The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)

August 22, 2012 - Issue 1217

First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Our First 75 Years
Reader Submitted...Photos
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
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
Our First 75 Years - Compiled by Terry Baker
1938 - Sept 19th - TCA Air Express Service  inaugurated between Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver.

1943 - July 16th - Canadian government announces the selection of T.C.A. to operate the trans-Atlantic air service. (CGTAS).
July 22nd - First flight of CGTAS from Montreal to Britain.
July 24th  - First flight of CGTAS from Britain to Montreal.
Aug 30th - First $100,000 deposited into the Trans-Canada Air Lines Pension Fund.
-  Dec 1st   Time Table nr 22.

Star Alliance Related
Star Alliance

Vern Swerdfeger has sent us some information with two photos -  


Here is an early United Airlines photo with no location or date.

And this one of stewardesses in the 1930's. timetable-22-1945 


Women in Aviation - Compiled by Terry Baker

Extracted from the brochure "The British Invasion 1988 - 2005 - A Farewell to the BAe 146 aircraft" supplied by Robert Arnold 


Image Blank 200px

Lori Furguson, Flight Attendant Halifax, made these comments: The in-flight group will never forget the excitement of welcoming the BAe 146 into the fleet. The smell of the new aircraft with its bright and clean materials, and the thrill of discovering each characteristic.

Coffee Makers - Flight attendants had to learn to use the coffee makers without spilling the brew over the floor and into the precious avionics bay. The winter months brought a new discovery - water left in the pipes would freeze overnight. After a couple of morning flights without coffee, the process of draining water from the pipes on the last flight of the day was swiftly added to the in-flight checklist. 

Ovens - It took some time to precisely coordinate the oven time and temperature, especially on very short-haul flights. There were occasional frozen or dried up meals served along the way, but eventually the appropriate settings resulted in a perfectly cooked meal. 

Slides - The BAe 146 was equipped with four evacuation slides. The distinctive characteristic of these slides was that each had to be manually armed and disarmed for every take off and landing. Needless to say, a few slides were unnecessarily deployed over the past 16 years. In fact, the last incident occurred as recently as January 2005 when deployment of the slide was inadvertently triggered. 

The BAe 146 aircraft played a significant role in the history of Jazz. The 'Queen of the Fleet' has bowed out of service to make room for a new era of regional Jets that will take us on our next journey. Goodbye trusted little Jet, you will be missed!      


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.  


Robert Arnold shares some more information: I came across this unique item. I wonder if you or any of your readers remember this file folder used by TCA to help promote air cargo and rates as seen below.


The "Put Wings On Things" is on the front of the folder with the "AirCargo Answers" on the back. The "Speed Plus Service" is on the inside when folded as a file folder would be. It is dated October 1, 1948 in the blue Cargo Rates tag. It also appears to promote the North Star as a carrier of freight.  

Regards for now,

Image Blank 200pxImage Blank 200px

Here we have more on the TCA emblem story from Jim Bruce
started in NetLetter nr 1214 and 1215:

I checked out Larry Milberry's and Ron Pickler's "Canadair" book and they have this nice colour photo of a refurbished C-47 (CF-TEC #376) decked out in TCA markings and delivered May 17, 1946. Canadair supplied 21 DC-3s to TCA.

So, these are the markings seen on that black & white I sent you. Note there are no markings on the rudder and fin except the a/c number and Post Office shield, later to be on the doors of all aircraft. The TCA name is nicely centred over the windows; the style of letters became the more "modern" gothic italic in 1948, with a letter height of 14.25" including the black drop shadow.

I also have this photo of the forward fuselage markings adopted in 1948 for the DC-3, taken from TCA drawing "EXTERIOR MARKING(Sic) & REGISTRATION FUSELAGE"  No. 6/05-3096, Dec13, 1948. Drawn by ?, checked by Ed Winnick, and approved by DCB.
Regards, Jim 

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Image Blank 200px More information from Robert: The blueprint shows the new location of the word "Viscount" from the former dorsal fin location to its new place on the upper part of the fin and rudder above the TCA insignia. The blueprint  is titled "Installation-Vertical Stabilizer "Viscount" Marking" and is dated April 1, 1955.


If you read carefully, there is a lot of information on this drawing as to placement and style of the letters.

Having researched the painting job for T.C.A., Robert has sent us the information for the change to Air Canada - Hope your readers find this bit of TCA history interesting and maybe bring back some memories to those who created these amazing drawings.
Regards, Robert

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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.

