The NetLetter
 For Air Canada Retirees

December 18, 2010 - Issue 1145

First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Women in Aviation
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
Odds & Ends
Terry's Trivia
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Terry Baker

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, Wardair. 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!

At this special time of year, we at the NetLetter would like to take the opportunity to wish you and yours all the best of the holiday season.  May you have a wonderful Christmas ... and best wishes for a safe and Happy New Year!

From "Horizons" issue dated December 1980.

Terry & your NetLetter Team
Women in Aviation - Compiled by Alan Rust
Remains May Belong to Amelia Earhart
Three bone fragments found on a South Pacific island may be remains of missing pilot Amelia Earhart, scientists say. A team from the University of Oklahoma hopes to extract DNA from the bones in order to substantiate their claims that the pilot died as a castaway, after failing in her 1937 mission to be the first woman to fly around the world.

The bone chips, which appear to be from the neck and fingers, were found near some glass bottles, old makeup, and cut open shells unearthed by volunteers from the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a group of aviation enthusiasts led by director Ric Gillespie.

Gillespie and his team have been traveling to Nikumaroro Island since 1989, hoping to find answers to the mystery surrounding Earhart's disappearance. Gillespie says that the remains may be Earhart's -or they could belong to a sea turtle. "There's no guarantee," said Gillespie. "You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart's DNA, that's pretty good."

It is estimated that the research will take months before scientists can speak with any certainty about their findings.

Air Canada Flash Mob in YVR - compiled by Alan Rust
Flashmob YVR
(Click on image to play video)

60 dancers explode into a flashmob at Vancouver international airport!

The video above was just published on YouTube showing an "impromptu" flash mob dancing at YVR. If you're not familiar with Flash Mobs, it is a large group of people that gather in a public place, perform for a short time and then disperse.

The band is called "Abandon Paris" (long story) and the dancers in the crowd are from the "Art's Umbrella Dance Company".

Good fun at YVR at Christmas and a great idea by Air Canada!

Our first 70 years - Compiled by Terry Baker
Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada

1963 - Jan 1st - Retired employees receive Group Life & Health Insurance without cost.
Star Alliance News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Speculation increased that Virgin Blue would join the Star Alliance following CEO John Borghetti's presence at the Star CEOs' meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand recently.

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 - September 1962
Musing through the "Between Ourselves" magazine -
cinderellaLIKE A MODERN CINDERELLA, this Edgehill passenger stand displayed some hitherto unrecognized charms to an audience of thousands during this year's Pacific National Exhibition Parade in Vancouver on August 18th. For a few hours she proudly displayed a "Second Prize" sign (losing only to a local florist's float!) out of more than 100 entries.

Showing some charms of their own were the uniformed TCA staff members who represented the Company.

From left to right are Captains 'Gil' McLaren and 'Al' Ashcroft, Stewardesses Svava  Johnson and Brenda Lord, Mechanic Jack Burgess, Station Attendant Ron Ulmer, Ramp Supervisor  Dick Westbrook, Passenger Agents Pamela Best, Don Jarvis, Bernice Rahn. The driver of  "Cinderella" was Station Attendant Jim Saunders assisted by Station Equipment Supervisor 'Ed' Allardice.
vollenweiiderFrom April 10th thru May 10th 1986, Lockheed L10a CF-TCC flew a "Sentimental Journey" across Canada to celebrate the Comapy's 50th anniversary.
Did you know that the same trip was performed by the same aircraft in 1962 to celebrate the company's first flight 25 years ago?
Here are a selection of photos from that trip -

The start of a thorough overhaul for CF-TCC shows Jim Vollenweider at work on a hatch.
rathMechanic Karl Rath at work on CF-TCC. On the fuselage are the cities visited during cross-country tour.

halifaxHalifax - following the arrival of the Lockheed 1OA for the start of its cross country tour marking the 25th of TCA, Deputy Mayor J. L. Connolly of Halifax is show presenting mementos of the occasion to the crew members on behalf of Halifax.

