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
Upcoming events - Compiled by Terry Baker
The following information, from the Pionairs UK monthly newsletter about an annual Golf day.
Calling out all ex-Cargo employees and their families. After last years successful day and evening, we are going to hold another Air Canada Charity Golf Memorial Day and Evening get-together. Where: Thorney Park Golf Club. When: 19th September 2014 Time: Golfers must report to starter no later than l0:45 am. Cost: For golfers it is £35 including a two-course meal.
If you are interested in coming along either to the golf day or the evening, please contact either Andy Olrod at 07976108047 or Andy Maclean at 07909857042. The closing date for golfers will be Friday, 5th September.
Evening guests: Please can you also inform the above names by September 10, 2014 if you wish to attend. The evening event is from 1930 until Midnight. There will be a buffet, live music and a raffle in the evening. Thank you.
Transair Reunion- Compiled by Alan Rust
Transair Annual Luncheon
When: Friday, September 5, 2014 Where: Army, Navy & Air Force #283 3584 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba
Cocktail: 11:00 am - Greet & Meet Cash Bar Lunch: 12:30 pm Tickets at the Door: $15 each (including taxes & gratuity) REMINDER: Bring any memorabilia to place on the "Tribute Table" or for "show & tell"
Should you have any questions, please contact any of the named organizers listed below:
Spread the news! This is a yearly event to keep in touch with everyone.
Come one, come all for a group picture! A Pictorial Directory proposal will be presented at the luncheon - bring 3 (three) colored pictures (solo, with spouse & with family).
Reader Submitted Photos - The photos and information below have been submitted to us by our faithful readers.
Another photo sent in by Norman Hogwood - This photo of Boeing 737-219 N322XV (19930) was taken at Christchurch on 21 February 1986 in the stunning colours of Presidential Airlines. This airframe was ex ZK-NAD "Pukeko", the second 737-200 delivered to National Airways Corporation arriving in November 1968. The jet remained registered as N322XV while it moved a number of times between various North American carriers including American West Airlines, Inter-Canadien and Olympic Airlines before turning up with Charlotte Aircraft Corporation and reportedly broken up during March 1991 at Maxton, North Carolina.
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
Below 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.
1948 - Dec 2nd - Service began to Kingston, Nassau and Port-of-Spain.
1961 - Sea-Air service introduced, the first service of its kind in Canada.
1971 - Feb - another first was the introduction of the Guaranteed Sea-Air service
1979 - Jan 26 - the company obtained 86.4% control of Nordair
Betty Draper came across this article while working on an unrelated project, but as TCA was mentioned, Betty kindly sent it along.
From the "Leader-Post" July 6th 1942 Smoke stops T.C.A. Flying. Calgary - Forest fires many miles away in British Columbia have upset schedules of Trans-Canada Air Lines planes on Calgary-Edmonton trips, and on a flight from Winnipeg, bound for Regina and Lethbridge. The blaze, it is believed. is somewhere in B.C. forests. northwest of Edmonton.
Smoke, in a path estimated to be 50 miles wide. has drifted to the southwest, through Edmonton and as far as Regina. Trips Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Calgary to Edmonton by T.C.A. were cancelled because of the haze. One plane got to Edmonton but had to turn back to Calgary because the airport was obscured and a landing was impossible. It was said Saturday that flights were uncertain. A flight from Winnipeg had to fly over Regina without stopping, because smoke had drifted over the airport there. The plane flew on to Lethbridge, non-stop, for a landing.
William Woodrow, after viewing the web site for CF-TCC, has sent us this memory to share - In 1940 July or August at the age of 7, a pilot named Murphy gave my Dad - Fred Woodrow & me an hour long ride in CF-TCC while he checked out a new pilot on take-off & landing. At the time, my Dad worked for the DOT at the Uplands radio range. I am now 81 years of age but that first flight is in my memory as clearly as the day it occurred. Many, many years later I photographed CF-TCC at Buttonville Airport when it was used in the Air Show that year. CF-TCC is a beautiful plane ! (CF-TCC, Lockheed 10A fin nr 25 had been sold to the DOT on May 7th 1939. - eds)
Issue dated - January 1979 Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.
Kingston staff members lift their glasses in honour of 30 years service to the island. District Manager Jack Angus, second from the left front row, leads the festivities which saw more than 60 employees and guests celebrate the event.