Ron Rhodes sent us this information:
The following link to the National Film Board film "Routine Flight", 30 minutes, will certainly be of interest to many of your "techie" type readers who worked in Winnipeg. It finally was released for free viewing: Ther are interviews with George Pitlick and Jim McLean, and also features a flight in the Viscount.

Image Blank 200px This photo is from the Martin Betts family:

Pionairs Board of Directors meeting January 1981
Front row left to right: A. Latimer, secretary; Frank Millman, 1st VP; Joe Lorimer, President; Mary Brown, 2nd VP; John MacFarland, treasurer;


Back row the District Directors left to right: Nancy Walchuck, Toronto; Jack Somerset, Vancouver; Beth Ferguson, Winnipeg; Evelyn Desjardins, Montreal; Martin Betts, past president; Paul Emerson, Halifax; Ken Taman, Ottawa.


Bernie McCormack has sent us this memory together with some background information on inaugural flights:  

For some time now you have carried inaugural flight articles from various sources and I will comment on them and then describe my own, unique I believe, inaugural. There is no great talent required to fly an inaugural. The pilots are not selected by management because of any special qualification as a rule. Blocks of flying are published month to month and in them a first flight to a new destination may be contained. Those blocks are bid on by the line pilots and awarded according to seniority.


The glamor flights are usually the ones that the newest aircraft fly and as a result they are taken by the most senior people in the airline. The preparation in my case was a look at the en-route, terminal area and approach charts and a good look at my national geographic maps of the route in case some one asked me a question that could be embarrassing if I "didn't have the faintest". Any unusual flight information would be sent out to the pilots well prior to the flight by our support staff and in fact the busiest people prior to one of these flights were the ground staff arranging transportation, hotel accommodation, customs and immigration protocol, describing local sensitivities and cautions, cash exchange and a host of other things so that everyone would be ready to greet us when we got there. 

I was employed by TCA when I was twenty and as a result, the last few years of my career saw me near the top of the seniority list. I flew the 747-400 on the inaugural flights westbound out of Delhi, Eastbound out of Seoul and Eastbound out of Osaka. The unique one for the reason I will tell you was out of Osaka Japan. Prior to the flight in September 1994, there were representatives of the Japanese government, the aviation authority, Air Canada management (Robert Milton) and myself assembled just outside of the terminal gate to the aircraft and held back by a thick pink (I think) ribbon. We each had a pair of beautiful scissors. Standing on my left was the former Japanese minister of defense. I can remember thinking don't fumble and drop those scissors or half of our passengers will book off the flight. When we were given the signal we each simultaneously cut the ribbon and proceeded to board.

The departure was routine and on time, we had no problems communicating because the airport and en-route controllers spoke very clear English and we were on our way. Very satisfying and exhilarating. We had been underway less than an hour when we got a call on the satcom radio. Toronto. They advised that with our minimal crew availability (pilot training on the '400 was still underway) and because of illness they had no captain to take the flight back to Osaka the day after our arrival at home in Vancouver. The same aircraft we were flying Eastbound continues to Toronto after our arrival in Vancouver, overnight and returns Westbound the next day. (In fact the same aircraft carried all of the existing flight schedule to and from Osaka). Would I consider flying the Westbound the day after our arrival? We are usually pretty beat up sleep wise when we get home and sleep is difficult to come by even in our own bed, but I considered the problem they and our company had and agreed to do it. As a result, to shorten the story, (too late), I flew the first Eastbound, the second Westbound, and the third Eastbound on that route. It was a wonderful adventure.


Bernie McCormack, retired 1995


Issue dated - July 1943
Extracted from the "Between Ourselves" magazine -
Image Blank 200px Lockheed CF-TCY arrived at Patricia Bay airport on Vancouver Island on June 6th at 23:25 thus to become the western terminus of TCA's transcontinental system. Capt. Don Brady, F/O Norman Ramsay and Stewardess Mina Wood made up the crew.

Image Blank 200px Passenger agents at Toronto's Malton Airport in 1943:


Sitting left to right: Jean Watson, Jean Hynd, Joan Harlan and Pat Paterson. Standing left to right: William Tupling, Chuck Gibson, Ralph Hawley, Allan Lewis, Bruce Gibson, and Dave Clark.


Issue dated - September 1943

Image Blank 200px Here we have a photo of the crew for the first CGTAS flight Montreal to Britain.


Left to right: Squadron Leader J.R. Gilmore, Navigator; Capt. Ron George, Pilot; Capt. Art Rankin, co-pilot; and G. Nettleton, Radio Operator.

