The NetLetter #1102 - January 2nd, 2010
Vesta's Jump Seat
Vesta StevensonWhy not allow the NetLetter 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 first known all ladies International Goodwill visit by air in the history of commercial aviation comprised of members of London's Professional Women's Club was arranged by Stan Blowes District Traffic and Sales Manager for London Ontario, who organized a charter DC-3 CF-TDY to Cleveland.
Our first 70 years.

  • May 1st - North Star aircraft began the carrying of immigrants from Prestwick and London the first of 230 charter flights between May and March 1949 as agreed with the government of Canada. Commenced scheduled service YUL to Bermuda with North Star CF-TFK.
  • June 1st - North Star aircraft inaugurated scheduled service over the trans-continental system. DC-3 service inaugurated to Yorkton and Brandon.
  • July 1st - Approval for the carriage of first class mail by air received from  the government.
  • Oct 1st -  Special winter excursion fares introduced on trans-Atlantic until April 1949. Due to inadequate traffic, service between Deluth and Lakehead suspended. A new Universal Travel Plan (UTP) inaugurated.
  • 1972 -  May 22nd - Weekly service inaugurated to Berlin.
TCA/AC People Gallery
Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier "Horizons", should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Fred Coyle has sent us this information about the T.C.A. Super Constellation --
connieWith its curvaceous fuselage and triple tail, the Lockheed Super-G Constellation is one of the most distinctive airliners in history.

The Museum took delivery of its rare "Connie" in September 2009. The story of this aircraft will be told in a Jan. 9 program by Bob Bogash, Museum volunteer and retired Boeing engineer, who was instrumental in the plane's acquisition, restoration and transportation to the Museum. The presentation will be illustrated with previously unpublished photographs. Randomly-selected members of the audience will be chosen for an exclusive tour of the aircraft on Jan. 16. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater and is free with admission to the Museum.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 (on Boeing Field between downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport.) The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is us$14 for adults, us$13 for seniors 65 and older, us$10 for active military, us$7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available.

Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo.

For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

Musings from the "Between Ourselves" magazine.
Issue dated June 1948

Traffic personnel at Sydney Airport sport their"new look"

sydneyFront row B.P.Beers, J. Stuewe Centre C.J.Connolly.
Back row W.H.Holmes, R.Moffat.

Issue dated October 1948

At Toronto Malton airport plans call for the rebuilding of the entire east/west runway in concrete to make it permanently suitable for North Stars. Finished the runway will be 6,000 foot long.

Winnipeg's new runway was officially opened August 12th, probably the finest concrete runway in Canada, it is 6,000 foot long by 200 foot wide.

Windsor airport has been made suitable for North Star by extending the runway by 1,000 foot. Repairs to Calgary's runway to make it suitable for North Star operations is due to open November 12th.

shannonService to Ireland was inaugurated October 1st, 1947. 

ardhurHere was what Shannon International Airport looked like in 1948. While on temporary assignment Ardhur House in Limerick was the home-away-from-home for TCA'ers  

A group of TCA staff at Chicago celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Sept 1st service to that city.

chicagoForeground: Sophie Schuelke, Ed Deane Left to right: Ruth Balser, Bob Burns, Marji Anderson, Ted Moore, Sylvia Blake, Shirley Steinke, Dick Skidmore, Harry Cooper, Norma Seijna, Don McGregor.

Gleanings from "Horizons" magazine

Issue dated October 1973
The 'Mystery of the burned-out plane' is the way Montreal newspapers labeled it! But it was never a mystery to Air Canada.

A partially-destroyed aircraft fuselage on the tarmac in front of a Quebec government-owned hangar at Montreal Airport became a curiosity for the many commuters passing the area. What happened to it? Where did it come from?

It is one of the last Company Vanguards sold to a firm specializing in supplying aircraft parts.

Workmen hired by the purchasing firm were dismantling the aircraft when a cutting torch accidentally set fire to it. As of this writing it remains a hulk, but it is expected the remains will be broken up and towed away. (Does anyone have some information on this aircraft, such as registration or fin # - eds)

Issue dated June 1992.
The "Dreams Come True" from Toronto was with a B-727 loaned by Air Canada and crewed by Capt. Earl Cummings, F/O Bob Johnston, S/O Jim Sullivan, and in the cabin were Nancy Brownrigg, Jocelyn Boisvert, Graviella Ciarrocchi, Claire McKenna, Juergen Nikolai, Rosemary Millar all worked the flight on their day off. The "Dreams Come True" was started in 1989 by four Toronto employees - Bob Kent, Kathy Dutchak, Chris Dale and Kent Angus.