Retired employees recognized The idea was soon turned into action at the Power Plant Shop al Dorval Base following a suggestion by mechanic Elie Akzam that the names of all retired employees of the shop since 1960 be listed on a board and displayed prominently. The plan was sanctioned by the Superintendent and Director. Denis Brunet, Lead Mechanic, was asked lo design a board that was esthetic and would provide sufficient space for the employees' names. It was then turned over to Len Van Mark, mechanic in the Machine Shop who was a top artist and engraving specialist. With his assistance and that of the Paint Shop employees, the board was completed and was prominently displayed in the main entrance of the Power Plant Building. The board commemorates 210 retired Montréal employees of the Power Plant Shop. representing 5,144 years of service. There is space for another 175 employees.
Posing by the board honoring the retirees of the engine shop at Dorval are, from the left: mechanics Elie Akzam and Len Van Mark and Lead Mechanic Denis Brunet.
(As the Power Plant has been taken over, we do not know if the board is still in existence - eds)
Issue dated February 1979
Special dress for special events When it comes to selling, Toronto does it in fine style. Reserved for product launches, sales campaigns and other events that demand high company profile, a sophisticated uniform identifies the managers, secretaries and representatives of the Toronto agency, interline, commercial and sports sales teams. To accent the navy blue jacket, the ladies chose a gray skirt, white blouse and red scarf, men wear a red, white and blue striped tie with the white shirt and gray slacks. The red maple leaf logo, embroidered on the jacket breast pocket, unmistakably tells the rest of the story. (No names were provided for anyone in the photo - eds)
What's a Gander operation? Newfoundland staff are no strangers to disrupted operations due to lousy weather, but the winter of 1978 had been ridiculous. During the period Jan 21st thru Feb 4th, the weather was zero most of the time at St. John's, although Gander was marginally better.
During one particularly trying night this winter a passenger agent "told it like it was" to a deplaning load. Over the PA system he spelled out their future: "'We have no fancy ten storey Hilton hotels here, no buses with reclining seats, only a few taxis and one bus (the yellow school bus). We do have some meal chits which you are welcome to come up here and get. For those who do not wish to use surface transport to St. John's I will be happy to book you on EPA's early morning flight. If it doesn't operate, we'll see what can be done at that time. Now, don't get mad at me because I'm not going to get mad at you. And that, at times was a Gander operation, in 1979.
Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
A little bit off the Airline "Track" but on another track so to speak...
For the production of the movie, "The Lone Ranger", director Gore Verbinski had a five mile oval track built along with multiple engines and cars. See the incredible effort that went into crafting such a detailed and important part of The Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp plays Tonto.
For the train scenes seen in the film, a large oval shaped track had to be built near Albuquerque, NM to have rail lines that went north, south, east and west. There were a total of 6 railroad locations in the film, but the oval was the largest. All the work was done by the Gandy Dancer Railroad and Excavating Services, who brought in 3,889,425 pounds of 33-foot rail, bars, tie places and ties from Blythe, CA. The whole rail line had to be removed after filming was completed because the rail line had no outside interchange.
The locomotives and rolling stock seen in the film were all built in a machine shop in Sun Valley, CA . One of the two locomotives, a 4-6-0 or Ten-wheeler, was used in the beginning of the film and then was renovated into the "Constitution" locomotive seen later in the film. The other locomotive, a 4-4-0 or American, was based on the Central Pacific Jupiter that was on hand for the real Golden Spike Ceremony up on Promontory Point. For easy movement, the locomotives and rail cars were built in the same fashion as shipping containers so they could be added and removed from their chassis and then transported on flatbed trucks. This method was also used in part of the train chase scene that took place in the mountains since they could not build any railroad tracks up in the mountains.
The two steam locomotives each had a pair of 1,000 hp Cummins diesel engines in their tenders that supplied their power and movement, and where hydraulic hoses connected the engines to the tenders. Both trains were operated by a computer inside both of the cabs, but a real locomotive engineer had to be inside them to control the brakes, and he could override the computers in case of an emergency. Special effects were used to produce the smoke and steam that came from the engines.
Both trains could do roughly 30 MPH, which was the actual standard speed for locomotives during that era, but an EMD SW1500 diesel switcher was used for the scenes that did not show the steam locomotives.
The Lone Ranger - Riding The Rails Of The Lone Ranger - Behind the Scenes
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc. People & Events
- Compiled by Terry Baker
News and articles from days gone by gleaned from various publications from C.A.I.L. and its "ancestry" of contributing airlines.
