The NetLetter #1306

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


September 8, 2014 - Issue 1306
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Star Alliance News
Air Canada News
Reader Submitted...Photos
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
Terry's Trivia
NetLetter Past Issues

Past Issues
Web Site Information

The NetLetter Web Site
Donation Information

Send cheques payable to "ACFamily Network" to:

ACFamily Network
#800 - 15355 24th Ave, Suite 523
Surrey, BC V4A 2H9

ACFamily Links
ACFamily Airlines
Air Canada
Trans-Canada Air Lines
Air Alliance
Air BC
Air Nova
Air Ontario
Northwest Air
Canadian Airlines
Canadian Air Canada
Inter Canadian
Time Air
Canadian Pacfic
Pacific Western
Austin Airways
Eastern Provincial
Terry Baker
Welcome to the NetLetter!

We welcome you to allow the NetLetter to be your platform, and opportunity, to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC, Wardair, etal and share your experiences with us!

The Netletter

Terry Baker and the NetLetter Team

Star Alliance News
Star AllianceCongratulations to  Air Canada as the airline celebrated their Skytrax World Airline Award!

Air Canada celebrated its fifth consecutive year as the "Best Airline in North America." The announcement was made at the historic Wind Tunnels in Farnborough, UK, during the recently World Airport Awards - a global benchmark of airline excellence.
  • Air New Zealand won "Best Premium Economy Class Cabin" and "Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat"
  • All Nippon Airways won "World's Best Airport Services" and "Best Transpacific Airline"
  • Lufthansa won "Best Airline in Western Europe" and "Best Transatlantic Airline"
Air Canada News
Air CanadaRouge begins service Vancouver - Palm Springs December 18/14 - April 12/15
Reader Submitted Photos - Compiled by Terry Baker

Readers PhotosReader Submitted Photos -  The photos and information below have been submitted to us by our faithful readers.  


John Cavill has sent us this photo -

My son lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland and forwarded this gem as seen in Edinburgh Museum! 

Regards!  jc
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada  LogoBelow we have musings from the "Between Ourselves" and "Horizons" magazine, Air Canada publications from years gone by, as well as various in-house publications.

The NetLetter has been fortunate enough to have our readers donate vintage Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada publications from as far back as 1941 to share with you. These have been scanned and are being prepared for presenting in a special area of the ACFamily Network for archival and genealogy research.

From the July 2014 USA Pionairs newsletter - SFO - 5th Anniversary party.

(but, unfortunately, we have no identifications - anyone? - eds)
Issue dated - February 1979
Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.
The second Pionairs Annual General Meeting was planned for May 2-5, 1979 at the Sheraton Beach Resort, Tennis & Yacht Club in Miami. President Claude Taylor was scheduled to be the guest speaker at the wind-up banquet.

Shown during a break at the Pionairs Executive Committee meeting in Vancouver during January 1979 are, from the left, standing: Dave Clarke, Secretary; Scott Braddell, Treasurer; Clint Morgan,  District Director, Florida;  Denny  Brendon and Bill Spratt, Vice President and Phil Willis, District Director, Vancouver Island. Seated from the left, are Ken Taman, District Director, Ottawa; Nancy Waichuk, District Director, Ontario; President Martin Betts; Beth Ferguson, District Director, British Columbia. 

Missing from the photo are executive members Bill Holmes, District Director, Maritimes and Norm Donnelly, District Director, Quebec.

The photo is of 11 members, but the front right side person is not named - anyone?? - eds)

The class of flight attendants graduating in February 1979 was held in Montreal. Of the 29 experienced employees and 26 new employees, the following employees were included, looking for a different challenge in their careers. Denis Crepin, former Montreal Station Attendant; Carol Clare, Passenger Agent at YVR; Eileen Andrews was a Reservations Agent; Alexandra Augustine, a Toronto Passenger Agent; Margaret Kilgour was a Toronto Passenger Agent working on the tour desk; Alan Blanchette worked in the Winnipeg Finance Department; Bob Gardhouse had worked on the ramp at Toronto; Belinda Farrant was a secretary in Vancouver;  Peter Hauxwell wanted a change after 11 years in the Passenger Advertising Headquarters.

In this photo, preparing to hand out graduation diplomas are Instructors from the left: Karen Clark, Nicole Sargeant, Moe Vezina and Lise Remillard. At the podium is Vice President - In-Flight Service Jack Kantor who has just been introduced to the class by Francis Overney Training & Development Manager, right.