Left to right are: Captain E. L. "Lindy" Rood, Stewardess Mrs. J. R. Follett and Captain W. W. Fowler.

montrealMontreal - The Lockheed 10A arrived in Montréal International Airport on August 23rd to be met by a DC-8 Jetliner, a 1904 Maxwell runabout and a crowd of well-wishers.
edmontonEdmonton - CF-TCC  with,
left to right: Bob Koib, District Sales Manager, Edmonton; Capt. Rene Giguere, Mrs. George (Rose) Lothian, Capt. George Lothian, (identity unknown), Station Operations  Manager, J. H. Slater and Capt. Art Rankin.

abbotsfordAbbotsford - The crew of CF-TCC lines up alongside the aircraft at Abbotsford following completion of the mountain leg of the trans continental journey from Lethbridge Aug. 29. They are, from left to right, Charles McLellan, Station Services, Capt. George Lothian, Mrs. Lothian, Fred Fraser, Public Relations, Al Hunt, Maintenance; and Cap. Art Rankin.
vancouverVancouver  - Signing the log book of CF-TCC prior to departure for Seattle Sept. 1st  is Capt. E. P. (Billy) Wells. Capt. George Lothian, looks on, while  Al Hunt steadies the book on the tail of the aircraft.

seattleSeattle - Mission accomplished the last signature! Pro-Mayor of Seattle signs CF-TCC's hull while Mrs. George (Rose) Lothian, Mrs. John (Pat) Maxwell, Capt. E. P. (Billy) Wells, and Capt. George Lothian look on.

Issue dated - November 1981
Extract from "Horizons" magazine
vandamTop honours went to the company at the recent annual trade show staged by the Association of Canadian Travel Agents, B.C. chapter. Air Canada's booth outshone them all, winning the title of best exhibit in the show. The stand, devised primarily by Dave Burn, Commissary Service Manager, featured examples of the company's First Class, Connoisseur and Economy meal services. More than 100 exhibitors, ranging from ground operators to wholesalers, airlines and tourist boards from across Canada, participated in the show which was held at Vancouver's Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Shown with the award are, from the left: Karen Jordan, Flight Attendant; Arlene Penny, Supervisor, Route Operations; Lesslie Nelson, Flight Attendant and Dick Vandam, Sales Representative.
(Dick Vandam recently donated some 300 copies of "Horizons" to complete our library - eds)

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Alan Rust
A Christmas Eve Flight - written by Richard Begin (retired Air Canada Flight Attendant) and gleaned from the ACFamily Network.

It was a long time ago on a Christmas Eve flight from YYZ to YHZ on a good old DC8 Standard (sorry but I can't remember the fin number).  The flight was leaving at about 20:00 making it an hour later in "Hafalax".  With a full load of Pax, off we went.  The flight to YHZ isn't a very long one and at about 2.5 hrs., it was just enough time to do a nice bar and meal service. 

At the appropriate time, Cpt. Dodds "pulled the plug" and we started our decent.  Ding, Ding, and I entered the Flt. Deck and was told that the wx in YHZ was somewhat marginal due to warm temps and fog and we're probably going to encounter some good bumps.  "We're going to give it a try but be prepared for an abortion" was his statement.  I briefed the crew, we stored everything, dimmed the lights and took up our positions.

The approach was indeed "bumpy" and everyone on the plane held their breaths and oooohed and aaawed as we rode down. 

From my seat at the very back, I could barely see out through the pax windows but could determine that the Vis was not very good and all of a sudden, we heard the full throttle power of the engines, there was a change in pitch and up we went.  Obviously, that approach wasn't successful.

As we gained altitude, Cpt. Dodds came on the PA and gave the Pax some encouraging words. They went something like this.  "Well folks it looks like the Halifax weather isn't co-operating with us.  It's quite cloudy out there and we've got some turbulence but because it is Christmas Eve and everyone has to be here for this important holiday, we're going to try another landing.  It's our intent to get you home for Christmas." and with that, we began another descent.

In all honesty, all of us were a little nervous, including the crew so in order to help us all deal with it, in what seemed to be about 10 minutes before landing, I got on the PA and suggested that, because it was Christmas Eve after all, we should all sing a carol and with that, I asked everyone to join me and began singing Silent Night.  Everyone earnestly lent their voices and as we flew through the 'bumps' and got closer to Halifax, we landed and finished the carol, as we taxied in towards the terminal building.

Upon deplaning, all the Pax sincerely thanked Cpt. Dodds and the three of us FA's standing at the front during the process even giving us some hugs as they got off.

