Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Richard Hovey sends this correction after reading "Readers submitted photos" in NetLetter nr 1340.

In the photos, the correct spelling is John Dolkjar & his wife. Also, the CF-TCA gear-up error was not a “paperwork error” (stationery) but a stationary one.
(Errors have been corrected - Eds)

Norman Hogwood, in New Zealand, was sent some information, from a friend, regarding the restoration of the Super Constellation.

His comment, with his e-mail to the NetLetter was "Oh, how I love this airplane, thanks to TCA! How I wish for another flight in one. I used to like seeing the main gear-up sequences during take-off. It looked as if one would go down again to provide sufficient pneumatic (hydraulic?) pressure to pump the other one up. Terrific to see more restoration.

A further e-mail from Norman

While trolling through the Wikipedia list of accidents/incidents involving Connie’s I came across this one. Presumably, some TCA staff were also killed. Any info from you guys?

November 10, 1958: A Seaboard and Western Airlines Lockheed L-1049D Super Constellation registration N6503C was taking off from Idlewild International Airport runway 31R when it became uncontrollable. The aircraft finally struck an unloaded Trans-Canada Viscount, which was preparing to board passengers. Both aircraft were destroyed by fire.

Anthony Walsh came up with this information -

The loss of CF-TGL was covered in past NETLETTER #1313 – user submission with photo. Actually I had forgotten about this 1958 Idlewild airport ground accident until I saw it in that NETLETTER issue. There were only 2 flight crew members aboard the parked Viscount that was awaiting passengers, when she was struck by that “uncontrollable” Seaboard & Western Super-Connie on take-off crash. I assume the flight attendant/s were in the gate. The reports say the 2 crew members on board survived the accident and no injuries listed. By chance there was also no ground crew at the aircraft, It is noteworthy that CF-TGL had fin # 604, the same as the Gimli Glider C-GAUN, the B-767 fleet taking over the 600 series fin #s from the Viscounts.

In some respects Fin 604 is a lucky #. The no injuries and saved aircraft of the Gimli glide in 1983 and the miraculous Viscount Fin 604 1958 no injury due passenger boarding not started and no ground crew in immediate area and the 2 flight crew escaping despite the Super-Connie’s impact from the front quarter speak for the lucky end-count aspect of Fin # 604.

Actually rather than doomed, the pilots who flew AC Fin 604 / C-GAUN over the 25 years she operated after the Gimli event, almost universally considered her a lucky and blessed plane, the theory being extreme circumstance and test would not occur twice to the same airframe.

Cheers Anthony Walsh.

(Note: Anthony Walsh is one of the leaders of the project to raise funds for Gimli Glider parts acquisition & museum in Gimli.)

Pete Sleeman sent this memory -

I flew that aircraft, (the Gimli Glider....I still remember hearing the news from a CPAir B737 crew in Fort St John when I was a Line Engineer there at the time) so my hands have been on those lucky Fin 604 yokes after I became an AC pilot, albiet the yokes cleaned many times by Sani-Wipes by subsequent pilots.

Pete Sleeman

After the article in NetLetter nr 1340 regarding the Viscount which was the first flight to operate out of Ottawa, we received the following dialogue. From Jack Stephens, the Canadian researcher in Calgary for the Vickers Viscount network.

Having relayed the information for inclusion on the Vickers Viscount network web site the NetLetter received a request from the Brian Burrage, co-founder of the Vickers Viscount Network (www.vickersviscount.net) wishing for the fin number and registration. Unfortunately, even after magnifying the photo, we were unable to determine the details. In the meantime, Jack Stephens received the following information from Robert Arnold, also a Canadian researcher in Winnipeg, for the Vickers Viscount network - 

That Viscount in the photo is CF-TIE, on my Mac I can see quite clear the 649 on the fin, the first Viscount our museum (RAMWC) had, only to be replaced by CF-THS after vandals destroyed the aircraft by a fire -  Robert.

To which Jack responded, in part, Just read that when the Ottawa Terminal was to open in 1959, a low flying fighter jet cracked the sound barrier and broke most of the windows in the terminal. This delayed the open until June of the next year  - Jack.

In NetLetter 1341 Alan Evans from South Africa advised that the A310 fleet  introduced by Wardair in 1988 (see Wayne's Wings NL # 1338) may have been originally bought by South Africa airlines and aquired through a little bit of intrigue. It seems that the aircraft Mr. Evans remembers were actually A300's leased by Wardair while awaiting delivery of the A310's on order. These three aircraft are listed at Planespotters.net

Wayne Kirby writes-

The aircraft Max Ward obtained from South Africa were 3 A300's which were leased and moved thru France necessitating a brief French registration (24 hours). At a later date A310's were purchased from Airbus.

Thank you,
Wayne Kirby

Mike Martin clarifies the circumstances below -

In the NetLetter 1341 there is a feedback comment regarding the early days Airbus aircraft that Max Ward acquired for Wardair Canada. This feedback was in response to a Wayne's Wings article from issue 1338 regarding the current disposition of the A310 fleet. The feedback incorrectly identifies the aircraft type that came from SAA (South African Airways).

The reader refers to the A310's that came into the fleet. All of the A310 fleet were purchased as new aircraft and were all delivered from the Airbus Final Assembly line in Toulouse, France. The aircraft being referred to in the feedback comment were, in fact, the A300 aircraft that were needed to fill in as a stopgap aircraft while the A310 order was being completed and delivered.

The comments are correct in that this transaction with South Africa happened during the trade embargo, and the aircraft were brought in through the 'back door' by delivering them to a country not participating in the embargo. De-registering them from SA and registering them French. They were then moved to the UK where they underwent a predelivery maintenance check and re-painting into the Wardair paint scheme, again de-registered and registered Canadian, and thus not directly imported from SA as mentioned, at the time a very hot political topic in bypassing the trade embargo that Canada was participating in at the time.

There were 2 versions of A300, the small fleet B4 models and 1 C4 model that was built as a combi, with a main deck cargo door but all were only ever operated as all passenger versions. The main deck cargo door on the one C4 model was only ever opened as a maintenance function for inspection purposes. They were only in the fleet for a relatively short time, as once the A310 fleet started to take shape, the A300's were removed from operation.

Mike Martin
Retired, Wardair/Canadian/Air Canada
- Technical Operations/Maintenance

Note: I had noticed the A300's while researching my article but was not able to find any definitive information about them. Thanks to everyone for the fascinating feedback.