Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

The NetLetter #1124

The NetLetter
 For Air Canada Retirees

June 12, 2010 - Issue 1124
5441 Subscribers
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson, Victoria, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Ground Technician - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario
To contact us, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In This Issue
About us
Terry, Vesta & Alan Pionair's AGM 2007

Terry, Vesta & Alan
The NetLetter Web Site
The NetLetter Web Site
ACFamily Network
ACFamily Links
Air Canada Pionairs

Project North Star

Vesta Stevenson
Vesta Stevenson

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 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!

Vesta & your NetLetter Team
Grainne Cronin - 2010/1977
We received this information from the Horan's in Ireland.

AER Lingus' first female pilot took off for retirement on her last flight yesterday after 33 years of service.

It was very much a family affair... and every one of them seems to be a high flyer.

Captain Grainne Cronin was just 22 when she became an Aer Lingus pilot in 1977, following in her father Felim's footsteps. And he was among her final passengers on the May 26th flight to Boston on an Airbus A330 aircraft.

Ms Cronin's two daughters, Alana and Louisa Johnston, both hold private pilot's licenses and Louisa has recently completed her training as a commercial
pilot. The girls and their father Neil, who is also a pilot, were on board their mother's final flight too.

From Malahide in Dublin, Ms Cronin (55) had previously worked for the airline as a stewardess and didn't undertake her first flight until January 1978, when she piloted a Boeing 737. She went on to
become a Captain in 1988.
Our first 70 years - Compiled by Terry Baker
Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada


  • February - trans-continental tourist service inaugurated.
  • First of 8 Super Constellation aircraft delivered.
2000 - Oct 26th a new Maple Leaf lounge opened in Charles de Gaulle (GDG) airport Paris.
Star Alliance News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance - US Airways launches non-stop flights from Charlotte to Ottawa, The daily service to Ottawa is operated by US Airways Express partner Air Wisconsin using 50-seat CRJ-200 regional jets.

Also launched was three times daily, year-round flights from Philadelphia to Halifax, with flights operated by US Airways Express Carrier Air Wisconsin onboard 50-seat CRJ-200 jet aircraft (Source The Daily) 
Air Canada Related News - Compiled by Terry Baker
Air Canada News June 3rd, Air Canada will be launching their summer schedule to Europe with the inauguration of non-stop seasonal flights to Athens and Barcelona from Montréal and Toronto. They will operate flights to Athens and Barcelona using 240-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft
Do we have a conflict of interest by our CEO?
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 - July 1997
Extract from "Horizons" magazine
Normand Bachand - 1997
On May 28th, at a special dinner in Montreal to honour the Award of Excellence winners. Three Awards for Bravery were presented. Here is the story surrounding the award for one of the recipients. Normand Bachand, Mechanic Dorval.

In May, 1997, Normand was kayaking with a companion in the swift waters of the St. Lawrence near Montreal, when they saw an empty boat floating past them. They looked around and noticed two people bobbing in the Water some distance from them.
They quickly maneuvered towards the two people in the water, one of whom was exhausted having been carried nearly two kilometers in the icy and churning river. The two were also quickly approaching the renowned and dangerous rapids. As related by Captain Pierre Filion of police Station 14 in La Salle, "at one point the whole operation and the lives of all four became precarious when they became trapped into a "hole" and the kayaks almost capsized.
With encouragement. assurance and constant talk to discourage panic, Normand and his companion accomplished a most brave action of saving the lives of these two fishermen who would have perished otherwise.

Issue dated - Septemper 1997
A319 in TCA Colours
It may have seemed like dejà vu for some long-time Air Canada employees when fin #264 was delivered in August. The very newest  addition to the Air Canada fleet is sporting a 'retro' look, and just in time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our first commercial flight, on September 1, 1937, when Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) flew a Lockheed Electra L10, from Vancouver to Seattle. The Airbus A319 that rolled off the assembly line last month was the 14th to join Air Canada's fleet, but this one was different. The maple leaf was there, but not the one we're used to. Instead, fin #264 was painted to match the original TCA\ fleet scheme, with black and red stripes and all!

Issue dated - February 2001
DUIT Team - 2001
A joint committee of Air Canada and Canadi>n employees , aptly named DUIT - Domestic Upgrade Implementation Team -have been looking at aspects of YVR authorities upgrade plan to ensure a hassle free movement of passengers and employees. Members of DUIT near the wall separating the work area from the check in Lobby.