It was a Merry Christmas for them and a rewarding experience for us.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all on the ACFamily and the NetLetter.

Richard Begin

Santa Loader
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 - November 1998
Extracted from the "Canadi>n Flyer" magazine
jennyJack Johnson, a retired Canadian Airlines Pilot, proudly shows off his Curtiss JN-40, or "Jenny", which he rebuilt over a 21-year timespan. Jack's biplane was built in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1918 and was first used to train World War One pilots, It was later flown privately in Argentina and Uruguay before returning to the United States. On July 16th 1998, Jack's Jenny successfully returned to the skies for the first time in 70 years.

calgaryCalgary players hold heads high
Our Calgary slo-pitch team captured second place in the B Division league championships after a hard-fought season. Front Row (left to right): Bob Wilson, Cindy Chrunyk, John Wright, Wes Takeuchi and Karen Marcoux with fan, Monique Armstrong. Centre (left to right): Barb Robson and Marg McPherson. Top (left to right): Dave Steinhauer, Craig Ingbrigtson, Greg MacMillan, Peter Casement, Rae Ross, Ron Ewashkiw, Karen Reija and Ron Dipasquale. Missing from the lineup for the final weekend, but who assisted in the teams second-place finish, are Brian Saunders and Walter Relja. Honorable mention goes to Debbie Wood for keeping score. A special thanks to the remaining 14 players on the teams roster for their participation throughout the year.

curlingOur curling team shown here won the gold medal in the Calgary Corporate Challenge in September

Left to right: Lisa Twerdy, Crew Schedulng, Wayne Brown, Cargo; Michael Moss, Reservations; and Harold Breckenridge, Cargo.

edmontoncrewThis hard-working Edmonton crew got together on Sept 24th to stage a Holt Renfrew fundraising luncheon,

(but were too busy to tell us their names - anyone?)

pw767_c-gpwbKen Bjorge has sent in these three photos which he received from Capt. Terry Champion  -

Pacific Western B767 C-GPWB

c-46Pacific Western C-46

pwdc-4Pacific Western DC-4

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. 
campbellJack Stephens spotted an error in the caption on the photo of Daniel "Don" Campbell, an aircraft inspector at the Winnipeg Overhaul Base which appeared in NetLetter nr 1144. We reprint the photo with the correct caption of YWG.

We had some career information in NetLetter nr 1144 from Alan Evans, and he sends some more -

There is plenty more such as having to escape from Iran after bringing in the last B707 as the war started and not being able to get out. Flying missiles for the South African Military to Algeria. Having to buy fuel by bringing in parrots to pay for the fuel. It goes on and on.

LIAT was a great company started by Frank De Liele. I was a senior pilot with colleagues such as Ferdy DeGanes, Richard King, and a few others who left to join other airlines. Court Line did us in with an over capitalization. It was pity as we were a great little operation and ran like clockwork until Court Line did us in. I first went to the West Indies in 1963 after rebuilding a 1942 old Irish Fishing boat and together with 4 other crazy guys motor boated it across the Atlantic. I then sailed square riggers and on charter and had a dream of returning to the islands with an air cargo company. I joined Seymour Green in 1967 and worked as what I thought would be a partner in the company named SEAGREEN Air Charter operating first an AZTEC then B18 and later a DC3. He sold out to Hamilton from Canada and I was left in the cold. Frank heard my argument with Sey and offered me job as a Captain on the HS747. It was turbine time I needed so accepted.. Hence 4 years with LIAT. I thought after restarting they named themselves LIAT 76 with AT11 or something like that. It was a bit of a mess. We were very suspicious that Court line was in trouble and when the end came, we the white foreign pilots had only a month to get out of Antigua. I sold my 28ft RIVA boat and a 180 Mercedes for $5,000, all our household goods for $1700 packed wife and new baby plus dog and vacated for South Africa. I did remark that I should be allowed to stay as I was African and the white sheep of the family, did not work.

Best Regards  Alan
chipmunkPeter Rose sends us this memory triggered by the article on the Saunders Roe Princess in NetLetter nr 1142 -

Thanks for this issue. For me it was a nostalgic return to the past. I worked for Saunders Roe in '54 and '55 and remember the Princesses being mothballed. In the '60s I bought a Chipmunk from Crown Assets which I sold during my first few months with CP. Cheers, Peter Rose.

