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!

clareadamsThe Maiden of maiden of maiden voyages.- Clare Adams.

dornierIn 1931 she was the only female paying passenger on the Dornier DO-X 12 engined flying boat from Rio to New York in 1931.
In 1928 Adams purchased the first trans-Atlantic air ticket ever sold to a female passenger and was on the first flight of the airship "Graf Zepplin" from North America to Europe October 1928.

adamsHere she is with Amelia Earhart. My favourite aviatrix. Adams was also on the first flight of the dirigible "Hindenberg" in 1936.
Chalmers Lodge Vancouver
Chalmers Lodge Exclusive to the NetLetter and the ACFamily Network.

Just in time for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, we have been offered 10 rooms available for booking at Chalmers Lodge in Vancouver. They are in a centrally located building that is used full time as an Assisted Living  Residence. It is close to all amenities, including shopping, medical services, public transportation, beaches and theaters. It is perfect for retirees but not for families with children. The rates are very affordable and include meals.

Normal rates are;
  • Single - $65, Double - $90  * includes meals
During the Olympics, Feb 12 - 28, 2010;
  • Single - $100, Double - $125 *includes meals
More info and Registration
ACFN LogoFor more information, registration and map, please see a special page created at

Questions? - Please send any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please do not ask us as we are just the messengers.
Air Canada News
Air CanadaThis spring, Air Canada will offer new daily service between Toronto and seven more American cities including: Orange County (Santa Ana) and San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio; Portland, Maine; and Syracuse, New York.

Flights will be non-stop.
They are also adding new international destinations from Toronto this summer and will offer same-plane, direct service to Brussels through Montreal.
Our first 70 years.

malton1949 - Jan 9th - New terminal opened at Malton Airport.

1963 - 6th Nov - The " Cabbage Patch Incident" at LHR
Re the Cabbage Patch Incident, some of our colleagues have contacted us with more details, as they were involved directly or indirectly. Archie Furzer was working as a Crew Bus Driver at the time, and remembers the aircraft had the registration number 813, and that it was a half-freighter, half-passenger aircraft (known as a Combie). The field was very muddy at the time, and the army had laid an aluminium runway so that the aircraft could be towed away from the cabbages!

When the army had finished their work, they gave Air Canada a strip of this aluminium which was about l8 inches by 10 inches with the regimental badge on it. Archie says it used to be in the mobile maintenance truck and wonders what happened to it. Does anyone else remembers seeing this or knows where it is now?

Another colleague Edie Etheridge was on duty that night in the Teletype Office in the Queen's Building and Ros Pinder (now Persson) was also on duty that night.  In the Flight Despatch office at that time was big Brian Johnson and also Les Powell. Edie says it was exceptionally busy having to send loads of messages for spare parts for the aircraft from Terry Baker and Ron Munson in the Purchasing and Stores Department.

Edie goes on to say that the staff in the teletype office sent millions of messages, and their fingers were worn down to the bones typing on those old teletype machines, where you typed 'blind' and the tape came out of the back of the machine. It was then relayed to our Transatlantic line which was shared with BOAC (now BA).  Each airline took it in turn to send a message.

(Reproduced from the Pionairs U.K. newsletter issued February 2010 - eds)
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.

A selection of photos from the "Report to employees '84"

Ralph Walker
, Passenger Agent. Ralph Walker

Audrey Vicente
, Clerk. audrey

Ted Seymour
, Station Attendant. ted

Henry Frate
, Station Attendant. henry

Station Attendants. jacques
Jacques Bissonnette, John Moharos, Marcel Parent

Bob Brown
, Certified Aircraft Tech. bob

Bill Fulcher
, Passenger Agent. bill

Helen McWhinney
, Passenger Agent. mcwhinney

Helen Waters
, Passenger Agent. waters

More musings from "Between Ourselves" magazine -
Issue dated February 1949 -
On December 31st 1948, T.C.A. welcomed its 2,000,000 passenger
Mr. Taylor boarded in YUL destined for YVR and received accolades
and gifts, which included a brand new suitcase, and Parka. It tool 9 years of operation to reach the 1,000,000th passenger, but only
another 2 years for the next 1,000,000th.

Issue March 1949 -
Pass privileges extended effective January 1st.
Service reduced from 5 years to 2 years for eligibility to use a pass to
Bermuda and Caribbean. Trans-Atlantic passes require the employee to have 5 years service.

This is the Pass Privilege Chart. passchart

staff celebrate at their Christmas 1948 party.

clestaff-1Left to right: 
Harry McCarl,  Den Ashe,  Becky Beltman; Audrey Booeny; Bob Corsiglia.

cle-2Left to right,
Becky 8eItman, Mrs Sam Leonard, Otio Kirchner, Mrs Kirchner, Mrs. Clem Freen wife ot the Customs Inspector; Sam Leonard.
Alan's Space
Alan Rust
Two Aircraft Rescue Missions
One with a a happy ending, the other, not so much...

