The NetLetter
 For Air Canada Retirees

June, 2010 - Issue 1125
5433 Subscribers
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson, Victoria, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Ground Technician - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario
To contact us, send an email to

In This Issue
Women in Aviation
Our first 70 years
Odds & Ends
Air Canada Related News.
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds & Ends
Terry's Trivia
About us
Terry, Vesta & Alan Pionair's AGM 2007

Terry, Vesta & Alan
The NetLetter Web Site
The NetLetter Web Site

ACFamily Network
ACFamily Links
Air Canada Pionairs

Project North Star

ACFamily Obituaries
Vesta Stevenson
Vesta Stevenson

We welcome you to allow the NetLetter to 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 NetLetter is an email newsletter published every weekend and contains a mixture of nostalgia, current news and travel tips. We encourage our readers to submit their stories, photos and/or comments from either days gone by or from present day experiences and  trips. If we think that the rest of our readers will enjoy it, we will publish it here

We also welcome your feedback in regard to anything we post here. Many readers have commented with additional information names and personal memories from the photos and articles presented here.
The NetLetter, which is free, is open to anyone that wishes to subscribe but is targeted to retired employees from Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and all the other companies that were part of what Air Canada is today. Thanks for joining us!

Vesta & your NetLetter Team
Women in Aviation - Compiled by Terry Baker
A First for female Air Force Pilot
The Air Force says Col. Dawn DunlopCol. Dawn Dunlop was the first woman to fly an F-22 and becomes the "first female fighter test pilot to lead an Air Force wing" when, on June 4, she takes command of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base.

Prior to 1993, the Air Force carried a ban on female fighter pilots. Dunlop graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1988 and went on to the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards in 1997. She has accumulated more than 3,300 flight hours (including combat hours) and has flown more than 25 aircraft models.

In November of 2003, then Lt. Col. Dunlop became the first woman to fly the Raptor after that year being assigned as operations officer for the F-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards. Dunlop will succeed Brig. Gen. William Thornton to assume her latest command
Our first 70 years - Compiled by Terry Baker
Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada

  • Sept 15 - All flights moved from Mirabel (YMX)to Dorval (YUL).
  • Sale of NWT Air to First Air finalized.
Star Alliance News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Star Alliance
Lufthansa operated its first scheduled A380 flight June 11 from Frankfurt to Tokyo Narita with 520 passengers and 22 crew members on board. 

Thrice-weekly service on the route will become daily on Aug. 4 following delivery of LH's second A380 by the end of July.  Its third will operate between FRA and Beijing thrice-weekly beginning Aug. 25 and its fourth will fly between FRA and Johannesburg thrice-weekly from Oct. 25.  It is configured with 526 seats: Eight first class and 98 business class on the upper deck and 420 economy class seats on the lower deck.
Air Canada Related News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Air Canada News A secured loan facility of us$170.5 m  has been arranged with G.E. of Japan to finance (12) A319 and (4) B767-300ER's.
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada LogoMusings from the "Between Ourselves" magazine an Air Canada publication from years gone by.
Issue dated - August 1997
Gleanings from "Horizons" magazine
Mirabel Employees
For the past 20 years, Montreal has supported two airport facilities, one with an international focus and one, primarily, domestic and transborder. Domestic flights have departed from Dorval or Mirabel, all transborder precleared flights from Dorval, and all international flights from Mirabel.

After long consideration and significant public discussion, the decision was made to consolidate international flights at Dorval, effective September 15th 1997.

Here is a photo of three employees affected. Michelle Larose, Martin Boyer, Joanne Moffette.
"No Bull" Team
In 1975, the company changed computer systems at Dorval from IBM to Honeywell-Bull. The main software systems were the inventory, flight service  and maintenance systems. During 1997, the decision was made to revert from Honeywell-Bull and to house all Air Canada computer systems on IBM by 1998. Since late 1996, a team of Air Canada and Information Systems Services Analysts studied the various distribution activities and processes. Celebrating the achievement of the first completed system in the Bull Replacement Project are, from the left: Daryll Johnson, Marlene Roy, Quock Dihn Tran, Christian Boisvert, Marcel Lafleur, Levis Morin, Diana Meek, Paul Robillard, Claude Levac.

Missing: (Presumably chasing bugs - eds) Jocelyne Cara, Luc Foisy, Martine Ladouceur, Marina Nazarenko, Nicole Pare-Jacques.
 (Your co-pilot was involved with the IBM to Honeywell project which proves the adage that "What goes around comes around" - eds)
Halifax Staff
Here are some of the staff at Halifax who welcomed the passengers on the inaugural flight to Frankfurt.