Our colleagues in Bermuda were presented with an award.

bermudaFrom left to right: Polly Peters; Rita Johnson,  Felicia Pike,  Ian Davis,  Major Syd Helmkay, Canadian Armed Forces Liaison Officer, who presented the award; Lucy Fox,  Marc Rosenberg,  Janet De Silva, and Noel Rodriguez.

On time: time and time again.
Mirabel's aircraft maintenance employees breathed a sigh of relief after having not a single delay of aircraft during the entire month of April. This is a noteworthy achievement when you consider that the month included the start-up of Air Canada's three Boeing 747-400s, not to mention 171 consecutive on-time departures from all participating stations.

mirabelPictured in the back row, from left to right are Pierre Bayle, John Marshall, Jean-Yves Gagnon, Kasimir Kusek, Luc Ménard and Emilien Dufour. Shown in the front row are: Real Savard, Pierre Nadon, Pierre-Yves Grenier, Peter Content, Pierre Trudeau and Kenneth Batt.

Issue dated August 1992

Colleagues at Fredricton say farewell to Dennis Graham upon his retirement. Here we have this photo

dennisl to r Mike Graham, Kit Blois, Harvey Muttart, Bertha Bergin,
Dennis Graham and wife Nancy, Liane and Ron Groves.

While on a layover in Glasgow, these three Toronto based flight attendants each celebrated 30 years service, and here they are.

beryl l to r Beryl Smith, Helen Burn and Louise Naigel.

Where are they now.
B727-200 C-GAAN fin 414 c/n 21102 sold to Federal Express September 28th 1984 registered FE219 has been finally retired and donated to the Technical School at TianJin.

Alan's Space
Alan Rust
How's this for a hard landing!
Swiss Air jet has very bumpy landing at London City Airport (on the afternoon of 17th January, 2008)

Nosewheel touchdown on second bounce, wing-flex, and possible tail-strike.

London City Airport is the only airport actually in London, London City Airport is less than a mile from world-class events venue ExCeL London; just two miles from the site of the 2012 Olympic Games; three miles from Canary Wharf and six miles from the City of London. Passengers travelling to and from the airport enjoy fast transfers on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) with a journey time of 22 minutes to Bank and 14 minutes to Poplar (connecting to Canary Wharf).

Bumpy Landing
Click on image above for video
(click on HD for full screen)

ZumbaIs your New Years resolution to get fit in 2010? - My wife (who is fit, not like me) is starting a new Zumba Gold Class for those +55 at the White Rock Community Centre in White Rock, B.C. She needs at least 10 people to start the class (max 20). They made an error in promoting this properly, so I told her I'd mention it here. I know this is unusual to have this in the NetLetter, but I figure I owe her one for all the time I spend on the NetLetter and at the computer when we could be doing other things.

I've attended her classes and I know you'll enjoy it, it's fun and you don't need a partner. Zumba is a new way of having fun while exercising. The Zumba "Gold" Class is great for retirees and is targeted to those over 55.

Classes start on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM (free class). For more information, please visit (scroll down to Zumba Gold) or give Mary Lou a call at (604) 765-2225. To register call the Community Centre directly at (604) 541-2199

If you're interested in Zumba, but do not live in the Vancouver area, just search for "Zumba" with Google. It's very popular in the USA and Eastern Canada but just catching on in Western Canada.
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
Canadian AirwaysOver the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier in-house magazines, should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Perusing the "Info Canadi>n" magazine
Issue dated December 1991
Canadian has announced the development of a new check-in machine called the self-Service machine.

shanksHere is Mike Shanks manager Marketing Automation with a new machine in the background.

In May 1990, Canadian Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines began code-sharing but, on October 25th 1991 this arrangement was terminated due to poor loads.

From the "Canadi>n AirCargo Annual Report 1991"
In June the Hong Kong staff replaced the local contractor,
here we have this photo

hongkongFront row l to r: Raymond Lai, Simon Chan, Dennis Tse, Francis Law, Back row l to r, John Gibson, Terry Wong, Roy Yip. David Chin, Taley Cheung, Salome Yeung, Al Ridgway, Jacob Wong, Tommy Yu, Samuel Lee, Alfred Chui, and Daniel Ngan.

markMark Bright Manager Cargo Sales & Service  who relocated to LHR in April.