We found this in the "PWA Flightlines" magazine
issued July 1985
Boyd Shaw, a PWA Technical Instructor in Vancouver came across this newspaper clipping of an Ann Landers letter and forwarded it to "Flightlines":
Dear Ann Landers: That was a lovely letter you printed in praise of the commercial pilots who bring millions of passengers safely to their destinations. They couldn't do it alone. Please print this verse in praise of another group.
Pilots are highly trained people, Their wings are not easily won, But without the work of the maintenance man, Our pilots would be on the run. So when you see mighty jet aircraft, As they make their way through the air, The grease-stained man with the wrench in his hand, is the person who put him there.
A fan in Eagie River, Alaska.
Issue dated May 1986.
"Flights to the Midnight Sun". In 1986 - (EXPO year), Pacific Western Airlines in conjunction with the Northwest Territories government, offered Expo 86 visitors the chance to see the "Land of the Midnight Sun" first hand at midnight. The flights, operated directly between Vancouver and Inuvik allowed a two or three hour town visit. Gift shops, restaurants, and other local establishments in Inuvik remained open for those midnight tours. Three charters were planned for June, July and August. The program tied in very well to Pacific Western's involvement in the Northwest Territories Pavilion at Expo '86.
(Can anyone involved give us any stories to share - eds)
Reader's Feedback - Compiled by Terry Baker
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.
Reg Bailey has sent us this - It's early Saturday morning in a rainy Seattle, 0300 hrs local time. The location: Boeing's historic Plant II - about to be torn down after three quarters of a century producing thousands of the most significant and historic airplanes ever built. In preparation for demolition three airplanes that have been undergoing Museum of Flight restoration in the factory's assembly bays will have to be moved. Just as in days past, with lights and images reflecting off the wet pavement, the last three airplanes are rolled out. The giant hangar doors are raised, the tugs and towbars are hooked up, and with lights flashing, they are moved out of the factory and onto the historic ramp where so many have gone before. Then across East Marginal Way and out onto Boeing Field.
They are the last airplanes to roll out of these doors, ever.
First out isn't even a Boeing airplane - but rather a Lockheed Super G Constellation that flew for Trans-Canada Air Lines. The Connie is destined for the Air Park, next to Air Force One, after a Plant II stay of 1 year and three days.
In NetLetter nr 1301, we passed on the comments from Roddy Brodie regarding the outsourcing by Air Canada at LHR. As the NetLetter's Chief Pilot worked in LHR during the 50's, he knew mechanic George Brodie and asked the obvious question. Here is the response from Roddy -
Yes, TCA/AC mechanic George Brodie from PIK/LHR was a relative of mine, though I never met him. According to my only Uncle (another George Brodie, now living in Calgary, aged 85) the AC mechanic George Brodie was a cousin (or uncle ?) of his and my father. I don't recall anyone in my own immediate family ever talking about him, although a retired AC friend (Jimmy Edwards, 85) does remember him from his early days at LHR (1960-1964) and also at PIK (1964-1990). George Brodie seemed to live in Troon, Ayrshire. A female about my age (55) in my local RBS bank branch in Prestwick has the surname Brodie and lives in Troon, so I asked her once at the counter if she was related to a relative of mine who also worked for AC, called George Brodie a long time ago. Her smile dropped and she glared at me coldly, "No, I'm only married to a Brodie" she snapped as she hurriedly ended my banking transaction. I did inquire at LHR Human resources a few years back but due to the mega strict UK Data Protection laws, they would tell me absolutely nothing. Oh well, best let sleeping dogs lie...
The first picture I ever saw of George Brodie was in The NetLetter and I was amazed at the resemblance to my late father (my father died in 1964 aged only 41).
This photo of my relative, TCA mechanic George Brodie that was featured in the NetLetter a few years ago, was from a Between Ourselves article about LHR in 1952. I think George worked both in LHR and PIK but not sure where/when he was based. I do know that he retired in the 70's but don't know if it was from LHR or PIK. Mechanics Frank Wooley and George Brodie do an engine inspection, an important phase of the aircraft's "turn-around" checks at LHR in 1952.
This photo of Roderick Brodie on 28th April 2014, his last ever day with Air Canada after 26 years and 14 days. He was 'hosting' at Check-In, LHR terminal 3.