Rescue #1

Can-do farmers save Canso plane

Northern rescue mission brings vintage aircraft safely to Fairview

At first glance, the assignment must have seemed like something out of a Mission Impossible movie, but one even Tom Cruise would refuse to take on: Trek into the wilderness north of the Arctic Circle, retrieve a broken plane marooned on the edge of a remote, frozen lake, and find a way to drag it out of the bush some 2,500 kilometres back to civilization.

Oh, and do it in early spring when temperatures are still hovering around -40 C.

Sound like a fool's errand?

Not to Don Wieben, a vintage airplane enthusiast who has restored a number of older aircraft and flown them around Canada.

Click here or on image for full story #1

Canso Rescued

Rescue #2



It happened seemingly overnight. Suddenly there were no B-29's, P-38's, B-17's, or any of the W.W.II masterpieces. The following story shows just how far we will go to recover any of these aircraft, regardless of where they are or what condition they are in. This is a story of unbelievable determination, desire, ingenuity, and unbearable heartbreak. The great respect and love we have of the B-29 is obvious. I have never watched the tape of this recovery without tears in my eyes. The startling ending leaves us with that empty feeling, it will definitely strain your emotions.


There are only a handful of B-29's left, out of over 4,000. Somehow nobody realized it until it was too late. At one time the Arizona desert was covered with B-29's, some flown in and in good condition. They were all scrapped. There is one named ?DOC? being rebuilt now and is expected to fly. What a sight that will be. As far as I know the only one flying now is "FIFI", belonging to the Confederate Air Force.

Some 50 years ago a B-29 named the "KEE BIRD" was flying on a secret mission over Greenland, 250 miles north of Thule. It became lost and out of fuel crash landed with minimum structural damage. On the second day a plane flew over the crew and they knew they would be rescued. The next day a plane landed and picked up the very fortunate crew. They were lucky. The plane went down inside the Arctic Circle where the climate is harsh, the sun never sets in summer, and the weather can change hourly from sunny to gale force winds. Certainly it is one of the most isolated places on earth. The Air Force released ownership of the Kee Bird making it available to anyone with the capability of flying it out. If recovered the Kee Bird would be a unique addition to aviation history. The plane sat on the edge of the frozen lake for 50 years, enduring weather conditions unlike any place in the world.

Click here or on image for full story #2

Further info and photos are here

KeeBird B29
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.

Mike Garrett sends us this information -
My name is Mike and I previously let you know about my CP Air tribute site ( which you let your readers know about, thank you.

I just wanted to update you that the site has gone under some renovations and I'm adding more content every month including a huge archive of timetables. What I wanted to really let your readers know about though is that from many visitor suggestions we have created a Facebook fan page for ex CP Air employees.

On this page they can interact, share stories, photos and more.  Currently we are nearing nearly 600 members and invite your interested readers to join.  
The page can be found here:

Nordair LogoHere we conclude the short history of Nordair started in
NetLetter nr 1104 -
The information taken from the final edition of "Expressions" which was the in-house magazine for Nordair issued December 1986 -1979
Nordair takes over the routes east of Winnipeg previously operated by Transair, thus doubling its destinations with regular service between Montreal, Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Dryden and Winnipeg. Ownership of the company is transferred to Air Canada, after the change of control is not disallowed by the CTC.

DC-8 service is withdrawn due to high operational costs.
A five-month strike of ground personnel from July 1982 to January 1983 results in the suspension of Ontario services. Essential scheduled services to Northwest Quebec and the Eastern Arctic are maintained.
The head office is moved to Town of Mount-Royal and a new corporate image is adopted. Service to Matagami is suspended.
Nordair launches regular service to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Mirabel Airport and resumes service to Lac St Jean at Dolbeau/St-Methode. The airline returns to the private sector when Air Canada sells its shares to Innocan, a holding company, and Participation Nordair (created to enable employees to participate in the purchase of the company). The corporation becomes Nordair Inc.
Nordair is granted authority to serve Montreal-Quebec without restriction. It suspends  service to Hamilton, and takes over Northern tier service from Ottawa to Thunder Bay via Sudbury which was dropped by Air Canada. CP purchases 65% of Nordair shares. thus effecting another change of control.
Nordair suspends service to Dolbeau/St. Methode and, as a result of
regulatory reform, is granted its application to consolidate its domestic licenses. It invests in 35% of the new commuter carrier, Nordair Metro, and subsequently joins with the Quebec government's privatization of the regional carrier. As a result, the remaining 34% interest in Nordair held by Quebcair and the Quebec government is sold to Canadian Pacific Airlines facilitating the merger of the two carriers.