Equipment was Avro Lancastrian CF-CMS.

Image Blank 200px Halifax staff in 1943 were seated left to right: Elsie Price, Alice Kelley, Al Brown, Marg Major, Stew Carter, Steve Sime, Don Westman, Wally Rowan, Helen Smyth, Peter Sowden, Mrs. Furguson, R.Furguson.


Standing left to right: Harry Schofield, B. McGarva, John McFarland, Walter Hines, Bill Waldie, Nick Kosowich

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpaceAlan is still on vacation this week!
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.

Service between Montreal and Halifax is planned to commence March, 1981 with B737 equipment.
Service between Lima, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo planned to start September 12th, 1980 with DC-10-30 equipment.
Issue dated - October 1980
From the "CP Air News" magazine -
Image Blank 200px Here we have four of the Buenos Aires staffers, from left to right: Jhenny di Felice, Haydee Gonzales, Haydee Margenet and Virginia Gonzalez.

Image Blank 200px KEEPING CP AIR on the move in Santiago are these men and women who are from left, Antonieta San Martin, time payment plan clerk; Patricio Perez, office boy, airport; Veronlca Gomez, passenger agent; David Flgueros, office boy,
CTO/ DSO and Cecelia Lanas, passenger agent.

Image Blank 200px IT WAS A CLASSY OCCASION, black tie, rose in the lapel, the best of wines, all the fine touches that make a good thing better. And that's just what CP Air Vancouver sales reps and flight attendants were promoting - Empress Class, the upgraded economy service for regular economy fare passengers.


They arrived at travel agencies and commercial accounts in the B.C. lower mainland complete with information kits and baskets filled with examples of the superior in-flight amenities now offered as part of the up-graded service.


From left are Erin Tate, Deni-Lynn Thomas, a staffer at Agent West Magazine, Dave Detwiller, Linda Isman and Tom Buecking.

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.

In NetLetter nr 1213, in the "Canadi>n/CP Air etal" section we had this information:
On April 29th 1986, Canadian Pacific Air Lines inaugurated the first non-stop service by a North American carrier between Canada and the Republic of China with service between Vancouver and Shanghai utilizing DC-10-30 equipment. (source CP Air news alert Jan 1986)
Ken Kaplan sent us with the crew details, and he should know as he was there:
Reference the previous posting of the first direct to flight China (Shanghai ) from Canada  - the first direct flight to China was on October 26, 1985  - Vancouver to Hong Kong DC10-30 (ER) C-GCPI  - 13:50 Ramp to Ramp time. Capt. K. J. Kaplan,  F/O M. Barrett, F/O B. Ailey, S/O R. Hovey, Ck. Capt., H. Cronk.

Return Flight - 28 October - 1985 - same aircraft  -  Hong Kong direct Vancouver  - 11:15  Ramp to Ramp time.
Capt. K. J. Kaplan, F/O M. Barrett, F/O B. Ailey, S/O R. Hovey.
On Board were several training/check pilots who remained in Hong Kong for a few days to be qualified on the various approaches available - on completion of the inaugural, it became a regular scheduled flight Vancouver to Hong Kong.

Regards K Kaplan
Tony Walsh us sends us this comment:
I do not receive this publication, but was forwarded by Ken Carr in Kelowna. Note on page 6 the restoration on the TCA Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar at the University of Fraser Valley at Abbotsford airport. I assume/hope it is a well supervised rebuild and not just practice metal for trainees to mess up on. Have any of you seen this Lodestar rebuild progress in person? 
Extracted from The Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, B.C. newsletter "Glidepath" Spring 2012 issue.

Lockheed Lodestar
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Recently, the Museum Board of Directors visited our Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar, currently under restoration at the University of Fraser Valley facility at Abbotsford Airport. The University uses the Lodestar airframe as a way to provide learning enrichment opportunities for their students  "Now you have completed your exercise to the required standard, you can shift over to the fun and satisfaction of fixing up this old aircraft".

Recent work has focused on the starboard wing, flaps and aileron, and the rear fuselage skin. Beneath the nose of Lodestar CF-TCY emblazoned with the Trans-Canada Air Lines crest, can be seen recent work on the starboard wing and aileron.