This photo of Roderick Brodie on 28th April 2014, his last ever day with Air Canada after 26 years and 14 days. He was 'hosting' at Check-In, LHR terminal 3.
"This photo is of my last day at PIK, in front of L1011 fin 511 just seconds before the last AC passenger flight pushed back from PIK for YYZ (flt AC843, which is now the MXP-YYZ service) on 14th May 1990 and I started at LHR three days later. There are many PIK AC employees in this photo and a few other non-AC PIK workers too (several BAA staff and police officers). The four lovely AC lassies on either side of me are Glynis McCartney, Sheena Ramsay, Jean McCulloch and Mary Kilpartick".
Brian Dunn responds to an article regarding Ontario World Air in NetLetter nr 1303 - After reading the above article in the recent "NetLetter" felt I had to respond. Ontario World Air lasted almost 2 years in total with 2 Boeing 707-338s acquired from Qantas. The last year they were flying they did a lot of refugee charters from the far east (Vietnam, etc.) to Canada via Europe. The 3-letter ICAO code was 'OWL' and locally we checked them in at Terminal 2 at YYZ using their 2-letter code 'OW'. They had great crews, both pilots and flight attendants and very nice color scheme.
Brian Dunn (AC retired)
Odds and Ends.
Sometimes we receive articles and information that just doesn't fit in our other areas. This is where it goes!
John McManus sent us this short report on the B.C. Boundary Bay Air Show - On Saturday, July 19, 2014 it was Boundary Bay's annual Air Show. The Air Show every year seems to be a mini annual reunion for retirees, many attend as spectators but many are also volunteers. One of my hobbies is aviation photography and I have been photographing and producing a Boundary Bay Air Show video over the last 5 years. This is the video for 2014, many retirees may find it interesting and hopefully they will attend next years Boundary Bay Air Show.
Boundary Bay Air Show 2014
Best Regards John McManus Here we have another story from Jim Griffith - Runway De-Icing for Dummies.
It was February, 1958 and southern Manitoba had just endured an extended shot of moderate freezing rain followed by a flash freeze with forecasters unwilling to commit to any immediate relief. At RCAF station Gimli the T-33 training schedule, already far behind was thrown into chaos. How to clear the ice from taxiways and runways weighed heavily on the minds of the few members of the ruling class who had remained reasonably sober during the extended station stand down... but was the decision to use the jet trainers as de-icers really abstemiously thought out by our illustrious leaders?
Like the rest of course 5701 at Gimli I'd just finished ground school and perfected my drills in the static trainer and this latest slap in the face from Mother Nature had frustratingly delayed my hopes and dreams to finally fly a jet. It was early afternoon and we were skulking around in the smoky Flight Cadet's mess and unlike the officers were denied alcohol until after supper. Suddenly an officer bounded into the mess and hollered!
"Right...I need three volunteers!"
I would later be humiliated by my decision to ignore the admonition drummed into our heads by our drill corporal at College Militaire Royale St. Jean Quebec when he shouted!
"Never EVER volunteer for anything in the Air Force!"... but foolishly I did.
We three musketeers crowded onto the ladder of a T-33, while sitting in the cockpit, the instructor who had plucked us from the mess described and mimed what we were going to do.
I couldn't believe it. Ahead of my classmates I was actually going to start up and run the engine of a jet. "WOW!" I silently mused.
We never did find out whose hair brained idea this was... at the inquiry the chain of blame was reflected by the chain of command and although I was the cause, nothing ever officially showed up on my record presumably to deflect accountability and protect the fool hardiness of the guilty higher up on the predatorial pecking order. It was a recurring theme which played out many times during the rest of my career. Thank heavens I always managed, one way or another, to land on my feet while lurching from one debacle to the next.
But I digress. The idea was to tow a T-33 with a tractor- tug out onto the iced paved surfaces of the airport maneuvering areas followed by a bulldozer. By means of hand signals with the tractor driver he would set his brakes, I would hold the a/c brakes full on and the bulldozer would be positioned strategically behind the jet's tail pipe. At the pre-arranged signal I would advance power to 50% and the hot jet blast deflected downwards to the pavement by the blade on the bulldozer would, voila... melt the ice. If more power was needed to melt the ice the tractor driver would signal by waving over his head either for more or less power.
I was the guinea pig to test the procedure... if it worked my two class mates would join me in a neat echelon left formation formed by three tractors towing three T-33s trailed by three bulldozers to creep slowly down a runway thus clear it of ice. In my mind I pictured the potential spectacle as a beautiful thing.
