The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)

May 28, 2012 - Issue 1206

First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
ACRA Upcoming Events
Our First 75 years
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Women in Aviation
Reader Submitted...Photos
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
Terry's Trivia
NetLetter Past Issues

Past Issues
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Terry Baker
Welcome to the NetLetter!

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!

Terry Baker and the NetLetter Team
ACRA Upcoming Events- Compiled by Alan Rust
ACRA  LogoRetirees Welcome!

The following events are available for retirees through ACRA, the Air Canada Recreation Association.

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ACRA System Golf turns 50!

Just as Air Canada celebrates its 75 year anniversary this year, the employees who started the Air Canada Recreation Association over 50 years ago are also celebrating with their 50th Anniversary System Golf Tournament!


This is a once-in-a-lifetime milestone event that we hope you can attend.


Date: September 9 - 12, 2012 
San Diego, California

Venue: Sycuan Resort & Casino 


Prizes: To help celebrate this event, Air Canada Vacations has donated a prize of a 7 Night all inclusive package for two to Mexico with Air and Hotel at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba in a Double Occupancy Junior Suite.


For further information and registration visit:  


Our First 75 Years - Compiled by Terry Baker

1946 - Sept 16th - Regular service between YUL and LHR using 10 passenger Lancastrian aircraft.


  • Nov - B-747 service introduced between YUL-MIA.
  • Dec 17th - Daily DC-8 service between YUL-TPA-MIA.
  • Dec 29th - Final Vanguard service to
    London, Ont.

    First scheduled DC-9 service to London, Ont.

    winnebago-1 1973 - Jul 1st - North American sched until Sept 1st.

Air Canada News
Air CanadaAir Canada has been identified as the customer for (3) B777-300ERs. It now has (5) on order, and operates a fleet of 10 at present. (source SpeedNews May 2012)
New Baggage Policy for employees departing China.
In order to support the Federal Government in its efforts to reduce the risk of Federal Law violations due to the importation of counterfeit goods (i.e. "knock-offs"), Air Canada will be introducing a maximum allowance of one (1), checked bag per person, when traveling on stand-by from China on Air Canada (this new allowance applies equally to OAL staff on space available (ZED), tickets on Air Canada flights). Please note this represents the maximum allowance permitted, therefore it cannot be exceeded under any circumstances (this means that oversize/overweight pieces will not be accepted).

The policy will come in effect on June 1, 2012, and will apply to all stand-by passengers boarding Air Canada flights in China.

Regardless of destination or the country visited, please remember that while "knock-offs" may seem like harmless souvenirs from a vacation, they are actually illegally produced representation of legitimate brands.

Importing them may place you at risk of further searches, in addition to possible confiscation of the goods and fines from the authorities.

Also, please keep in mind that travel privileges are meant for leisure purposes. Therefore, travel for the purpose of purchasing merchandise for sale, barter or trade is not considered leisure and therefore is not permitted when using travel privileges.

For further clarification of appropriate use of travel privileges, please consult the policies and procedures on the Employee Travel Website.
Women in Aviation - Compiled by Terry Baker

winnebago-1 From Cabin to Cockpit (extracted from "Between Ourselves" magazine issued October 1979 - Britt Marie Ferst is the first Air Canada woman to move from cabin to cockpit duty. Britt Marie recently received her wings signifying her new rank as second officer. Britt Marie took up her life long dream of flying in 1973 and earned her commercial license in 1976. Her license includes flying balloons and she was the first officer on Air Canada's balloon inaugural flight at the 1978 Silver Broom event. After 6 years as a flight attendant, the Swedish born 27-year old will be flying on a DC-8 flight deck. She joins Judith Cameron and Gwen Grant, as the third female pilot to enter the Company's line service.  


Reader Submitted Photos - Compiled by Terry Baker

Readers PhotosReader Submitted Photos -  The photos and information below have been submitted to us by our faithful readers.  


Image Blank 200px John Rodger has sent in this photo from the Sam Gatilero collection. It was taken Apr 30th, 1972 for Tony Savatonio's retirement 30 yrs. of service. Taken in the Line maintenance lunch room.
L to R ? Abrams, the tall man in the back is Frank Mattison, General Foreman Line Maint., Ralph Thatcher Superintendent Line Maint, standing tall on a chair is Bob Folks in front of Bob, Hank Vaillancourt, Sam Gatilero General Foreman Line, Claude Solignac, Ron Dickson, Hoogy Hoogendoorn all three were foremen in Line Maint. To Sam's right Mike Kelly. Center is Tony Savatonio (The Retiree) on Tony's left Shorty Evens License Mechanic. On Tony's right is Norm Sancartier, right behind Tony and just behind Shorty's right is one of the charterers we had back then Johnny Carrier to his left is J.P. Trembly. Kneeling Bernie Routier & ? Lapointe, Inspector, behind him Nari Nymark, Fred Buckstaller both inspectors. I see a lot of others I remember but can't name them.