Lori Flowers sends us this response:
Just read your NetLetter #1215 in which you advised a discontinued medical situation for Rosemary Malo. She was advised that she has reached her "lifetime max" with our Medical Plan. This is in error as Inas Assaad, Mgr Group Benefits advised in a letter that the "Impact of Health Care Reform" act (signed into law on Mar 23, 2010) has eliminated lifetime max for both active & retired members who continue to be covered by an Air Canada US Health Care Plan as at Jan 1, 2011. However, if her lifetime max was exhausted prior to Jan 1, 2011, she would not be eligible to rejoin any of the US Health Care Plans. Aetna may have advised her in error... this being the case, she should contact Employee Services at 1-877-645-5000 & get this situation rectified.

The NetLetter passed this information along to Rosemary and here is her reply:
Unfortunately, Canadian retired staff do not have the same benefits as the U.S. I contacted Inas Assaad first when this all cropped up, and received no help there. Fortunately, I have been able to reinstate myself on my husband's insurance starting in September. 
Rosemary Malo

Brian Colgan, Director of the YVR Pionairs District send this:
Your NetLetter Aug 08, issue 1215:
Since this issue was released, I have had two phone calls in regards to Rosemary Malo's comments in regards to reaching Life Time Limits with Claim Secure.

Folks assume that the NetLetter is a Pionairs Newsletter. (The NetLetter is NOT connected with the Pionairs - eds)
I have extracted some info from the CLAIM SECURE website and it provides info in regards to life time limits. Even if she was a member of Plan 1, she still should have $750 top up each year. Rosemary is not a member of YVR District Pionairs, but I believe she is a Pionair in YYZ. I agree with her that some type of notification would be nice and I understand that Air Canada is working on having this info available
on line through the Claim Secure website. Until this is available, she can call Claim Secure at any time (1-888-982-7878) and ask them for an update.

Regards, Brian Colgan, District Director YVR Pionairs

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Kathi Cavers has very kindly identified most of the people in this photo from the Martin Betts family which we had in NetLetter nr 1215.
Rear row (standing): Cliff Dobson, unknown, Rob Fournier, Neil Stephenson, Bill Willett (lead), Larry Robinson, Nick Lodge, Dave Scott.
Front Row: Terry Hendrickson, Bernie Bolen, Bill Sherring, Doug Hill, Martin Betts. The year was 1973 and the picture was taken on the introduction of stretch DC8's into YQR. Ramp crews were a lead and seven. Between my husband, Reid, who was hired in '73 as a result of the DC8, and  Dave Scott, they were able to put the names to the faces. Regards, Kathi Cavers
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerFrom the U.K. Pionairs monthly newsletter for August we have further Travellers' Tales from Jack & Aureen Morath

Aureen and I traveled to Gibraltar earlier this year for a weekend break, leaving Heathrow on the Saturday morning for a direct flight on British Airways taking two and a half hours. We flew in over the sea to land on the short runway which had the sea at each end of the runway. We booked our hotel through Expedia, speaking to somebody in India. I asked them for a hotel close to the airport and they gave me one quoting 4 miles away. I confirmed that was OK and double checked that it was only a short distance away from the airport.


On landing at the airport and getting a taxi, it transpired that the hotel was half an hour's drive away in Spain! Actually the hotel deal was excellent getting half- board at a four star hotel in its own large grounds. The hotel had been built in 1901 and was very picturesque.


Many VIP guests had stayed there including members of the Spanish Royal Family, Roosevelt and Churchill. German and Italian spies had also used it during the Second World War monitoring the shipping movements around Gibraltar which you could see across the water from the hotel. (Spain was neutral during the Second World War). The food was excellent and we had no complaints about the hotel, and was a bargain at the price we paid. We found out the local bus service to get to the frontier with Gibraltar and we used this each time we went into Gibraltar. Much more fun traveling with the locals! At the frontier we took the free shuttle bus into the city, and from there you could take one of four or five free buses to points around the island. The main road into the city crossed the runway of the airport, and each time a flight landed or took off, the main road was closed!

From one of the bus routes, we took a tourist mini-bus to the top of the main Rock of Gibraltar, and also visiting other points of interest. We saw the famous apes at the top of the rock, but were not allowed to feed them. We were also able to go into the tunnels which had been used since the l8th century to guard Gibraltar right up to the Second World War. Unfortunately the shops in the area were closed on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays. As it turned out, Monday was a bank holiday in Gibraltar, which was very unfortunate as Aureen loves looking around the various shops. Only the eating places and tourist offices were open. We were able to explore the whole of Gibraltar whilst we were there and the temperature was a pleasant mid-sixties in March. The time difference is one hour from the UK, and the nearest large town in Spain is Malaga about sixty miles along the coast.


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.

Image Blank 200pxBy Ron Cook found in the "Between Ourselves" issued July 1943.

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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