It worked well for the first few tries. Coordinating all the hand signals was a bit confusing but it seemed to be working... on the taxiway at least. Now for the main bout; seeing if it would work on the runway. The tractor driver gave the signal that he'd set the tractor brake. I replied by giving the signal that the T-bird's brakes were set and since I couldn't see behind I guessed the bulldozer guy was doing what he was supposed to be doing. I advanced the power slowly and everything was going good. Then I guess the time tested laws of physics whereby the combined weight of tractor, aircraft and tow bar, divided by the amount of power applied to the RR Nene, multiplied by the coefficient of friction of brake-locked tires of tractor plus jet on ice, would not be denied. That and the possible dithering of hand signals between me and the tug driver... suddenly I could see the tractor start moving sideways from dead ahead to the left. What the hell was the driver doing? It started to move faster and faster so what the...? The tractor man seemed to be violently trying to slash his own throat... Oh I see, I thought, he wants me to shut down... which I did.
The only injury was to my badly bruised ego, a damaged nose gear and a bent tow bar. It could have been much worse. Both the tractor driver and the bulldozer driver were thankfully spared the haranguing I got from the station CO... but even until the day I parked the 747-400 on Gate 104 at Toronto's Pearson airport on my last flight I always had a twinge of anxiety at every push back.
Jim G. Brian Walsh thought there may some interest in this url regarding supersonic flight proposals for commercial aviation by NASA.
Early photo of Vancouver Airport sent in by Doug Robinson
In 1961, the City of Vancouver voted to sell the airport to the Federal Government for $2.75 million. The Ministry of Transport initiated the next major expansion, which included the addition of the 2,225-metre Crosswind Runway 12-30, and a 610-metre extension of the South Runway 08R-26L.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Due to the recently introduced anti spam law by the Canadian Federal government, which carries a heavy penalty, we will not be advertising any interline deals. We suggest you GOOGLE to Dargal, Perx, Ceasars Interline, Interline Allstars, KVI Travel or Time-4-Travel for your future Interline travels.
Your chief pilot is just reading a book titled "From Miles to Millions" ISBN 978-0-9937764--0-3, by Bill Grenier, retired Air Canada captain. Well worth including in your library shelf of favourites. Bill has established an aviation scholarship fund and all net sales of the book will go into that fund. www.billgrenier.com or email
Vern Swerdfeger sent this in to us -It's hard to beat Israeli technology!
TEL AVIV, Israel - The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners. It's an armored booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.
Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.
You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement:
"Attention to all standby passengers, El Al is pleased to announce a seat available on flight 670 to London.
Checking in at the New Terminal Two: Heathrow (LHR) reprinted from the Pionairs UK monthly newsletter - Ann McKellow has kindly sent in this report about her recent experience checking in for a flight out of Terminal Two:
- When you come out of the tunnel, you keep right and follow the signs for Terminal Two drop-off. This takes you up an elevated road to the front of the terminal and is in fact the old Terminal One drop-off area. Once inside the terminal, AC check-in is to the left. You go to the kiosks with your luggage to get the baggage tags, and then take them to the desk. Once you have your boarding passes etc., you go through security which is in the centre of the terminal. Once through security, you will see an open circular area where there is a small John Lewis store to your left and other stores to your right, but this isn't the main floor. You have to go down to the floor below for departures using a lift or escalator and this is also where the main World Duty Free area is and a nice Café Nero amongst other outlets. There were a lot of BAA customer service agents assisting passengers and we were told that this part of the terminal is in fact domestic. Air Canada departure gates are in terminal 2b which involves walking down a long corridor located to the right of World Duty Free as well as changing floor levels. Signs indicate a fifteen minute walk, but I would say allow plenty of time when you are using this terminal for the first time. I think that we can forget about checking-in 75 minutes before departure for AC 869!
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.
Alan Evans in South Africa sends us this caption for the photo.
"You bloody idiot! The E on the fuel gauge doesn't mean there's ENOUGH fuel in the car, It means the tank is EMPTY!"
Tower received a call from a crew asking, "What time is it please?" Tower responded, "Who is calling?" The crew replied, "What difference does it make?" Tower replied "It makes a lot of difference. If it is an American Airlines flight, it is 3 o'clock. If it is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours. If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells. If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3. If it is a Marine Corps aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes to "Happy Hour".
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