Image Blank 200px David Wall was culling through some old slides: I came upon these which might interest a few people at Pearson. Taken in May 1966.
Dave Wall

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Image Blank 200px Heather Johannson sent us these two photos: Hi I woke up to find my husband wearing this as a sleep shirt, so I immediately took a picture. The YVR res office participated in the 1998 Dragon Boat Races held in False Creek. The t-shirts were sold as a fundraiser so that they could also compete in HKG.

Maybe Image Blank 200px someone who was on the team could let you know more about it. Keep up the great work, I really look forward to reading the NetLetter.  Heather Johannson
YVR cargo and airport.
(We checked both the "CP Air news" and the "Info Canadi>n " magazines. but could not find a photo of the dragon boat team - eds)
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada  LogoBelow we have musings from the "Between Ourselves" and "Horizons" magazine, Air Canada publications from years gone by, as well as various in-house publications.

The NetLetter has been fortunate enough to have our readers donate vintage Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada publications from as far back as 1941 to share with you. These have been scanned and are being prepared for presenting in a special area of the ACFamily Network for archival and genealogy research.

A new record for non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from Montreal to Britain was made July 22nd 1943. The aircraft, operated by TCA landed in Britain after a 12 hour 26 minute flight. The aircraft carried mail and was under the command of R.F.George, with Capt. A.Rankin as co-pilot. J.R.Gilmore of the R.C.A.F. was navigator and G. Nettleton as radio operator.

Two Trans-Canada Air Lines crew will operate this service and Capt. M.B. Barclay, Capt. R.M. Smith, co-pilot D.S. Florence, and A.J. Blackmore, radio operator were on board.
(source Montreal Gazette Jul 24th 1943)

ywgstaff Robert Arnold has sent us more photos from the Robert W. Arnold/Morien Collection: It is possible that this group was working the inaugural flight of Viscount V12 on June 1st, 1958 to service Saskatoon and Calgary. The routing was YVR-YYC-YXE-YWG-YYZ-YOW-YUL. Flight 807 is the North Star service YOW-YYZ-YWG-YXE-YEG-YVR. The photo is undated and no names were provided. (Perhaps someone out there could help - eds)

This group seems to be checking in at Winnipeg for the Viscount Toronto flight. We assume the group are passengers, but can anyone identify the passenger agent at the desk together with a date?

Issue dated - December 1971
Found in the "Parts & Pieces" YUL stores magazine -
Image Blank 200pxHere we have this photo of the Champion team in the 1986 ACRA (YUL) champion softball league.

Back row left to right: D. Page, J. Walker, L. Kolibev, D. Allison, P. Sulivan, R. Kelly, A. Palmer. Front row left to right: J. Patterson, S. Hemmerich, P. Dorion, K. Shepard, J. D. Gauthier. Missing are: D. Diggle, J. Devlin, G. Speirs , S. Sumsion, N. Dupont, T. Robertson & J. Palmer.

Issue dated - December 1971
Extracted from the "Between Ourselves" magazine -
Image Blank 200pxMIXED FEELINGS were evident in London, Ontario District on the weekend of October 29/30 with the departure of the last Vanguard flight and the arrival of the first scheduled DC-9 the next morning. To mark the two occasions, gold plaques with the crest of the City of London were presented to the Captains of the two crews. On the left, District Manager Ralph Webber makes the presentation on behalf of London Mayor Herb McClure to Captain J. F. Down commemorating last Vanguard flight. Crew members are, from the left: First Officer M. A. Colbert, and Stewardesses A. P. Taylor, Jean Horan, Doris Laplante and Monique Benoit. Recipients on the right are Captain Tim Moore, and Supervisory Captain Jim Videto who flew in the first DC-9. Extreme right is Hugh McElligott, Customer Service Manager. Every passenger boarding the DC-9 flights on the initial day of scheduled jet service was presented with a rose and a flight certificate.

An Air Canada DC-8 operating a charter was the first DC-8 ever to land at Ronchi Dei Legionari airport in north East Italy.

Issue dated - July 1976
Gathered from the "Horizons" magazine -
Image Blank 200px Three more commemorative medallions were issued to mark the inauguration of service between YYZ and BOS, a new route to Cuba and the 25th anniversary of the Montreal to Paris service. In 1975, four medallions were issued to mark service to Charlottetown to Toronto, a new northern route from Winnipeg to Montreal, Toronto - Texas and Toronto-Martinique-Guadaloupe.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpaceNow this looks like fun!