Clara Ash of Vancouver has sent us some copies of "Info Canadi>n"

Here we capture some pictures from issue dated February 1990 - Canadi>n announces a new travel plan for employees. Employee Travel Services (ETS), formerly the Pass Bureau, is improving its service. ETS employees in Toronto include,

yyzetsFrom left, Diane Emonts, Marg Thompson, Simone Lawton, Chris Esposito, the new manager of ETS based in Calgary, Debbie Chinn, and Vivian Neville, supervisor ETS based in Vancouver.

employees include.

yvretsFrom left, Alane Overacker, Dawn Edwards, Brenda Williamson,
Barbara Fletcher, Jeannette Dee, Kelly Smith, and, seated,
Val Hutchison.

Issue dated September 1992 -

larryLarry Syvret, an Air Crew Training Instructor in YVR is shown here instructing flight attendant Doris Loo the procedure for opening the B747-400 cabin door. 

spenceSpence Mikituk has an armful of training manuals used in the Technical Training department..

Taken from the "CP Air NEWS" magazine.
Issue dated February 1978 -
Surprised recipient of a gift from London colleagues was Ron Stevens
who has been named airport and cargo manager for Rome and Milan and for all cargo sales and service in Italy. Previously he was assistant to the director of sales and service, Europe/Middle East.

stevensAt left is Ken Swan, area rep., with Harry Hargadon, right, general mgr., U. K./ Ireland, and interline secretary Maggie Coombe

It was reported that DC-8 "Empress of Santiago" fin 608 has been sold to International Aviation Services (UK) of Surrey and is expected to be handed over at Vancouver early in February.

It was announced that, effective February 1978 , the piece concept for International baggage would be introduced. The limitation would be on size and weight and allows for two checked bags and one carry-on.

A "Catch our Spirit" employee DC-8 charter is arranged for March 27th 1978 for a total of 195 employees at $99.00 includes two nights accommodations, a show, some meals and a champagne party.
This n That
The Type 167 Brabazon was designed as a fully pressurized passenger airliner specifically for operating the direct London to New York service without having to refuel en route in the west-bound direction and carrying between 80 and 150 passengers. Built by Bristol in the U.K. First flew on September 4th 1949.

brabazonOnly one example was built and the second one was partially built before problems arose and the project was abandoned.
Readers Feedback

Bob Budden has sent us these three photos -

yvr-2Vancouver (YVR) circa 1936.


loadingAnd loading an aircraft
(No identification of the aircraft (L10A perhaps) nor the location (YWG perhaps) or the date - eds)

Paul Gauthier
sends us this message regarding the "Nordair" history in NetLetter nr 1105, and concluded in this edition  -
Thank you for bringing back so many wonderful memories; I started my flying career as a flight attendant with Nordair in 1968, hired to operate on the Convair 990 Coronado (leased from ModernAir of Florida) and retired after 38 years and 11 months on April 1/2007. Yes I am the one in the picture modeling our new uniform! Nancy Kelly was the only one from my class, and she retired in June 2009. (NetLetter nr 1104 - eds)

I also worked on the DC3, DC4, Super Connie (1049H), and all the other aircraft except for the C46 and the Electra.
Nordair started its European services in 1975 with its sole DC8-61, aircraft that was later replaced by two DC8-53; it started operating the Hadj flights in 1975 with its DC8-61 and then in 1977/78/79 with its DC8-53's; I was a crew member on all those flights except for phase two (the return flights) in 1979, due to family medical emergency. As I said before, what wonderful memories!

When I trained in 1968, since the Convair 990 Coronado was a wet lease - with pilots only- we had to be qualified on the aircraft by the Department of Transport -now Transport Canada- and the FAA, since the aircraft was U.S. based. By sheer luck, ModernAir was chartered that fall for the first flight circumnavigating the world over both North and South Poles.

The organizer wanted his wife to be the first and only woman to be on that historical flight, and since ModernAir only hired female f/a's, three of us from Nordair, including yours truely, were leased to ModernAir for five weeks in order to crew that flight. Again, as I said before, what wonderful memories!

Maybe one day, I'll write about that incredible trip...
In the meantime, thanks for a great job, and keeping alive the history of Canadian Aviation.

Paul Gauthier Air Canada Service Director, Retired, Toronto.

