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|NetLetter #1323 | July 15, 2015|
For Air Canada Retirees
Air Canada 747-100 (FIN 305) in YVR (Photo by Tom Grant)
|Welcome to the NetLetter, an Aviation based newsletter for Air Canada, TCA, CPAir, Canadian Airlines and all other Canadian based airlines that once graced the Canadian skies.
The NetLetter was created in 1995 by Vesta Stevenson (RIP) and Terry Baker and is normally published every two weeks (we're late sometimes). If you are interested in Canadian Aviation History, and vintage aviation photos, especially as it relates to Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada then we're sure you'll enjoy this free newsletter.
Women in Aviation
The idea was born in the mind of a Boeing official who was on a rough flight from San Francisco to Reno N.V. The pilot and co-pilot were busy trying to keep the wings level, so the official took over the job of handing out coffee and sandwiches to anyone still able to swallow.
Why not, thought the official, hire stewards to perform this chore?
He passed his suggestion on to Boeing's top brass. But the brass were busy pondering another suggestion - this one from a young San Francisco named Ellen Church. She proposed that the airline hire nurses as flight attendants, because of the air sickness problem. Officials with Boeing Air Transport, the predecessor of United Airlines, went for her pitch, and agreed to hire eight women, conditionally, for a three-month experiment.
We're pleased to introduce a new feature this month called "Wayne's Wings". Wayne Albertson, newest member of the "NetLetter Team", will be providing a new section in each issue regarding aircraft in the ACFamily Fleet of aircraft (all the previous airlines that have molded themselves into the present Air Canada).We plan to expand on this feature within the ACFN website by adding an aircraft specific section where we can display photos and stories from our readers.
As Wayne said to me recently, "Every time I board an aircraft, I take note of the FIN number. This sometimes brings back memories of previous flights or experiences with these specific aircraft".
To me, some obvious FIN numbers or registrations stick in my mind, 604 (Gimli Glider), 501 and 503 (L1011's) and CF-TCC.
For those subscribers asking about the Obituaries area, this is being rebuilt on the new ACFN website, but is still available at www.acfamily.net/obituaries
Reader Submitted Photos
Robert Arnold has sent us these photos -
Betty Draper sent us this photo of the smoke at Saskatoon airport recently due to the forest fires in June 2015.
Entered Air Canada service with the delivery of Fin 301 in February 1971. Deliveries of Fins 302 to 306 continued through May 1974 (see 305 above in header). These giants were the class of the industry and replaced the DC-8 on growing markets from Toronto to London and Paris. Domestically they were used on the busy Toronto - Vancouver route.
Fins 301 and 302 were sold to Guinness Peat Aviation by 1985 and continued in service under various registrations until 1999. Fin 302 was operated briefly by Wardair Canada from October 1986 until June 1990. Fins 303 to 305 remained in service in the Air Canada fleet until retired 1998. Unfortunately, it seems that all five have been broken up and none remain in storage.
My favourite personal experience with this fleet was flying on Fin 303 from Toronto to Las Vegas. The aircraft was (at the time) configured for sun destination charters with 497 economy seats. I was seated on the bottom deck at the front of the aircraft when it was suddenly hit by lightning just at the beginning of the descent into Las Vegas. There was a Big Bang and then a fireball sped through the cabin. Everyone on board caught a glimpse of the “Bright Lights” before we even got to the Big City. Ironically, it happened so quickly that there was no time to be frightened. I flew on Fin 303 a few more times before it was retired and always felt a particular bond with this aircraft.
TCA/AC People Gallery
Conclusion of the story by Frank Sayer entitled "Incredible inaugurations" we started in NetLetter nr 1322 –
It didn't. Reason? Weather. As a compromise we settled for the night at Gander and ventured through the next morning. It was now Saturday, April 4, and we expected to return home on Monday on board another plane from Moncton.
As a matter of fact, we next saw our loved ones on April 10. Reason? Weather. Not until then could the pilot again get to the Torbay airport. as St. John's was then in the inky blackness of its first permanent black out. The party during its long exile had the hardening experience of stumbling over curbstones and bumping into pedestrians until they had learned to see in the dark. Of our further adventures discretion forbids mention, but it should do no harm to recall to the Quixotic instincts of one of our number, the soul of Winnipeg chivalry who on one occasion walked home in the black out, about seven miles.
But the real heartbreak came when Bill English laboured to contact pilot and plane at Moncton by telephone. The circuit was routed via Montreal and also via censor. Three times our pooled intelligence attempted to penetrate the watchfulness of that hidden ear. We began. "when can the plane- ."
Today, of course. everything is different. Aerial navigation aids have reduced those old first hit and miss first flights to mere memories. But what memories.