Archaeopteryx is a versatile high-end hang-glider in glider configuration with exceptional climbing ability. It has been designed for the foot of mountain slopes and can launch from a variety of other methods such as bungee, off the side of mountains, car, winch, aircraft, and UL-tow launch of airfields. 
It can easily launch from fairly flat slopes or with sufficient inclination even with a slight tailwind possible. Two different cable lengths extend the range of options available.
The take-off shown below starts on the slope corresponding approximately to that of Delta (dragon). This allows for appropriate slope and no wind to start.
Want one? - Cost: $80,000
Archaeopteryx: Fussstart (Foot launch)
Archaeopteryx: Fussstart (Foot launch)


Archaeopteryx: Gummiseilstart (Bungee launch)
Archaeopteryx: Gummiseilstart (Bungee launch)
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.

Paul Goodman thought you may wish to view the video advert for Canadian Airlines International "Wingwalkers". You can watch it here:

One of the two DC-10-30's fin #901 returned from its lease to Varig on April 3rd 1980. At the completion of the years lease, the aircraft had logged 3,200 hours, some 1.9 million miles.

Service between Calgary and Prince George commenced June 1st, 1980.

SkyBus service offered between YVR-YYC, YYC - YWG and YWG-YUL commenced April 14th 1980.

May 8th, 1980 saw Wardair International take its first step into the domestic market with an Advance Booking Charter (ABC) flight between Toronto and Vancouver.

First DC-10 in CPAir colours was delivered to YVR on October 31st, 1979. Named "Empress of Alberta", and began service between Canada and Italy on December 11th.

Issue dated - October 1979
Gathered from the "CP Air News" magazine -
Image Blank 200pxNEW U.S CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION facilities on the second level of Vancouver airport offer California and Hawaii bound customers the convenience of one-stop check-in and pre-clearance. Passenger agents from left: Brian Birnie, Lorne Baker, Patti Ainslie and Brad Lee stand ready to service travelers to San Francisco.

Image Blank 200px A RESTORED 'BLOW POT' employed in days of yore to warm aircraft engines and oil congealed by frigid Canadian winters has been presented to the Western Canadian Aviation Museum in Winnipeg by CP Air Pionairs. The donation honors the late T.W. (Tommy) Siers, a fellow Pionair who developed an oil dilution system eliminating the need to use blow pots. Retirees. left to right, 'Buzz' Bancroft, Jock McGeorge, Bert Field, all air engineers, and Leard Clarke, an electrician, represent the many Pionairs who used blow pots with CP Air and its predecessor companies in the formative years of commercial aviation in Canada.

Issue dated - April 1980
Image Blank 200px A SILVER CELEBRATION was held for this group of Hong Kong staffers who received five-year silver service pins from manager Jim Mutch, centre. The group from left, Vincent Kwok, cargo agent; Ying Kit Hui, assistant base engineer; Anita Yau, sales assistant, administration; and David Yao, marketing and sales rep.

WE MADE HISTORY IN HAVANA. CP Air made a new entry in the commercial aviation history books on March 15th, 1980 when a big orange B-747 was the first ever "scheduled" jumbo to land in Havana, Cuba.

The aircraft, carrying 405 passengers on a Carousel Tours charter flight from Toronto wasn't actually the first though - it seems there have been some other B-747s stop by "unexpectedly". Nevertheless, CP Air now holds this decidedly interesting distinction. Capt. Ed Mona, First Officer Murray Neilson and Second Officer Len Wetzel, all Vancouver-based, flew the big bird while the passengers were attended to by Toronto based cabin crew members Emilio Campana, (PSD), Gloria Martin, George Pagiotas, Kelly Jupp, Pat Young, Faye Smegal, Manuela Silvestre, Carol Boddy, Jasmine Joswiak, Feral Oram, Ellen Sagel, Alex Fauros and Wendy Saint. All passengers and crew received a special button commemorating the occasion. (Unfortunately, we have been unable to locate a photo of this event - eds)

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.

Bob Mellis
makes this observation: One of Robert Arnold's pictures in Issue 1201 shows the Winnipeg ramp in 1952, and on it a

Transair DC-3 ramp. This Pic. has to be from 1956 or later as Transair was not formed until the merger of Arctic Wings and Central Northern Airways in that year.  




Paul Gauthier sends us this informtation: Here's some information about the Nordair video in edition #1198; the two pilots are Capt Art Hale (on the left in dispatch and on the aircraft), assisted by Capt. Pete Knoxleet; the dispatcher was Norm Naylor (?); Bob Bogash was the Boeing representative who was involved -amongst other things- with the "gravel landing" system.


Another interesting feature was the way the B-737 was pushed out of the hangar: since the door frame was too low for the height of the aircraft tail, a special tow truck was design with a system that raised the nose gear so the tail would be lowered to allow the aircraft to be pushed out of the hangar (hangar # 5 as it was called).