From left to right:
Joey Serdar, Lead Station Attendant; Geraldine Thompson, Customer Sales & Service Agent; Michele Zietlow-Euerby, Customer Service Manager; Craig Birdsall, Lead Station Attendant; Barb Olpinska, Customei Sales & Service Agent.  Absent: Angelo Pizzinato, Lead Station Attendant and Elizabeth Cortan, Customer Sales & Service Agent.

Title of the in-house magazine is changed from "Horizons news for us" to plain "Horizons" and, with a larger family, the best of the "Canadi>n flyer" has been incorporated to make the newspaper represent everyone in the Air Canada family..
Toronto's Ground Support Equipment (GSE) team moved into a new facility. In 1988 the GSE committee visited United Airlines facility in SFO to investigate using it as a model to suit their needs.

YEG Airport - 2000
Last fall a new south terminal was opened at Edmonton International Airport complete with 9 gates for aircraft.

YEG Airport - 2000
Last fall a new south terminal was opened at Edmonton International Airport complete with 9 gates for aircraft.

Issue dated - March 1954
Musings from the "Between Ourselves" magazine
Non Union Groomer
An unpaid TCA regular at the Kinross Airport at Sault Ste. Marie is young Bucky, shown in the foreground with Stewardess Barbara Cochrane. After greeting all the passengers he usually goes aboard the aircraft with Morris Heller to pick up any stray sugar cubes.
Sudbury 1954
First TCA aircraft to officially land at Sudbury was a DC-3 aircraft on February 1st. The inauguration flight was  piloted by F/O J.E.Valance and Capt. Wiiliam Van Exan. They are shown in this photo with Ian Goulden.

Chicago - Sudbury first day of operation
DC-3 CF-TEJ under the command of Capt. G.H.C. Warren, right in this photo handing the Mayor of Sudbury a message from the Mayor of Chicago after he had landed his aircraft from Chicago on the first day of TCA operation into Sudbury. Stewardess F.Creith and Capt. J.Wild also in attendance.
1st Connie - 1954
TCA's first Super Constellation is delivered to Dorval on February 26th. Fin 401 CF-TGA c/n 4540.
Help Wanted
wings-1 Charles F.Dolan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I am a retired U.S. Customs inspector (worked at CYUL 1977-1986) and a collector of airline pilot insignia. I have an early (First issue after renaming from TCA) Air Canada wing with dark blue enamel behind the maple leaf. I have also seen several other wings with different colors behind the leaf.
As additional evidence that the blue wing came from CYUL, I have received two of those wings. One from Captain Aubrey Kyte, CYUL based and a second from Captain Bob Pearson, also YUL based.
Can any of your members enlighten me about the number of colors used and their significance? I was told of two theories. One was that the color indicated the occupation of the wearer (Pilot, navigator, engineer). The other theory advanced was that the background color indicated the base to which the crew member was assigned (YUL, YYZ, YVR, YWG) I have seen at least two blue wings in the Montreal area so I assumed that blue indicated Montreal based crew.
Any light you and your members can shed on this mystery would be greatly appreciated. I wrote to the company headquarters in 1986 and they were not able to assist me. I had the same result when I wrote to Bond - Boyd, the manufacturer in Toronto.
Thank you for your consideration.
C.F. Dolan
AC Wings Collection
Charles has sent us a photo of his collection.
Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Lockheed Martin F-35 Takeoff, Hover, Vertical Landing STOL
Below is a great video clip of the F35 with takeoff, hover and vertical landing capabilities.
March 18, 2010 - A supersonic Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter rode more than 41,000 pounds of thrust to a vertical landing today for the first time, confirming its required ability to land in confined areas both ashore and afloat.
"Today's vertical landing onto a 95-foot square pad showed that we have the thrust and the control to maneuver accurately both in free air and in the descent through ground effect," said F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson.
Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.
"The low workload in the cockpit contrasted sharply with legacy short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) platforms," said Tomlinson, a retired Royal Air Force fighter pilot and a BAE Systems employee since 1986. "Together with the work already completed for slow-speed handling and landings, this provides a robust platform to expand the fleet's STOVL capabilities."
Below is a great video showing the F35 in action.
F35 STOVL Aircraft
F35 STOVL Aircraft
People Finder
People FinderFrom time to time we receive enquires from subscribers that are looking for former colleagues and friends. Although we don't provide names or email addresses directly to those asking, we will forward this information to the person that is being searched for and let them decide if they'd like to respond or not. We realize that some people don't want to be found for various reasons a respect that decision. 
Barbara Hunt in New York is looking for Elizabeth Smith-Bordeleau (married to Jean Pierre Bordeleau) who worked in AIr Canada administrative or Human Resources around 1995 in Dorval or Montreal. Her last know address was 2240 de Lomdres Ville, St. Laurent, Quebec, Canada.
If you are Elizabeth or know where she is, please respond to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will provide further contact information.
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 - August 1998
Extracts from the "Canadi>n flyer" magazine -
PPS Team - 1998
July 15th saw the introduction of a new product Premium Package Service (PPS). designed to produce incremental revenue for the company. Here are the employees involved, but no identifications.  
(If anyone would care to supply some identifications - feel free - eds)
Taiwan Staff
Service to Taiwan was launched to Taipei in December 1990 with DC10 equipment YVR-TPE-HKG. In 1992 direct service was launched to Taipei direct from YVR with DC10's. Some of the smiling faces at the CTO in Taipei.

