The NetLetter
 For Air Canada Retirees

July 17, 2010 - Issue 1129
5431 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
New Feedback Form!
Our first 70 years
Star Alliance News
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
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
New Feedback Form! - by Alan Rust
Feed Back
This week, we have launched a new FeedBack Form on our website to make it easier for our readers to send us articles, photos, MP3's, etc. from one place.
This will assure that your submissions to the NetLetter go to the right address and will also overcome the limitations encountered by some of readers in sending large files. In the past, some readers had problems sending us files through email due to limitations on attachment sizes. The limit with this form is 50MB which should cover anything that you may be sending our way.
You can visit our FeedBack Form at:
We're looking forward to hearing from you!
Our first 70 years - Compiled by Terry Baker
Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada1949 - Dec 3rd - Inauguration of service to Barbados with North Star equipment.
Star Alliance News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Lufthansa flew the German soccer team to South Africa on its newly delivered flagship A380 last month and is hoping the world's largest airliner will bring luck to the youthful German squad. "If they win the Cup, we have promised to bring the team back again on the A380," said spokesman Jan Baerwalde
(We all know what the result was - Spain knocked Germany out, so the German team were last seen thumbing a lift - eds)
Lufthansa and the ver.di union representing 50,000 cabin crew and ground workers agreed on a 22-month pay freeze.
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 - Midsummer 1954
Bristol Support trucks
With the arrival of the Bristol Freighter aircraft, TCA is freight conscious at Toronto. With a fleet of 5 trucks to handle the pickup and delivery service at Toronto, and with TCA's first all-freight hangar. Here is the 5 truck line-up.
1st all freight hangar
This photo of  inside the hangar, stacked according to destination. In charge of the freight movement is Don Wilkes (centre) flanked by Ed Toze and Frank Fuchleitner.

Glasgow Sales Office
It's one of the most attractive offices of it's kind in this country", so said Crawford Burns. He was referring to the new Sales office in Glasgow.

Issue dated -Sept. 1959
Photo Shoot
Left to right are  Barbara Sander, Micheline Beland and Sheila Stiles are primping themselves in preparation for a photo shoot to be included in a book "Stewardess as a career" taking the photo is Jack Engemand a writer.

Issue dated - December 1953
Trans-Atlantic 1953
The first flight originating and terminating at Toronto of TCA's Trans-Atlantic service took off November 3rd via YUL.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Pinocchio -  from Chuck G.
Quote - "I came across this photo of "Pinocchio" running down the line here in Winnipeg.  It was one of three Daks modified to be trainers for the NASARR radar used on the CF104.  The other two were "Dolly's Folly" and Woody Woodpecker".  "Woody" was wrecked on the range at Cold Lake when the pilots tried to fly between two of the range targets . . . in deep winter and when the targets were frozen into the ice.  The targets won."



For those interested, there is another good photo at of this aircraft at this location with this information "CC-129 NASARR Dakota 12959 "Pinocchio" of the Canadian Armed Forces, Cold Lake AFB. Several air forces, including the Belgian, German and Canadian had some Dakotas modified to train future Starfighter pilots on the North American Search and Ranging Radar, which was housed in the pointed nose. Sister ships to Pinocchio in Canadian service were "Dolly's Folly" (12938) and "Woody Woodpecker" (unknown reg)".
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 - April 1999
Extracts from the "Canadi>n Flyer" magazine
F/A Graduation 1999
The first graduating class of Flight Attendants for 1999 are gathered in front of the newly painted B767 at Vancouver in early March. The majority of the class, after 9 weeks training will be based in Toronto.
The aircraft, fin 645, was obtained from Asiana Airlines. Unfortunately the members of this class remain anonymous, unless someone would care to place the names.

An article in the magazine suggests that, with the introduction of the new image, the flying goose, the depiction has no eyes, and the rumour exists is that Canadian is flying blind.
J Class Chefs
Testing some new culinary masterpieces for the enhanced J Class service are l to r: John Bishop of Bishop's in Vancouver, Sophia van Norden, Manager menu design and Jean Pierre Guerin, Canadian's Executive Chef
The first Canadair Four c/n 147 CF-CPI and the CPA men in her life from l to r: Grant McConachie, C. North Sawle, Char;es Pentland, W.G.M/(Mel) Knox, R.N.(Bob) Goldie, Pat Roy, Bob Phipps, C.Kane, L.C.(Craig) Stevenson, MD, Mel Lee, Len Fraser, Ernie Gerby, Art Boone, Courtney Griffiths, Al Pierce.
CF-CPI was delivered May 1949, named "Empress of Sydney" and picked up by Capt. North Sawle. The second aircraft CF-CPR named "Empress of Vancouver" was flown by Captains Charles Pentland and Archie Van Hee.

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.

During a recent coffee klatch at Nanaimo, Fred Pattje regaled us with the following memory -

After paying the one-way fare of $99.00, there wasn't much money left when I boarded CP001 in Toronto, on February 11th 1964, bound for Vancouver.
I had left my native the Netherlands in 1961 and had decided, after three interesting but very meager years in Hamilton, On., to seek my fortune " out West". I checked into the downtown YMCA on Burrard Street and made it my business the next day to find my way to CPA and apply for employment; it was a miserable rainy day when I took public transportation to some bus loop in Richmond from where, I discovered there was no further transportation to my destination, so I commenced to walk.
About half way into my trek to the CPA offices, which were located close to what is now the South Terminal at YVR, a car stopped, driven by a gentleman in a dark coat and wearing a fedora hat. He asked where I was going and if I wanted a lift and once it was established that we both were going to the same place, I hopped in and we had a short conversation regarding my intention to seek employment with CPA.