MONTREAL DOMESTIC staff held a get-together to commemorate major changes relative to the recent station reorganization. Station Manager G. H. Lesage is shown above center, with four men involved in the change. From the left; Tom Gray, formerly Office Supervisor, at the Overseas Station, now transferred to the Domestic Station to relieve Norm Rumer, appointed Commissary Manager. Norm Batten, acting as Ramp Manager for many years, now assigned Senior Ramp Supervisor in charge of Equipment, Domestic Station, while Roy Ackroyd will perform the Ramp Manager's functions. Ackroyd was formerly Supervisor of Load Control, Station Services.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpaceAnd I thought they were joking - silly me!

I remember a few years back I heard that "they" (Ryan Air, I think) were developing a "standup" type system for short haul flights. Here's an example of what is patented. I wonder if it will ever go into production?

Airbus Industries
has filed a patent for a new seating "device". 

Seating device comprising a forward-foldable backrest
US 20140159444 A1 

"A seating device with reduced bulk, for example for an aircraft. This seating device comprises a backrest which describes a circular translational movement towards the front and upwards of the device when the seating device is brought to the retracted configuration. A seating structure is provided comprising a bearing piece on which are fixed, side by side, a plurality of seating devices with reduced bulk. An aircraft is provided comprising a seating device with reduced bulk mounted in its cabin."

Follow this link or click on image below for more 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 its "ancestry" of contributing airlines.
Issue dated - September 1985
Items from the "PWA Flightlines" magazine -
crew Who were the PWA Property & Facilities" group? What Did They Do?
In the past few years, the department has been responsible for the construction of the Calgary Hangar, the installation and subsequent dismantling of the B767 simulator in Edmonton, the acquisition and renovation of the Corporate Administration Building (CAB) in Calgary, the installation of the new corporate identification and ticket/cargo counters at  many of the system stations, the construction of cargo warehouses in Cambridge Bay, Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Edmonton, the installation of the 400 HZ ground power and air systems at the loading bridges in Calgary and Vancouver, the relocation, consolidation  and office design of our administration centres in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Edmonton, and the acquisition and renovation of the ARC building in Winnipeg.

The  Vancouver Building Maintenance crew posing with their colleagues from Vehicle Maintenance.

Back Row: Ron Leggett, Vern Bolger, Sam Bozman. Front row:  Roger Unger, Oliver Widing, Frank Pacl, John Albus, Keith Lane, Paul Belanger, Ernie Blanke, Peter Bendiksen, James Brown, Guenther Danielsen. Seated: Ed Druzynski. Missing: Don Overend and Larry Drummond.

Issue dated - May 1986
Items from the "PWA Flightlines" magazine -
Stranraer Remembered - an edited version originally contributed by Jim Busby, PWA Commissary Driver, Winnipeg.

As Pacific Western Airlines entered its  fortieth year of service in 1986 with a modern jet fleet, it's hard to imagine some of the humbler aircraft used when the company was starting out. The venerable DC-3's, DHC Beavers, and war weary Cansos of the original air fleets seem to have vanished - giving way to the modern Boeing 737's.

However, one former P.W.A. aircraft is still considered unique in the aviation world, the Supermarine Stranraer Flying Boat.

The Stranraer was conceived by R.J. Mitchell, the designer of the incomparable Spitfire fighter of World War II fame. Affectionately known as the ''Whistling Bird Cage'', the Stranraer was a twin engine, biplane flying boat. First flown In 1935, it was huge for its time, standing 22 feet tall, 54 feet long, and had a wing span of over 85 feet, (about the size of a DC-3).

The Stranraer normally cruised at about 105 mph, but allegedly had a top speed of about 165 mph. It was a popular aircraft to fly because it was stable in the air and capable of absorbing a lot of abuse on the water. If the ocean swells were reasonable, it could be launched or landed on the open sea. Unfortunately for those prone to seasickness the Stranraer had the amazing ability to pitch and roll in three directions at once on the water.

In the late 1930s, the Royal Canadian Air Force ordered 40 Stranraers, to be built by Canadian Vickers of Montreal.