From the left: Sheila MacKay, Area Sales Manager, Janice Blackburn, Passenger Sales Manager - NS, NB & PEI,
and these CSS Agents in YHZ Marlis Dupupet, Lexlie Blackler, Mahrukh Rustom.
Fraser Muir 1997
Early in 1997, recognizing the importance of retaining mementos of the airline's history, Lamar Durrett, President & Chief Executive Officer, decided that the 60th anniversary year presented the perfect opportunity to mount an exhibit of Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) and Air Canada artifacts. He called upon a few retired, former and active employees and the treasure hunt began.. Fraser Muir, then President of the Pionairs, Air Canada's large retiree association, got involved using the vast retiree network to dig out items from the past. The Pionairs have also been entrusted with the ongoing care and itinerary planning of the exhibit.

Many TCA and Air Canada artifacts were kept and put into storage by the airline when the archives were dismantled in 1991. Others, such as the TCA aircraft models, were donated to the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa. The models, along with other artifacts from the museum, Many of these items have been loaned back for the exhibit. The exhibition became Air Canada's roving museum.

Above we have a photo of Fraser Muir.

Here is the result of an exchange of emails between Al Catterall, Fraser Muir, Wallace Hasker, John Rodger, Brian Losito and Jim Strang. about the archives.

Do you know where they are? Fraser's cases are at the AC Headquarters where Brian Losito looks after it. The bulk of it is in The Canadian Aviation Museum and a lot of the uniforms and archives are in a warehouse in YOW. This is where they are sorting them. The uniforms are now finished but there is a large amount of boxes that will have to been gone through.

Do you know who has access to them currently? Anyone who goes to the Museum can see the Memorabilia and a new display set up in the main Museum. You can also visit the library where they have a lot of the archives sorted and filed.

Do you know if archive researchers can have access? By this do you mean AC retirees? If so yes but I would advise contacting the museum first.

The area of interest is the as delivered interiors of the Viscount fleet as to colour scheme, tartan and bulkhead colours. I'm sure you would find out about this at the Library at CAM. Just by chance we are taking Mr. Taylor up June 4th for a visit to the Museum. While there I will be in contact with The Manger of the Archives Library and will ask her about the Viscount. We had a visit there a couple of years ago and they were getting it in order in their New Library. Mr. Taylor was very impressed the way things were being handled.

The reason for the inquiry is the fact that a few ex airline employees here in Victoria are doing a fantastic job of restoring a Viscount to the "as delivered" livery.
Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Ford Model T - 100 Years Later
"This is a great video showing the first assembly lines at the original Ford auto plant. Neat to see those guys making the old wooden wheels, mostly by hand. The places that car could go is amazing!!"

So what has this got to do with aircraft? I'll segue into that next week...


Model T Production Line
Model T Ford

Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc. People & Events
- Compiled by Terry Baker
CAIL TailsNews and articles from days gone by gleaned from various publications from C.A.I.L. and it's "ancestry" of contributing airlines.
Issue dated - October 1998
Extracts from the "Canadi>n Flyer" magazine
New Uniforms
October 25th Inter-Canadian expanded its network into Atlantic Canada through an agreement with Canadian, utilizing F28 and ATR-42 equipment.
A leading Canadian fashion designer has created a wardrobe of uniforms for the front line employees to replace the uniform in use for the past 10 years. The new uniforms  will be introduced January 1st 2000. Here is a sample.
During the Air Canada strike, Canadian handled the stranded passengers and at YYC this was the scene -

Air Canada passengers on standby at YYC airport were tapping their toes to "Jailhouse Rock",  thanks to YYC's own Customer Service crooners. Al Cox, CSA, and Bob Carter. Training Lead, set up a karaoke machine at a standby counter to keep AC customers up to date on flight information. To add some levity. Al and Bob donned their blue suede shoes and performed songs by the King. No word yet on whether Elvis rolled over in his grave, but their captive customers gave the pair standing ovations.

(Unfortunately there is no photograph to accompany their claim to fame - eds)
Dale & Gary
Dale and Gary Ausmus are identical twins, as you can see in this photograph.

At the check-in they have occasionally worked together, much to the bewilderment of the passengers. In 1977 the twins were paired in Fort McMurray, sometimes sharing shifts on the check-in desk. Both customers and co-workers had trouble telling them apart.

When Dale moved to Edmonton, Gary would check someone in at Fort McMurray and Gary would greet them in Edmonton. It never ceased to amaze customers, and some wanted to know how I beat the plane down to Edmonton."
The Flying Saunders
The Flying Saunders of Vancouver have, collectively, 73 years of combined airline experience as Flight Attendants and CSDs.