In April the Vancouver Telephone Sales & Service Centre made the TSSC) network complete together with YUL, YYZ and YYC.
Here we have some of the gang at YVR.

yvrtssFrom left to right. Doug Thornson, Hope-Ann Weidman, Fred Whiting, Ian McLafferty,  David Knight, Murray Armstrong, Ken Mok. Gillian Brough, and Patrick Cheung.

And from the "Cargo Marketing Bulletin Summer 1992"
we have the YUL Telephone Sales & Service Centre (TSSC)
whooping it up for the Mexico service.

yultssHiding behind those big sombreros in back row are, from left, Karim Mohsen, Clara Ciampini, Denise Dubois. Jacques Lacas,  Mirko Bertoldi. In front, from left, Karola Oates, Norm Pickering, France Pellerin, Alida lannuzzi, Lorna Difiore, and Antonio Sammartino

a320yycHere we have this photo of an A320 in the YYC hangar in 1991, probably in delivery colours
Readers Feedback

Regarding the announcement that Air Canada plans to operate an A319 from YYT to LHR,
William Jesse sends this comment
I still cannot believe they want to fly an A-319 from YYT to LHR. They occasionally fly them from YYJ to YYZ and on the last flight I took the bathrooms had to be shut down one hour into the flight. No fun. When I took that flight it was after a wedding. I don't drink but had consumed a lot of water.
Depends maybe!!!
(Such foresight by Air Canada - Shutting the bathrooms down was probably a trial for the recently imposed rule that pax stay seated for the final hour of flights into the US - eds)

Jack Stephens sends us this photo "At The Blast Fence" painting by Jim Bruce who used to work for TCA, in the Engineering Dept. at Winnipeg, during the Viscount days.

viscount#609The aircraft depicted is fin #609 CF-TGQ c/n 54

Here we have some more of the story we started in NetLetter nr 1101 which was sent to us by Barry Crawford. I mentioned briefly to you about my northern experiences working at mining  site called Asbestos Hill which was located about 300 miles south of Baffin Island in the  Arctic.

mapHere is a  northern map which shows you where I worked .....Asbestos Hill/Deception Bay.

When flying to the Hill from Dorval, Montreal we always landed at Fort Chimo. If we were not able to land at either Asbestos Hill or Deception Bay our 2 landing strips due to poor weather conditions then it was up to Frobisher or back to Chimo. A friend who I used to work with sent me some photos from my time  when I  worked there. I thought I would share  those photos with you.


These photos are of the plane (a Nordair B-737 jet) landing on our dirt  airstrip.....always a very bumpy landing. In winter like the photo shows.....a red line would be painted down the middle of the airstrip so the pilots would have a visual clue in where to land as everything was completely white in winter. I wonder what the  regulations would be today for landing a jet in a similar location? The mine site was  a very isolated and desolate place to work. About 400 men worked here at  any one  time. The site has since closed. I was 20 years old when I first went there to work. I always tell people that I went up a boy and came back a man. A life changing  experience that matures a person fairly quickly or you can't adjust to this particular living and work environment.

asbestosThis photo is of the Asbestos Hill mine site. We all worked 12 hour  shifts  (nights and days), 7 days a week for 3 months before being flown out for 2  weeks of vacation. Personally I always felt it was a good thing to have kept us busy working as there wasn't really anything much as far as leisure to pass your time for any prolonged amounts of time.

One final photo that I thought you might like and share if you want.

electraThis photo was taken on October 31, 1974. I know because I was being flown out after 3 months of work at the Asbestos Hill mine site. As I mentioned to you before you can see the red markings on the airstrip to help the pilots on their approach.

Hope you like the photos.
They sure bring back memories for me.
Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips
Terry Baker Here are some of the events arranged by members of World Airlines Clubs Association (WACA) -

Feb 18-21st - Las Vegas Get away deadline Jan 15th 2010 host San Diego Interline club cost us$275
Apr 15-18th Get together and European Regional Meeting at Brighton UK deadline Feb 15th host Gatwick Interline club cost gbp265.