The aircraft of this story originally carried  R.C.A.F. serial number 920. She began the war with number 5 Squadron out of Dartmouth, N.S. In September, 1941, she was transferred west to number 9 Squadron, flying shipping patrols from Bella Bella, B.C. By 1944, however, the 20 surviving Stranraers were obsolete. Its Stranraers were transferred to the War Assets Disposal Corporation as war surplus.

In May, 1944, Number 920 was sold to the Labrador Mining and Exploration Company, with the civil registration CF- BXO. Labrador Mining and Exploration.

(This story will be continued in NetLetter nr 1307 - eds)
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.

Bernie McCormack sends this comment - The pub in your "publication" (NetLetter nr 1304) is the French Quarter in Coquitlam, not too many kms from my home. The area is called Mallardville, an older French settlement.

Val Frost has sent us this information after reading NetLetter nr 1302 - Boy oh boy, does the mere mention of the Vickers Viscount bring back memories. In any event, I shared the whole VV article on my FaceBook page, with the following introduction, from the heart...

AIRPLANES - but not just ANY airplanes - these workhorses were the power-ponies of the air, the Jack Russell Terriers of commercial airlines carriers, and when those days were surpassed by much larger and roomier commercial jets, these "wee bairns" of the air flexed into the rugged and enduring freight carriers that equally was a job sorely needed by the Canadian economy. The posh jetliner versus the Achilles of air transport - the Vickers Viscount - read on and enjoy a piece of Canadian aviation that is little known about, and even less heard about.

My father worked as an Aircraft Mechanic from the early 40's through the 60's to his retirement, servicing both commercial and freight aircraft at Dorval Airport in Montreal, Quebec. When the Royal Air Force Ferry Command moved into Dorval Base, he was one of many who were volunteered by TCA to service any and all incoming bombers. He may have started with little Hudsons, but worked his way - literally - through to and including the monster Lancaster's. So from Viscounts to Lancaster's just about covers the entire gamut of my dad's pride and joy - his babies - his aircraft. Here is the story of just one of his incredible aircraft. Val Frost (daughter of David Harry Archibald, Canadian Armed Forces General Service Badge, RAF Ferry Command Badge, and King George VI War Medal (1939-1945).

Thanks so very much from dad and I, for this remarkable memory and the reverence given to yet another "little guy" in the sky.

Speaking of "little guys", Ted Beaudoin sent me 8 pages on my dad and mum's contribution at Dorval Base, as civilian volunteers for the RAF Ferry Command, whose main base of maintenance operations was at Dorval, at the same time TCA was servicing commercial aircraft.

When TCA volunteered its Line Maintenance crews to work on servicing the incoming bombers, in order to make them "fit for ferrying over to the UK", dad was among them, while mum worked alongside other women, whose arduous job it was to use thinners in removing the US insignia on the incoming bombers and then clean and replace with the British Roundel insignia for ferrying over the North Atlantic to Britain. That's where they met, both doing different jobs, for the same cause, on the same tarmac. Anyways, I proof-read it, tweaked it, and promptly sent it back to him for finalization for "Earth Angels Rising". Take care. Val Frost, LOVE the NetLetter.

Further to the article in NetLetter nr 1266, regarding Hounslow Heath aerodrome, UK.,  Stuart Hyde, Pionair in the U.K. has sent us this information -
Billy Bishop
was a Canadian pilot who joined the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and he was stationed at Hounslow Heath from where he flew the early fighter planes. Billy was at one time the 85 Squadron Commander in 1917.
Regards, Stuart

Note: No. 85 Squadron was formed at Upavon on 1 August 1917; the station was home to the Royal Flying Corps Central Flying School. Shortly afterwards, the squadron moved to Mousehold Heath near Norwich under the command of Major R A Archer. During November 1917 the squadron transferred to Hounslow Heath Aerodrome, and in March 1918 Major William Avery Bishop VC, DSO, MC, took command and carried out his orders to prepare and train for front line duties in France. (source Wikipedia)

Odds and Ends.

Image Blank 200pxSometimes we receive articles and information that just doesn't fit in our other areas. This is where it goes!

Early photo of Vancouver Airport sent in by Doug Robinson

Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) was renamed Air Canada in 1964. Pictured in this photo are a number of aircraft bearing the new livery. 