From the left: Lisa Hu, Silvia Chen, Debbie Yang.
CDN's Bangkok staff held a sales blitz on Songkran Day, April 13. The Thai holiday marks the change from the hot season to the wet season. The team delivered 800 gift sets to travel agency stall around BKK,

Front (left to right); Charncha Khongsrithong, Nongyao Labsrivivat, Nuchaporn Srisajjakul, Doreen Hazeil, Country Manager, Thailand, Greg Schoenbaechler, Sukanya Rattanawadee, Prapapun Singhaphahu, Nonglak Yenchaisit, and Lynette Gould. Back(left to right); Naowarat Hakimee, Ninlawan Piriyasatit, and Netdao Boonjaroenraj

Issue dated - September 1998
Kai Tak (second to) last flight - 1998
Under a banner of "Canadian bids Kai Tak farewell" is this story about Hong Kong.

A Canadian Airlines B747 takes flight over a crowd of spectators gathered along the harbor in Hong Kong to witness the last planes depart Kal Tak airport on July 5. CP 8, which departed at 2 p.m., was actually CDN's second-last flight out of Kal Tak. The last flight was CP 28 at 7 p.m., as CDN began flying twice daily service to Hong Kong in early July. Capt. Peter Andreasen. F/O's Doug Goldie and Ross Forman, S/O Terry Alexander, and Check S/O Paul McDougall were at the controls of the DC10. The In-flight Crew consisted of Gerry Kroon, Lars Sjoblom, Sherry Sands, Phyllis Hamilton, David Sandelands, Denise Patrich, Wanda Chenier, Peter Van Pelt and Tong Zhao. "It was a truly nostalgic take-off for CP 28 that day," said Capt. Andreasen. "After so many years of flying to Kai Tak, it was really sad to be leaving."
In March 2001, we received this email from Captain George Steven Serviss, Vancouver Base

Captain George Steven Serviss joined Canadian Pacific Airlines on October 4, 1965 with a total of 4000 hours flying experience. Since that date, he flew an additional 21,500 hours on DC3, DC6, DC8, DC10, B737 and B747 aircraft. George will be retiring effective April 30, 2001. George recalls the most memorable moment of his career as: "doing the last landing of a Canadian registered aircraft into Hong Kong's old Kai Tak airport". In retirement, George plans are to complete the construction of, then fly, his home built aircraft.

On July 8th, Canadain introduced Fast Track AIF and security screening at YVR.
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. 
Headless Viscount
Here is a picture of a headless Viscount at Winnipeg sent to us by Jack Stephens. Unfortunately there is no identity or date. You might like to circulate this one amongst your AC contacts to see if someone remembers when. I doubt that they would remember the reg or fleet number but you never know.
Comment (Alan) -  Rumour has it that the "head" of the aircraft was removed using an "Ichabod" crane. <VBG>

George Brien has sent us this information -:
I ran across this interesting story about Viscount fin 604 delivery to TCA in 1955  
Blog: Props, Pistons, Old Jets And the Good Ole Days of Flying

Link: http://propspistonsandoldairliners.blogspot.com

In NetLetter nr 1123, Brian Breathnach sent us this memory -
One of the series of flights that we did out of Montreal was as follows: Montreal to Val Dor, on to Rouyn, then to Earlton, then on to North Bay and finally to Toronto.
This prompted Murielle St-Germain to counter with this memory - 
Hi  NetLetter Team
In 1959, I graduated as a flight attendant and was on reserve based in YUL. I  worked that Viscount flight several times.