We, at the NetLetter mentioned the jet version of the flying boat and asked Peter if he had any more memories and here is his reply -
I was on an apprenticeship scheme with S-R whereby I spent some time at Cowes and some time at Southampton University. While at Cowes I remember being asked to machine a special nut for the rocket engine in a fighter S-R were developing that had a jet and a rocket engine.... I can't remember what the designation was but I believe it crashed on a test flight. As far as I remember the shortcoming of the Princess was that the Proteus was not really powerful enough and the need to couple the engines in pairs was so unsuccessful that the aircraft rarely returned from a flight with all ten engines operating. While doing the first year at Southampton U., I joined the reserve Air Squadron which flew out of Hamble and had Chipmunks. I spent altogether too much time with the Air Squadron and far too little "in the books". As a consequence, I flunked 1st year and had to do my National Service; and that is how I first came to Canada as the RCAF was doing about 90% of all the NATO aircrew training. I have been grateful to the Queen ever since. The picture attached is of me with my Chipmunk preparing to fly it out to Vancouver from International Falls MN early in '66. Cheers, Peter.

Ken Pickford sends us his observation -
I refer to the 1959 photo of Winnipeg airport in Netletter Issue 1143. The Northwest aircraft in the photo, identified as a DC-7C, is actually a DC-4.
Regards, Ken Pickford

Bob Ellis shares this information with us in reference to NetLetter nr 1143-
This picture brought back some memories. I flew for Transair/PW for 27 years, and almost 6000 hrs was spent in our DC-4 CF-JEA, which is in the pic. I got my logbook out, and on June 9th 1959 Wes MacIntosh and I took Flt 105 from WG to QD and YQ. At Churchill the flt changed to 101 and we continued to WN (Winisk) then to OW and UL, where we terminated. It was about a 13 hr day.

JEA was the first of six DC-4s we had. We acquired it from Trans America, and when it arrived in YWG the Pax seats were all facing the rear.

I enjoy the Netletter very much but I'd love to see more about Transair in it.

Thanks a lot  Bob Ellis

Odds & Ends - Compiled by Terry Baker
Odds & EndsSometimes we receive articles and information that just doesn't fit in our other areas. This is where it goes!

Jim Griffith has sent us this together with some interesting photos of Niagara Falls -

Just to let you know what I've been up to recently.
landingstripIn September 2010 I took an old pilot friend and cohort from Montreal for a flight over the falls. The photos are mostly over the falls but there is a shot of a little private strip I took us into that I had never been into before.

Niagra Fallsniagara-1Aerial photos of Niagara Falls (left) and Horseshoe Falls (right)
badhairdayI think I scarred the heck out of both of us but those are the kind of antics we pulled off when he and I flew Expeditors and Otters in 401 City of Westmount RCAF Reserve Squadron, in Montreal. Some times we even took the locals up for a flip, such were the free wheeling regulations  back in the day. Yes that is me having a bad hair day fueling the weary old Cessna 172 for our flight.

During my professional career I always followed the philosophy of, " the only airplane that has too much fuel on it is one that is on fire", and I see no reason to change it now. Interestingly enough that particular 172 belonging to the St. Catharines Flying Club, has an EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System), installed that is almost exactly the same, except much tinier, as was in the 747-400 that both my friend and I flew at our retirements.

The  other retiree was Captain Jay Fancott from Montreal. During the eight years I was based in YUL we became friends through our mutual membership in the reserve Air Force. Both of us also worked together in YUL  flight dispatch while were both laid off as pilots in 1961 through 65. The reserve airforce was a god send because it allowed us to keep our flying skills active during the lay-off. The extra money didn't hurt either......and, as I never tire of telling my grandchildren after all I am a veteran of the cold war.

AirAsia claims to have set a world record of selling over 538,000 seats in one day beating its previous record of 390,000. The air carriers "Mind-Blowing Fare" campaign offered fares on both domestic and international flights from just MYR1 (20 pence sterling) and at one point the airline was selling 36,871 seats per hour. 

