Hiring of staff is mentioned and it is true the offer - very little, incidentally - was made but we turned it down.

Being of assistance in an unusual race of this kind was quite sufficient for us.

Bill and Paul were friends from schooldays and the author of this article is Paul's wife.

Their aircraft was abandoned in Bluie West One due to the high cost of repairs in such a remote area.

The 60 year-old doctor spent 3 days in hospital after the punch-up which actually took place in the air after takeoff when it was discovered a panel had not been secured. The pilot wanted to return but the copilot - only 19 years old - who was flying said no - hence the fight onboard - and realizing he had hurt the old fellow badly, he landed, dumped him on the runway and took off again.

His subsequent disqualification was made while he was still transiting Canada to Victoria and was made on the grounds that the same crew must remain all the way to the finish line!

One other AC crew took part - name O'Brien - believe Larry - ex navigator but retrained as pilot and he was helped through PIK by our old friend Tom Howson.

Best wishes, Gordie Aitchison

Norman Randall has sent us these two photos - taken while  working  for  Canadian Pacific  Air Lines the winter of 1955 at Norman Wells, on the Dew  line operation.

dewlineC-46 with a canvas  engine  tent  used  to  heat  the  engine  while doing  maintenance work on  it.

hayriverThe  airport  terminal  at  Hay River - I had to go with one  of our C-46 aircraft  to  Hay River to  pick up a load of frozen freight to deliver to a Dew  Line station regards Norm  Randall - former  Engineer at Whitehorse Yukon.

This and That.

During 2008, two icons at Toronto International Airport have been reduced to scrap. The two Douglas DC-4's were owned by Millard Ltd. Neither had flown for 15 years. An attempt was made to restore to an airworthy condition C-GQIA c/n 10464 but corrosion of the central spar made it uneconomical and it was broken up during August 2008. The other, C-GDWZ c/n 10636 was broken up during October 2008.
Terry's Travel Tips
Terry Baker
Renewing your United Kingdom passport?
(Here is the ultimate in outsourcing -eds)
Here's the dirt -
All passport applications must be made through the
North America Passport Production Centre, Washington, D.C.passport fees must be paid in US dollars

Effective November 2008,cost for adult is us$190.00 plus us$15.00 postage plus us$11.00 if paying by credit card.

Passport services for British Citizens in Canada are centralized in Washington, DC. Please visit the passport section on the website at

All passport telephone enquiries are handled by our outsource partner
Abtran, please call:
in the USA: 1 900 285 7277
in Canada:  1 900 528 7277

Hours of operation:
Weekdays from 08.30-20.30 Eastern Standard Time. Calls cost $2.60 per minute. If you have difficulties reaching the above number and wish to pay by credit card, please call: in the USA: 1-800 630 3332, in Canada: 1-800 809 377

Effective April 1st, the budget carrier Jet2 will allow all passengers to carry up to 22 kgs within the cabin of its aircraft.

Come to Cosmopolitan Melbourne and enjoy 5 star luxury at The Como with this great summer industry rate.
Studio Suite $199.00 per night.
Valid until 28 February 2009 and subject to industry rate availability (block out dates may apply).

For bookings please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Located on the corner of two of Melbourne's most famous streets, in the heart of the vibrant South Yarra shopping and cafe district. The Como provides exemplary facilities and services including SOBar for celebrity spotting.

The Como Melbourne
630 Chapel Street
South Yarra, VIC 3141
Tel: +61 3 9825 2222
Fax: +61 3 9824 1263
Email for reservations: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Industry rate is valid until 28 February 2009 (block out dates may apply).
Rate is strictly subject to availability, is exclusive to Travel Industry personnel only and conditions may apply.The hotel reserves the right to request proof of identity on check in.
Moon Boom (from 1969)
Thousands of potential passengers have "reserved" seats on Air Canada for the inauguration of service to the moon. Some have been made in the name of a mother-in-law, and one way only!

Here is a photo of the certificate.

certificate(Photocopies NOT acceptable - eds)

Joan Darcy
and Moray King, passenger agents in a Toronto CTO, took 14 pages of reservations for the Lunar Log during the "Fourteenth largest cocktail party in North America" to raise money for a charity.

G.Greenough, a YYZ mechanic was the first employee to request a contingent pass and requested that he be the first on record. Gerry Philbrook, Supervisor Pass Bureau regretfully denied the application stating that any empty seats would be filled from a secret list of employees on a one-way trip.

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