We left Montreal around 07H in the morning and would arrive in YYZ at 13H. I recall the routing was YUL, YOW, YVO, YUY, YXR, YYB AND YYZ.  And we had to serve meals on most flight legs.....!!

Flt Attendant (1959-61) and Passenger Agent (1961- 1997) Phase-In (1997-2001)

Allen McKenzie sends us this memory -
My father, Hec McKenzie started his airline career with Canadian Airways at God's Lake, Manitoba.

Many years later when he was based at Moncton (YQM) he met Ron George (again)  From this point onward I am relying on some faint memories, probably not very accurate.

Ron George was a native of Sackville, N.B. and I think that he had flown with Canadian Airways, later joining T.C.A.  I do remember visiting the George Farm as a youngster.  We, the McKenzie's, had gone there to visit with Ron and his wife Ann while they were home from California.  As I remember it, Ron George had joined K.L.M. as "their man in California" while they made the decision to purchase the Constellation. There may be a connection to the Connie's galley arrangement in there somewhere. I can't verify its accuracy Maybe it will jog the memory of a Pionair or a writer.   
Regards, Allen

From the May edition of the monthly UK Pionairs newsletter -
Anniversary of the " Cabbage Patch Incident"  - 6th November 1963

Colin Bailey, now living in St. Catherines, Ontario sent us his memories of the incident. Colin was part of the maintenance crew on duty that night, and his email reads as follows:-
Re the Cabbage Patch Incident, I was part of the maintenance crew on duty that night, and as was customary, two people remained on for an hour after the departure of the flight.  It was my turn to remain that night along with Andy Cunning. When the call came to the Romney Hut re the accident, I told Andy, and in his fine Scottish accent he replied "awaa wi' you mon, you're pulling ma leg", and it took several minutes before I could convince him that it was indeed true. When we got to the scene, the crew were just leaving the cockpit and the Captain, "Mickey" Found, jokingly remarked that he had written the "snag" into the log book. My wife heard about it on the radio and to this day insists I didn't go home for two days. Not too many of us around now that were involved, but I'm sure it will always be remembered by those who were, as one of the big incidents in their Air Canada career.
Thanks for that Colin.

During an exchange of emails with Jack Stephens, your co-pilot mentioned the Vanguards which were parked at YUL, with the props removed, and how we informed the newer employees that they were VanJets.
This is Jack's response - more history -
Terry your story about the Vanguards parked at UL, brings back a memory much the same. I believe it was 1960 when eight of us were transferred to the Overhaul Base. There just wasn't the same amount of work on the Viscounts, but more on the Vanguards and the DC8. They were having problems with the prop control unit on the Vanguard, so a couple of us were put to work on that unit having a few years experience on the Dart prop control unit.  The shop looked out on part of the tarmac, and there were several Vanguards parked waiting for the very units we were working on. Not hard to imagine the monies involved.

So there was lots of pressure, and quality control guys hovering over us and our foreman, who kept asking, "When will this one be ready?" Seeing those Vanguards as we worked added to the pressure.The overtime, was attractive but in the end the Mudguards were in the air again. I was at Dorval for a few months, then transferred back to Winnipeg, and worked on the first interior refurbishing of the Viscount. I believe this was in 1961. But that is another story.

Cheers,  Jack

Viscount in YWG
Jack Stephens received this photograph from Robert Arnold who sent it in for the www.vickersviscount.net web site, and , which prompted this memory from Jack
- Notice the railway baggage carts suspected to be CNR. Can anyone identify the orange structure?
You must have seen our previous flag. Also: the snowmobile at the corner of the building; under the tail, the large entrance was the main passenger door to the terminal; under the belly, the small mobile stairs, with the TCA logo, which was used for the DC3's; below the nose is the ramp office, and at that time, the Air Freight office; Second floor, Radio/teletype, weather and flight dispatch. This red brick building houses the offices of the Western Canada Aviation Museum. The grey metal building with the vents is the No.1 Hangar, the Overhaul and Mtce. location of the Viscounts and now the museum. Far right is the galley container, that was lifted to the door.
Often on our lunch break we would sit just behind the galley container, but more to the right and watch the passengers, leave and board. One day, all the passengers had left and then a plain clothes officer appeared at the door, behind him appeared a guy, obviously a prisoner. We felt for him as he struggled, hand-cuffed, and with leg irons, carefully descended the stairs, then shuffled to another door at the terminal. The officer, stood at the bottom of the stairs, staring like the rest of us, along with the ramp people. If he had stumbled on those stairs, it could have been a different story. Strange how a photo can trigger memories.