Teresa and Mike Horan sends us this information -
Hi Guys . .  'n Gals . . .
Greetings from Ireland . .  and Tipperary . ..
We . .  the Horan's . .  Theresa (Bondy) and Mike . .  
ex TCA. . early 1960'ies . . will be very happily married. .  50 years . .
this April 23/2010. We met and got hitched while working in the old  TCA - Church, YYZ. Oh, but they were FUN days. ..and much socializing was done in the YZM ( Morrissy Pub ) !.
Our " Best Man " on the day - was a Ken Green - then working for CPA . . who shortly after transferred up to Whitehorse or some such wilderness. We lost contact ever since with Ken - any chance you could publish this appeal for him to make contact. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Kindest regards to your good work. T & M.

Tom Sparkes, refering to NetLetter nr 1105, sends this information -
Another great issue, as usual. In this issue, here is some info on Ken Fardy. Ken must have between 25-30 years Service. He started as a  "Ramp Rat" at  St.John's Nl, YYTTRAC, and worked his way thru to a Lead, then operations agent,  finally to Air Freight. He is getting pretty close to retirement

His Father was Jack Fardy, who after many years at the Ticket Office in the Old Nfld. Hotel , he went as Reservations Supervisor and then as Airport Counter Supervisor. He was admired by all and passed away two years ago.

Take care,

Pat Henderson reminds us to 'Fly our Canadian flag on February l5, National Flag Day' on "Heritage Day"
Terry's Trivia & Travel Tips
Terry Baker A reminder -
Hang on to your boarding pass.
When waiting for a confirmed seat or applicable upgrade at the gate, remember DON'T CROWD THE COUNTER - they'll call you.

Here is the final 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

Monday November 2nd

venice-1Our final port is Venice. We are here overnight. We have visited Venice before so elected to have an optional tour of Murano and Burano islands. We were happy that we had elected this as the weather was very cold and pouring with rain most of the day, certainly not the day to walk around a city. Murano is famous for its glass blowing industries, and we were landed next to a factory and had a exhibition of glass blowing. The artist making a small vase and a horse. Then we were taken into the show rooms for a view and talk about the product and then the pricing.

Then over to Burano to view a demonstration of the lace making .

venice-3We bought a small table runner and several bookmarks as gifts for friends.

On the return trip, several passengers decided to get off at St. Marks square, but we went back to the ship, cold and miserable, for a hot tea and something to eat what else! and  to start packing for our trip home tomorrow

Tuesday November 3rd
We had our transfers to the airport pre-paid, but the charges were
Car us$249 per vehicle maximum 2 persons and 4 luggage.
Van us$349 per van maximum 4 persons and 8 luggage.
Coach us$115. per person

Approximately a 30 minutes drive subject to traffic.

We had an early breakfast and had to be out of our cabin by 08:00,
and we made our way to the assembly lounge. It was pouring rain
and we had to walk about 200 yards to the customs hall to locate the
luggage which we had put outside our stateroom the previous night,
and then another 200 yards to the coach which will take us to the
airport, about 30 minutes away.

We have to check in at 12:30 for a 13:55 departure and stayed in the
restaurant with a cuppa for euro1.25,  with two passengers we had
befriended who lived in Victoria, so the time passed very pleasantly.
We checked in for our KLM A320 City Hopper flight to Amsterdam, got
our boarding passes and had our luggage checked right through to

On the flight we were served a cheese sandwich and a tuna salad
sandwich plus choice of drink. Upon arrival at Amsterdam, we located the direction for our flight and marched off to the gate. When we got to the gate there was a huge crowd, the KLM MD11 aircraft was full and holds in excess of 300 passengers.

The flight was code shared with Air France and Northwest.

Everyone had their passports screened and hand luggage through yet
another security screening. Just after take off, the captain announced that there were three captains on the flight deck, and not to get upset if one of them wanders into the cabin, there will still be two captains on the flight deck at all times.

As we rose above the clouds after take off, the clouds were quite ragged and the sun was just setting giving a wonderful scene. When we got to Vancouver, we saw the second sunset of the day.

Our meal was hot quiche, lettuce salad, cake and a fruit bowl with
drinks. In mid flight we were served an ice cream. The attendants
supplied the passengers with frequent visits dispensing water or soft drinks.

We arrived in YVR 40 minutes ahead of schedule, and we were staying
overnight in the Accent hotel again, using our ca$15.00 coupon again,
we had a spare one and passed it to our traveling companions who were also staying over night at the Accent. We were all bushed so retired to our respective rooms. We have an early start in the morning to catch our flight to YCD..

Wednesday November 4th.
We caught the early shuttle to the airport, checked in for the flight to YCD, which was only 50% full, and has breakfast at "Timmies" while we were waiting.

'Twas good to get home again.

vern-8Here we have the final smilie sent in by Vern Swerdfeger