Mike Nash sent this in - As an ex-Air Canada employee and a past contributor to NetLetter (issues 1149 & 1151, Jan 15 & 29, 2011),  I read Peter Pigott's latest aviation history book on a recent trip to the U.S., causing an amused reaction from a Westjet flight attendant in the process. Yet Piggott's 328-page tome is as much about Canadian civil aviation and nation-building as it is about Air Canada, and would therefore likely be a good read for any Canadian airline employee, past or present. The well-illustrated book caught my interest early on and held it until near the end. I enjoyed it both for its reminiscences about the Air Canada and people I had known, and for the huge amount of historical information from before and after my time there.


I did spot a few errors: for example, the picture on page 55 is of the main Reservec 2 operating console of the twin Univac 1108's (later 1110's), circa 1970s, whereas the adjacent text is about Reservec 1, introduced a decade earlier. The author clarifies this on page 91, but that's 35 pages after the reader might have been misled about these two distinct periods. Then, in describing the crash of AC621 in Toronto in 1970, the author states on page 94 that 60 foot short of the runway Captain Hamilton "...told [First Officer] Rowland to deploy the spoilers." In fact, they were 60 foot above the runway, on the flare, and

Hamilton's implicit instruction to Rowland was to arm the spoilers; deployment, in the case of the DC8, being a two-step procedure. What went wrong was seemingly straightforward, but in reality this was a complex accident that involved many factors and some ironies. I was familiar with the details having covered this disaster in my most recent book, "Outdoor Safety & Survival" (Rocky Mountain Books, 2012) as a reality check about when procedures fail. Pigott goes on to say on page 95 that "Ten years later on July 5 1980, the results of the inquiry... [were published]." In fact, the accident happened on July 5 1970 and the inquiry report was dated and published less than seven months later on January 29, 1971 - a huge disparity of nearly a decade that also confused the July 5 date. Lastly on page 180, the author notes that Kamloops and Kelowna are "over the Rockies from the BC coast," whereas they are west of the Rockies not east as this statement implies.  

While these glitches didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, they did leave me with a nagging doubt about detail accuracy of the research that had gone into it.


Apart from the enjoyment aspect, what I really gained from reading the book was an appreciation of the significance of Air Canada to 20th Century Canadian history, which makes it an important work. The relationship between Canada's first national airlines and their respective parent railway companies, CP and CN, and the roles they all played in cementing Canada together is a slice of history that many Canadians might not be familiar with. For example, the lengthy and politically-charged process to change the name from TCA to Air Canada played strongly into federal and Quebec politics and helped launch a new politician, Jean Chrétien onto the national stage. Apart from its general interest to Canadians, for anyone who works or has worked in the Canadian airline industry, especially Air Canada, the book is well worth reading and likely worth the investment for a personal library. Air Canada The History by Peter Pigott was published by Dundurn (Toronto) in February 2014.


Mike exchanged emails with Peter Pigott in which Peter told me that he couldn't find anyone to tell him about Reservec and had to rely on media accounts; and in regard to the accident he said that neither Air Canada nor the TSB were of any help and he had to rely on microfiche newspapers.


Mike Nash worked for Air Canada in Toronto from 1970 to 1978 and is the author of four books.


The NetLetter's chief Pilot, Terry, did read some of the book and noticed that Peter still persists, incorrectly, naming TCA as Trans-Canada Airlines which should be Trans-Canada Air Lines. Also, at one point, Peter Pigott mentions the operation of the Airbus A310 - don't recall the  company owning or operating that model of Airbus.


Peter was e-mailed about these two errors. but we did not received any response...


(Does anyone else have any comments - eds)


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry Baker

John Cannemeyer

has sent us this comment -  


I just returned from YVR to YYZ on a 777 Aircraft and I was disappointed in the legroom it has in economy. I am 6ft+ and could not sit properly without having my legs jammed against the seat in front of me. This was a 4 hour 15 minutes "I don't know were I can put my legs" ordeal.  

AC is really jamming them in.  


Regards John.  


(We are aware of the restrictions placed on taller passengers. Perhaps the people who dream up the seat pitch are unaware there are people taller than their 5ft. Now the better seats can be purchased - more hidden costs of air travel - eds)


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.

Pilot Error Funny Stuff! Actual exchanges between pilots and control


Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We all have digital watches!"



Alan Evans in South Africa sends this photo titled "US Immigration issue".

This immigration thing is getting out of hand...


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  
To contact us, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.