Left to right we have Nicola Stokes, Mike Saunders, Tim Saunders.

Reader's Feedback - Compiled by Terry Baker
Reader's Feedback
Every week we ask our readers for their stories or  feedback on what they have read here in previous issues. Below is the feedback we have received recently.

Ron Lingwood
sends us this memory which came when he read NetLetter nr 1123 -

Whilst looking at the picture of the Yellowknife engine change circa 1945, in the Netletter 1123.  It reminded me that when I started working for CPAir in 1969, Cy Charters was my crew chief. He was a great guy to work for but he was sometimes hard to fathom out. He would quite often ignore you totally for days and then having spotted you he would collar you for a chat that would sometimes last for an hour or more.

This conversation would most often be a reminiscing of his early days and I would certainly enjoy this. It would fill me in on early aviation history in Canada, me being a recent arrival from England with very little knowledge of Canadian history at that time.

The story I most liked about him, told by someone who was present at the time, is one where he stepped out of a DC 8 doorway and found there were no steps. Hitting the hangar floor he apparently jumped up and carried on walking!!!

He was on tough son-of-a-gun!!

Ron Lingwood

Jack Stephens has forwarded these memories which he received from Gary Walters for posting on the web site -
One of the most interesting trips that I had on the Viscount was from Toronto to Boston as a F/O flying with Capt Clark Henning who was later killed during the DC8 training accident at OW. We were called out to fly Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and the cast of Hamlet to Boston. In those days the flight deck door was never closed on charters and all were welcome to come and say hello. When we landed at Boston and approached the gate, we saw hundreds of people climbing the fences. Apparently a local radio station had some how found out that they were coming in and at what time. The aircraft was mobbed and I always thought it was somewhat of a miracle that no one got hurt as it took so long for the props to stop spinning. A decision was made to tow the aircraft to a hanger on the other side of the field and the police were called to try and disperse the crowd. Richard Burton came up to the front and standing between us looking at the crowd running along beside the aircraft as it was being towed;  kept saying "look at those stupid bastards "One sight that defies all logic was a woman in a fur coat carrying a small dog running beside the engine holding onto the # 1 prop." Eventually we were towed into the hanger the doors shut and the plane surrounded by police and customs. Then the real fun began. Customs made all the cast and the Burtons lay out their baggage on the hanger floor. As you can imagine this took quite a while and as far as I know they did not find any drugs.

Burton was fuming all the time with Mr. Hume Cronin who was in the cast trying to calm him down. An hour or so later they left in their limousines but not before Mr. Burton and Ms. Taylor said good by to the crew and apologized for our inconvenience. One of the flight attendants put a bandage on her face where Burton had kissed her good by and said she was never going to wash her face again.

I wonder if Hank or any of the staff at Boston from those days are still around and remember that day.
When the first Viscounts came into service every passenger who flew on them thought it was the greatest experience... quiet inside, large windows, only 44 seats which did not last long then 48 then I believe 51 which ruined the view from the large windows. And of course Trans Canada did not order them with auto pilots or radar. and it made for a very long day hand flying to Winnipeg and back trying to stay away from the lighting flashes. But it was a great experience and I always thought that if you could fly a Viscount accurately then you could fly anything as it was not the most stable of A/C.
The hockey charters were great fun, Flying the Leafs to their next game after they had just finished playing. Carl Brewer had a hard time with flying and spent the entire flight standing between us so he could see out front, great guys and real gentlemen.
That's all for now  if you come up short let me know I can probably remember other incidents  that might be of some interest.


TCA Simulator
And here's another from Mike Sessions -

We had a Viscount 800 simulator at BAF/British World. Took up half the hangar if I remember correctly. Banks and banks of valves and a rolling map with small houses and the like built onto it, that was projected via a camera onto a screen in front of the cockpit. A really fantastic piece of engineering for its time. We bought it from BA, think it was a late 1950's or early 60's date of manufacture. When we stopped flying the Viscount around 1998 it was still working well and we tried to give it away to a museum including the science museum. But unfortunately no one was interested and it was scrapped!!

(To give the impression, we have this photo of the TCA simulator - eds)
Odds & Ends - Compiled by Terry Baker
Odds & Ends
Emirates Orders 32 More Airbus A380s.
Dubai's Emirates, the Arab world's largest airline, has placed an USD$11 billion order for 32 Airbus A380 jets, the biggest ever for the company's super jumbo passenger plane. Emirates' order would be worth USD$11.09 billion at a list price of USD $346.5 million per plane and brings the airline's total A380 order to 90 planes.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Your co-pilot took yet another cruise - a short one this time and quite local. From Los Angeles to Vancouver. We took this cruise as it stopped at San Francisco, Astoria and Seattle - cities we had not visited before.