It's an ambitious plan, but a group of pilots based at Enstone Flying Club in the U.K. hopes to build a dozen 90-percent-scale Spitfire replicas by the end of next year. The result will be a "living history" squadron of aircraft that will perform at events around the U.K. The Supermarine MK26B Spitfires will be built from all-aluminum kits by teams of up to 12 builders and pilots. Fractional ownership options from one-twelfth to full ownership of each airplane will be available. Builders also can opt to be trained in formation flying skills. The group hopes to have the squadron ready in time to perform at the Farnborough Air Show in 2012.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Terry Baker
JAMES  F. C. ROSE - YOUR Cruise Expert - since 1993
We offer far more than just interline cruises!  We are a full service, international retail travel agency. That means your friends and family can book their vacations with us also. Whether it's a cruise, an all-inclusive resort package, a hotel, a vacation home, airfare, car rental, rail, insurance - whatever - we can make anyone's travel needs a reality!

- There has never been a better time to book a luxury cruise.  Considering the fact that luxury lines like Silversea, Seabourn and Regent offer all-inclusive pricing (including gratuities, alcohol, and even shore excursions in many cases), you will find that you can take a luxury cruise and end up spending less money than many standard cruises. Have a look at the luxury section below and call me for more details!


December 21 ~ 18 NT ~ Azamara Quest Ports of Call: Singapore 2 days, At Sea 2 days, Klong Toey 3 days, At Sea, Sihanoukville, At Sea, Ho Chi Minh City 2 days, At Sea, Danang, Halong Bay 2 days, At Sea, Hong Kong 2 days.

December 21 Inside $1350, Outside $1800, Balcony $2250, Deluxe $3600.


Celebrity Cruise Lines January 15  and February 5 ~ 9 NT ~ Mercury Ports of Call: Baltimore, At Sea, Charleston, At Sea, Key West, Nassau, Cococay, At Sea 2 days, Baltimore.
January        15   Inside $449, Outside $539, Balcony $899 February       5    Inside $449, Outside $539.


Norwegian Cruise Lines
January 2 - February 2 ~ 10 NT ~ Norwegian Jewel Ports of Call: New York, At Sea 2 days, San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, At Sea 2 days, New York.
January   2     Balcony $999.

January 12, 23, Feb 2 -      Inside $499, Oceanview $599, Balcony $999, Mini-Suite $1199.

For reservations:
Usual terms & conditions apply, including these are all per person - based upon at least two in cabin, USA funds, government fees & handling & service charges (none to us) are additional. Prices & availability are NOT guaranteed to last, and can and do change fast and without notice. However, your price is guaranteed once you book & pay.

JAMES  F. C. ROSE - YOUR Cruise Expert - since 1993
e-mail: web site:   
information: (204) 889-3885 fax: (204) 889-3885 reservation :      (204) 889-3885 & (800) 414-8091
UK air travelers in November saw yet another rise, the third in three years, from £11 ($17.38) to £12 for economy passengers on short-haul flights and from £55 to £85 for economy passengers on long-haul flights. In premium classes, the increase was from £22 to £24 for short-haul flights and from £110 to £170 for long-haul flights.
This is the conclusion of Our Far East Adventure: (Jack and Aureen Morath  -  Continued)

From the UK Pionairs monthly newsletter -
During the last two days at our hotel in Bangkok, there were political demonstrations in the city centre which was some way from where we were staying, so didn't affect us.  There was increased security entering the stores with local people being searched, but not tourists. Cars in the car parks were being checked with mirrors underneath for devices. When we checked our flight back there were 137 seats available on the 747 Thai Airways flight. We had been away a total of three weeks when we took the half hour taxi ride back to the airport which cost around £6. We  checked at the Thai Airways standby desk and the agent advised us to come back at a later time as the flight was almost full! There were only 20 seats available! It seems a lot of people had decided to return home because of the troubles in Bangkok and the country. We returned to the desk as requested an hour before departure. We were glad to get two seats on board, although only four empty seats were left by now. The flight was just over 12 hours to London, leaving at 1340 and arriving at Heathrow 1935 the same day. An excellent three-week trip, and great to meet up with Frank and his crew in Chiang Mai and visiting a new place for us - Taiwan.  Now what new places are in store for the next twelve months?

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.
cartoon Laszlo Bastyovanszky sends us this cartoon.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!

Your NetLetter Team
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario
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