Pressurization Test
This photo of the first TCA Viscount being readied for a pressure test at Weybridge was featured in the
"Between Ourselves" magazine issued May 1954.
We sent this photo to the www.visckersviscount.net web site and received this reply -

Interesting to see the jpg which Terry attached to his e-mail to you. If the caption to the photograph of the Viscount fuselage awaiting pressure test is correct, then he has helped us without realizing it. There is an identical 10" x  8" print in the Photographic Archive at Brooklands.
The A/C fuselage has until today remain unidentified, as I believe there is only a Photo Negative Number on the reverse. We will enquire if it is possible for us to borrow and scan this image for the website.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Air Canada Vacations' June Specials - Up to 70% off! Book now for June Sun packages. Remember, ACV packages feature confirmed air (no stand-by worries!) and hotel. More information can be obtained on the Portal > Employee Discounts, or on ACV's employee site, accessible via the Portal > My Travel > Employee Travel > ACV Vacations.

Jack and Aureen Morath are two UK Pionairs who are instrumental in arranging various events for the local Pionair population, i.e. London walks, day trips to the Continent and, in the past, an annual trip to a north American city.

Here, from the UK Pionairs monthly newsletter for June 2010 is a continuation of their recent trip report which we started in NetLetter nr 1120 -
Our Far East Adventure:  (Jack and Aureen Morath)
We returned to Bangkok for three days before flying on to Hong Kong for our cruise. We found the Cha Da hotel very good with its modern design having 300 rooms and also they gave us a very good deal as airline people. After the discount we were paying around £26 for the room per night with breakfast extra in their restaurant.
The hotel website is www.chadahotel.com  We left some of our baggage at the hotel as we were returning there after our cruise. Staff in the hotel were most helpful. To be sure of getting to Hong Kong for the cruise, we used the low budget airline Air Asia for the 2.75 hour flight from Bangkok. There is a connection between Air Asia and Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and also both wear the same uniform and both have won awards for their services. We were limited to l5 kilos each and so the hand held scales we take on our trips now proved very useful! If you wanted refreshments on the flight you had to pay for it.
Our flight departed from Bangkok airport at l6.30 - an A320 Airbus) and arrived on time in Hong Kong at 18.l0pm. After passing through formalities at this new excellent airport (which is on an island) we asked at the tourist desk the best way to get to our hotel which was on Hong Kong Island close to the harbour front. We were advised at the desk to take the Al0 bus from the airport bus station, and its first stop was only a few yards from our hotel, and after about 45 minutes in a modern bus.
More another time.
Smileys - Compiled by Terry Baker
More of the exchanges between aircraft and controllers sent to us by Vern Swerdfeger 
Tower: Have you got enough fuel or not?
Pilot: Yes.
Tower: Yes what?
Pilot: Yes, SIR!

Frankfurt Contol: 'AF1733, You are on an eight mile final for 27R. You have a UH-1 three miles ahead of you on final; reduce speed to 130 knots.'
Pilot: 'Rogo', Frankfurt . We're bringing this big bird back to one-hundred and thirty knots fer ya.'
Control: (a few moments later): 'AF33, helicopter traffic at 90 knots now 11/2 miles ahead of you; reduce speed further to 110 knots.'
Pilot: 'AF thirty-three reining this here bird back further to 110 knots'
Control: 'AF33, you are three miles to touchdown, helicopter traffic now 1 mile ahead of you; reduce speed to 90 knots'
Pilot (a little miffed): 'Sir, do you know what the stall speed of this here C-130 is?'
Control: 'No, but if you ask your co-pilot, he can probably tell you.'

ATC: 'Cessna 123, What are your intentions? '
Cessna: 'To get my Commercial Pilots License and Instrument Rating.'
ATC: 'I meant in the next five minutes not years.'
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!

Your NetLetter Team