West Coast cruise May 8th to 15th 2010
Our trip started on Friday May 7th when we flew from Nanaimo to Vancouver for an over night stay at the Travelodge Hotel on St. Edwards Drive, Richmond just 15 minutes from the airport. We had an early flight the next day and no means of getting to the mainland in time for our flight. Cost was, for seniors, ca$68.79 plus a flurry of taxes. There is a frequent free shuttle to the airport. Adjoining the hotel is the Restaurant Pantry, where we had our supper.

Saturday May 8th.
Our Alaska Airlines flight was due to depart at 09:00 and we needed to check in by 07:30. We took the shuttle at 06:45 and had breakfast at Tim Hortons before checking at 07:45. The agent asked where we were headed for and, when we told him for a cruise, he looked at our carry-on's and was surprised we had so little luggage. While we waited at gate E82, there was an announcement stating there was one first class seat available which the airline would sell for us$50.00 to the first come first served passenger. Anything to make money these days.

The on board announcements were light hearted, the F/A asking passengers to turn off all their electronic devices, including laptops, iPhones, iPads, cell phones, Blackberry, strawberry, Apple, raisin berry and any other berry products, as they interfere with the aircraft navigation - the announcement got a laugh from the passengers.

The weather when we left was sunny and 12 degrees with "gin clear" all the way to Los Angeles. We were fortunate in having three seats to ourselves, so could stretch out.

The attendants made sure that passengers only placed one piece of luggage in the overhead racks, if anything left over could not be accommodated under the seat, was taken away for the luggage hold. It was surprising - not really - the number of people who put their carry-on cases in the overhead bins parallel to the aisle way instead of lengthways with the narrow or top facing you thus allowing more room, the attendant spent time switching the luggage around. Surprisingly, there was no weight restriction for carry-on, only size limitations. But, as usual, some luggage far exceeded the sizes, but got stuffed in the bin regardless.

In the seat in front of us, was a very very large overweight lady, who spanned two seats. Upon landing she was struggling to get up and out into the aisle, we made sure we were ahead of her. Why she would not wait until the passengers were off first heaven only knows.

The weather at Los Angeles upon our arrival was sunny and 76 degrees. The Princess staff were quite well organized and met and assembled us prior to baggage claim, then we were taken by bus to the cruise terminal, which was quite a distance, approximately 45 minutes. We noticed the price of gas at us$3.23 a gal.

At the terminal we were processed very quickly, boarded the ship, located our cabin and then off to the restaurant to get our bodies conditioned to the assault to come during the next 7 days.

In the evening we had our supper in the casual restaurant, although we had been allocated to table number I24 in the Vivaldi restaurant. Then to the early variety show which was the dancers and a comedian. The noise level was in excess of the decibels put out by the Concorde during take off. To us it was too loud and, as the other evenings shows were the same content, we did not go back again during our trip.

Our inside cabin had a neat layout, but the bed was like a board, one certainly did not spring into bed for fear of causing oneself some mischief, but we slept OK.

Princess allows for one bottle of wine or champagne per passenger to take on board. All other alcohol would be collected for safe keeping and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of your cruise.
(More another time - eds)
Smileys - Compiled by Terry Baker
As we surf the internet and back issues of airline magazines we regularly find airline related jokes and cartoons. Below is our latest discovery.

More of the exchanges between aircraft and controllers sent to us by Vern Swerdfeger
O'Hare Approach: USA212, cleared ILS runway 32L approach, maintain 250 knots.
USA212: Roger approach, how long do you need me to maintain that speed?
O'Hare Approach: All the way to the gate if you can.
USA212: Ah, OK, but you better warn ground control.
ATC:  Pan Am 1, descend to 3,000 ft on QNH, altimeter 1019.
Pan AM 1:  Could you give that to me in inches?
ATC:  Pan Am 1, descend to 36,000 inches on QNH, altimeter 1019.
Cessna 152: 'Flight Level Three Thousand, Seven Hundred'
Controller: 'Roger, contact Houston Space Center '
Beech Baron: Uh, ATC, verify you want me to taxi in front of the 747.
ATC: Yeah, it's OK. He's not hungry.
Student Pilot: 'I'm lost; I'm over a big lake and heading toward the big  "E".
Controller: 'Make several 90 degree turns so I can identify you on radar.'  (short pause)... Controller: 'Okay then. That big lake is the Atlantic Ocean. Suggest you turn to the big "W"  immediately.'
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!

Your NetLetter Team