Robert Pelley has sent us this information -
As you may know, this is the situation for the history of Gander. In 1935 it was only trees and bog. It existed as military airport until 1945 and then was used for civilian purposes until 1959.
In 1959 a new town was built; the present-day terminal was constructed and the old military airport torn down so that nothing exists. I have a website which tries to collect and display data on “old” Gander: Click here for Bob's Gander History web site.
Over the years, former staff from TCA or other organisations have given me enough info to be able to do a first article on TCA in Gander from the initial flights in 1942 to the first Viscounts. But I suspect there is a lot more info out there that merits being included. This could be timetables, lists of employees or any other Gander info, line diagrams, anecdotes, photos of any nature from operations to company parties.
My article on TCA can be seen at TCAAIRCANADA.PDF
If you could inform your readers about the website with hope of obtaining information which would make it more complete and pertinent, your help would be immensely appreciated!
Robert Pelley, former Gander resident
Star Alliance News
Avianca Brazil will join the Star Alliance network July 22, 2015.
Lufthansa’s flight attendant union UFO has agreed to postpone any further strike action until mid-July after receiving concessions on pay and pensions from the German carrier.
CPAir, Canadi>n People Gallery
1992 Jan 26 - Service between Toronto and Lima was suspended after 38 years of service.
Roger Slauenwhlte refers to one of the four photos we found on the Ramp Rats and published in NetLetter nr 1321 without any identifications.
Roger told us the issue of the "Horizons" magazine issued 1975 had this photo. We located it in in NetLetter nr 1201 April 2012. The participants, looking unruffled by the ACRA Flying Club fly-in at Toronto at the first annual Rally & Poker Derby are:
Standing from the left: Captain P. L. Windh, Jerry Milek, Reed Aiken, Ron Paterson, George Warriner, Jim Beloshesky and Don Morrison. Front row, from the left: Lars Jensen, Roger Slauenwhlte, Bob Rathwell and Don Washington.
Ken Pickford sends these comments -
Re the Robert Arnold photos of Viscount #612, CF-TGT, at Winnipeg in NetLetter issue #1318, he mentions that "the fleet number is still located on the radome".
Actually, that wasn't a radome then as most TCA Viscounts didn't have weather radar when delivered. You'll note the entire nose structure on that aircraft is metal. If memory correct, the last dozen or so Viscounts delivered after some point in 1958 and into 1959 had weather radar installed at the factory. All the earlier Viscounts were then modified to add it, including the fibreglass/composite radome which slightly changed the nose contour of the Viscounts (it was a little more pointed than the original all-metal structure). Someone more familiar with TCA Viscount operations will know more about the timing of those modifications than me.
We, at the NetLetter, passed Ken's comments on to Robert Arnold who responded -
After having a closer look, Ken is absolutely right. Thank you for pointing this out. I note he mentions July 1958 when they started installing the radomes.This is a big help as up to now, I have not had much luck on nailing down a time frame when TCA started the installation and when they completed the changeover. Some clarity would certainly help in this area of my research. Way to go Ken for having such a keen eye.
Odds and Ends
Phil Pawsey sent us this information on Percy B. Waddy (VE9PBW SK) who has sadly passed away. There will still be a few us who remembered Percy when he was with TCA.
MAARC, Inc. members will be very saddened to learn of Percy's passing. We first met Percy over 25 years ago when he enrolled in one of the Amateur Radio courses we were conducting. He related that one of his sons had taken over the farm and his wife, Jean, advised him that he should now engage in a hobby that would be interesting and challenging.
After completing the course and obtaining his Certificate he was very enthusiastic about his new found pursuit and we exchanged visits at our respective homes. His enthusiasm made helping him erect an antenna system and coaching him in on-air operating a great pleasure.
Percy served with distinction during WW2, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader and Flight Commander of RAF Squadron 203, flying B24 Liberator Bombers in the Indian Ocean theatre. A few years ago based on tactical photos taken during an action over the Adaman Sea that he had flown on, Percy commissioned the well known artist, Lars Larsen, to paint a composite of the bombing of Japanese supply ships by his squadron. Percy kindly gave us a signed print copy of the painting which we much treasure.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips
The Toronto-based Four Seasons hotel group last year revealed that its guests would have new means of travelling from one of its properties to another, by announcing that the company would launch the hotel industry’s first fully branded private jet in 2015.
One trip ...a 24-day, around-the-world journey that will visit enduringly popular attractions such as the Taj Mahal and the beaches of Bora Bora. The cost:: from $132,000 (£88,000) per person.
A retrofitted Boeing 757 featuring interiors by the hotel group’s designers, the Four Seasons Jet – as it is perhaps a touch unimaginatively named – accommodates just 52 passengers rather than the 233 this category of aircraft usually carries.
(If you want to get in on this trip click here – eds)
Don Brady sends this memory –
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