This video brought back many fond memories of working this aircraft (as a flight attendant) both up in the Arctic as well as all the other destinations. I can attest that it was quite a change from the Super Connie, DC-4 and DC-3!


Unfortunately, Capt Pete Knoxleet has recently passed away. He will be remembered as a gentleman Captain.

Sincerely, Paul Gauthier, Service Director, retired, Toronto

Image Blank 200px Chas Freckleton refers to the jet cell photo in NetLetter nr 1199, 1201 and 1202 with this information: Regarding the photograph of the Power Plant Test cell and the identification of the two people in the photograph. The guy in the lower left is myself: Charlie Freckleton. I worked in the "Test House" in the 1960's with Bert Bell. I subsequently moved on the Flight Operations as a Ground School Instructor and retired in 1993 as Manager of Flt Ops Ground Training. Bert currently resides in Kelowna and I in Bolton, Ont.

Chas Freckleton

George Brien sends us this information: Hi folks. Your NL 1202 under Terry's First 75 Years noted that on this date, Apr 1, 1975, a TCA DC3 was the first foreign aircaft to land at Boston's Logan airport. It was also more firsts for this flight as it was the first one to land at the newly opened TCA station at Yarmouth YQI and also the first at Pennfield, which had just opened up in order to better serve Saint John than the old Station at Blissville, nearer Fredericton. It was the first transborder flight out of the Maritimes, with daily service YHZ/YQI/YSJ. Cheers keep up the good work.



(We dug up the following extract is from "Between Ourselves" issued April 1947 - eds)

On April 1st, 1947, T.C.A. inaugurated its sixth trans-border service. This time we added Boston to the roster of American communities on our inter-city routes.


Our DC-3's now make two round trips between Halifax and Boston. One flight is scheduled to fly directly between these two cities with a stop at Pennfield Ridge, which is replacing Blissville as the airport for Saint John. The second flight adds Yarmouth on Nova Scotia's southern tip to its points of call.


The stop is made between Halifax and Pennfield on flights in both directions. At the time of the inauguration, however, Maritime weather had rendered Pennfield temporarily unserviceable. But on April 15th, scheduled flights began operating through this point as planned in the original routing.


We had sent this extract to George and he replied: Thanks for that additional info - Yes, I suspect the first flight down to Bos was nonstop, likely due to foggy wx around YQI and Pennfield. The DC3 couldn't operate over the water direct on Airways 1141 from YQI to BOS so that's why it had to go across to Pennfield and then down coast. I can remember in the 50's at YQI, not seeing a DC3 for days on end due to thick fog!

Lois refers to the photo of the 1985 softball team submitted by Jannet Tricarico in NetLetter nr 1203, and to the identification of Genys? (Oldstad): Hi there. Just for your info in Letter 1203 the picture of the AC Softball Tournament - the Genys you mentioned is Glenys Robison (Olstad). She is also an Air Canada Pilot.

Regards, Lois


Odds and Ends.

Mike Horan in Ireland sends us this article from the Irish Times newspaper: The collapse of an aircraft maintenance firm in Canada has resulted in an unexpected but welcome boost in business for a Shannon Airport-based company. Shannon Aerospace, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, specialises in the provision of base maintenance services on a range of jet aircraft for a number of airlines, including Air Canada.

The airline has been forced to outsource much of its aircraft maintenance work to overseas facilities, including Ireland, following the the collapse of its former maintenance unit, Aveos, last month. While work on some of the airline's fleet will continue to be undertaken in Canada, about 60 larger aircraft will in future be sent to facilities elsewhere in the world. Some aircraft will be sent to Singapore and Hong Kong, while work on Air Canada's Boeing 767 model aircraft will be carried out at Shannon Aerospace.  


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerFrom Brian Dunn Aviation author of YYZNEWS 

For those of you who don't know, Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier based in Denver. They put different animals on the tails of their aircraft and you will get a kick out of watching the YouTube video below, which lasts just 6 minutes. 





Frontier Reel
Frontier Reel

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Image Blank 200px
This cartoon by Mathias is from "Between Ourselves" issued January 1969.  












Image Blank 200px
And this one by Starkey from "Between Ourselves" issued December 1971.


The NetLetter is an email newsletter published (usually) once a week 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!

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

Disclaimer: Please note, that neither the NetLetter or the ACFamily Network necessarily endorse any of the airline related or other "deals" that we provide for our readers. We would be interested in any feedback (good or bad) when using these companies though and will report the results here. We do not (normally) receive any compensation from any companies that we post in our newsletters. If we do receive a donation or other compensation, it will be indicated as a sponsored article or link.


E&OE - (errors and omissions excepted) - The historical information as well as any other information provided here is subject to correction and may have changed over time. We do publish corrections when they are brought to our attention.
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 
  • Stewardess - Lisa Ruck, Brooklin, Ontario 
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