May 16-21st - Vancouver Island Winery Tour deadline Mar 20th host Vancouver Interline Club cost ca$799
Full details at

The results of a survey on the worst airports in the world have been released.
Top of the list is
London Heathrow Airport (LHR) - a repeat of last years position.
Second was
Paris Charles DeGaulle (GDG)
Third was
Los Angeles International (LAX)

At the top of the best airports in the world was
Singapore Changi Airport
followed by
Hong Kong Chek Lap kok
Amsterdam Schipol
Dubai World Central
There was no mention of the criteria used for these findings.

Here is the third installment of the Eastern Mediterranean Cruise October 22nd to Nov 3rd 2009. Our cruise was with Oceania Cruise Lines on the MS Insignia.
started in NetLetter nr 1099
Saturday October 24th

ephesusToday we dock at Kusadasi in Turkey.. After breakfast we joined the tour of the ruins of Ephesus. We had Tolsa an excellent guide who provided us with an informative history of Turkey and this area. The Roman ruins we saw were quite awesome, particularly when one could envisage how the area looked in real time - ages ago.

After our tour of the ruins, we were taken to a store which produces hand made carpets. There was a girl demonstrating the art of carpet knotting, and the owner, after offering everyone a choice of drink from tea, coffee, beer or wine, his two assistants rolled out 30  carpets or various designs and quality while the structure and price were explained, either wool, cotton of silk. Needless to say, we did not purchase one. Back on board, we attended a seminar about the Adobe Photo Elements software, before attending the Captain's welcoming get together and a glass of champers.

Sunday October 25th

At Santorini we were tendered ashore.

santorini-1During the night there was a terrific storm with lashings of torrential rain and a spectacular lightening display plus thunder. Today we are at Santorini and the temperature is 21c and overcast.  

We are due to finish our tour with a ride down to dock side on the cable car, but the storm which knocked out most of the power supply to the island changed that. Our bus tour took us up the mountainside via a multifaceted switchback of a very narrow road, which gave us spectacular vistas of the port below us.

Due to the heavy rains during the night, many places alongside the road had piles of lava which had washed down and, at one place, was completely across the road, fortunately not too deep and we were able to drive though it. Towards the top of the mountain we became shrouded in low cloud and were unable to complete our trip to the summit, we barely had room to turn, and the driver was anxious to get back down before other tour buses arrived. At the point of the road which had the lava across the road, we were unable to drive through without the danger of the bus sliding off the road, and the driver and guide got out and leveled off the pile.The trip up and down the mountain provided some great views of the island and beaches.

The guide pointed out the unique way the grape vines grew, instead of the traditional way on a trellis, the vines were twisted into a ring at ground level giving the appearance of a wreath, this gave protection from the constant wind  to the grapes which grew inside the ring. However, this method made harvesting very labour intensive.

We were given an hour and half free time at a village called Oyo. Near the car park there was a store which sold pistachio nuts and offered each passenger a sample. The guide told us that we would not get lost as we could follow the trail of pistachio shells back to the coach. We visited a small art gallery which glass and metal combined art, very innovative. We window shopped before returning to the coach and talked with our fellow travelers before leaving. We noticed gas prices at €1.19 a liter.

santoriniBy the time we returned to the cable car, the hydro had been restored and we were able to travel down on it, which we were happy to do as the descent was via a very steep windy pathway. After supper on board, we spend several hours chatting with a couple from Pennsylvania and watched the electrical storm over Santorini.

Monday October 26th.

creteToday it was 71f and cloudy when we docked at Crete. As we did not have any optional tour booked for this island, we walked off as the town was just a 100 yards or so away from the dockside. We had planned to visit the museum, but it did not open until 10:00, so we window shopped for a while. We ended up in a store which sold nothing but agate items.

Just wonderful creations and we bought a small item there. Then we visited the museum at €3.00 each. We thought that it was a poorly set up display with hardly any items identified very professionally. 

As the sky looked like it would open, we went back to the ship just before the rain started accompanied with lightening and thunder.

At dockside there was a small train which ran on the roadway and offered three tours. One locally around the port, another into the town and the third up into the mountain area. The costs are €11, €12 and €20. We spent the afternoon in the library and on deck, under cover, reading and generally lazing about. Unlike other cruise lines, the library is on an honor scheme, you just borrow the books without having the "check" them out. It was very well stocked and appointed.

After supper I went to the reception to claim a refund of my transfer money from ATH to the docks which we had not used. Happily the credit appeared on my account.
(More next time - eds)

vern-7Here we have another smilie sent in by Vern Swerdfeger