The nice man drove right through the gate into the compound, walked me to the employment office and left. I filled out the forms, did a test or two and was told that, while there were no vacancies, my application would be kept on file and that I would be contacted is something should open up. I walked, slightly disappointed, towards the exit when the clerk called me back and asked " by the way, how long have you known Mr. McConachie ?" and I remember  responding with a  "who ?"

By the time I returned to the YMCA, there was a message to call CPA and the long and short of it is that I was hired the next day, February 13 1964, and managed to stick around for 36 years. Though I did see Grant McConachie a few times in the distance, sadly I never had a chance to thank him for his assistance before he passed on in June of 1965.

Cheers, Fred
Doug Fulton sends us this information -
I've read the Netletter since it's inception - great work keep it going!
Readers with a connection to the Central Plains area of Manitoba may be interested to know we established the Jody Lee Fulton Bursary in memory of our daughter Jody who passed away in 2009. It will provide assistance to a student working towards a career as a commercial pilot. Details can be found at the Community Foundation of Portage and District Inc at
The first award was presented June 14 to Jonathan Ferris Painter. He was the 2009 Manitoba Webster Trophy finalist and is working toward his multi-engine and instrument rating.

Doug (AC Retired) and Marion Fulton
Later, Doug Fulton sent this email -
Almost every issue of your Netletter brings back some memories. Does anybody remember the Montreal-Copenhagen-Moscow operation in the 60's and early 70's? What a challenge that was! I flew it as an S/O and F/O whenever I could.
Kind Regards Doug (Captain J. D. Fulton ret.)  
(Anyone want to send us any memories of this event - eds)
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Final part of the story of our recent cruise started in NetLetter nr 1125   West Coast cruise May 8th to 15th 2010.LAX to YVR
Thursday May 13th
The atrium on the ship went from deck 5 to deck 8, and we were told to wait on deck 6 to the gangway. Well when we got to deck 6 the was quite a queue, which we joined and, as people came out of the elevators directed them to the back, as they tended to stay put, and it began to get more crowded as there was a delay with the gangway. Eventually we were told the gangway was on deck 7, so there was a mad rush for the stairs, with people pushing and shoving, similar to a hockey match without the sticks - I call it the flying wedge syndrome when many people try to get through a small doorway. There was only one Princess crew person to monitor this flow. Outside on the quay, there was only one person to direct you, generally, in the direction of the coaches. We found ours for the city tour of Seattle OK, and settled in.
We went up and down various streets with the driver, no guide, telling us what sights to look for, and eventually ending up at Pikes market, where we were allowed to roam around for over an hour. We noticed that the floor of the market was of 6 x 6 tiles upon which peoples names had been inscribed, probably bought by the public.
On returning to the coach, we were taken to the Needle, and took a tour up to the top level to see some astounding views all around Seattle, as the weather was warm and clear, we could see Mount Baker in the distance.
Back to the ship for another visit to the trough, before the usual lazy afternoon reading and socializing.

Friday May 14th.
Today we dock in Victoria's Ogden Point. For ca$7.00 there is a shuttle downtown, your fare covers as many trips as you wish until the ship sails. We went on the shuttle one way, both ways twice, and did some serious shopping using Canadian funds.
For those who wished to, you could leave the ship providing you gave notice of your intention the previous day so that customs and immigration arrangements could be made. We opted to stay on board for the final day at Vancouver tomorrow.
Our usual lazy time after we returned and, of course the evening was spent packing. We had requested an early departure at Vancouver, as we only had carry on, and wished to catch as early a ferry as possible. We were allocated "Walk Off Group B" ticket.

Saturday May 15th
Today we disembark at the end of our cruise. We had requested early disembark, and were told to assemble in one of the lounges. Of course people tended to hover at the entrance, and had to be moved into the lounge. Some passengers waited outside in the hallway, despite requests not to crowd the hallways, and that NO announcements outside the designated lounge would be made. Other groups were assigned to different lounges depending upon their disembarking schedule. Because the authorities had problems with fitting the gangway, there was at least a 20 minute delay but, eventually they started calling for the various group codes, with a warning that if you did not have the correct card, you would be denied until it was your turn. The people who hovered in the hallway would ask the departing passengers what their code was and, if it was theirs, they would push into the flow. Then there was the problem of other codes being released from various lounges, and it was quite a free for all in the end.
We eventually got off and through customs. Despite everyone had received a customs form to complete the previous evening, many did not bother and struggled to maintain their place in the queue while filling the form out. None such strange as folks is there?
We passed the huge queue for the taxi rank, and there was a sign held up for the Airport shuttle at ca$7.00 per person. We, in turn, walked the four blocks to Granville Street and caught the 257 express city bus ($1.75 for seniors), in time for the 10:30 ferry to Nanaimo where our neighbour picked us up and took us home - aaahhh!!!.
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. 
A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks, 'Can you tell me how long it'll take to fly from San Francisco to New York City?' 

The agent replies, 'Just a minute.'

'Thank you,' the blonde says, and hangs up.
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!

Your NetLetter Team