Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


September 23, 2014 - Issue 1307
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Upcoming events
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

Upcoming events - Compiled by Terry Baker

From the UK Pionairs monthly newsletter dated September 2014 -

London Evening Trip - 27th November

Our next event is an evening coach trip to the West End of London on Thursday 27th November to see the Christmas Lights and a stop at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, where it is free to enter but you have to pay to go on the rides and the ice rink.

Our coach will depart from Radius Park at 6.00pm and the prices are £10 for ACRA/Pionair members, and £12 for non-members. Children 5 to 16 will be charged £5. 

For further details contact Jack Morath This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.  


Robert Arnold has sent us these two photos - As you know, it has been a while since I have sent any material to the NetLetter so I thought I would send along a couple photos I have on file from the Jim Bruce Collection.

The photos capture the maintenance work being done on one of the Viscount's four Roll-Royce Dart engines in Winnipeg circa 1959. Would any of your many readers possibly recognize the maintenance personnel in the photos and what exactly are they doing?


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.

Tom Heald has sent us this photo, which he titled Two Ex Short's Apprentices (1951-1956)

These two Short's ex apprentices Tom Heald (on left) from Centre 82 Panel Shop and John Robb from Tooling Dept. Met up again in Air Canada Maintenance in Montreal.

John in Non Destructive Testing and Tom as a Licensed Aircraft Technician. The occasion for this photo, taken at Beaconsfield, QC., on August 23rd 2014, was during the celebration of John's 80th birthday with some of their colleagues from Air Canada.

I was actually hired by Canadair in Belfast in 1968 to work in Montreal in the Experimental Dept., on CL84 Vertical Take off aircraft. Then CF5. Pre-Flight with 4 years service. Moved to Air Canada in 1973 and  retiring with 25 years service in 1998. John had over 40 years in Air Canada.

Tom Heald

Tom Heald also sent us this photo...

Thought you might be interested in this photo taken 8/23/14 to celebrate the 80th birthday of John Robb in John's daughters back yard in Beaconsfield Quebec, near Dorval Airport.

From the left: Peter Beauchamp, George Wallace, Tom Heald. John Robb, Sam Gatelaro, John Rodger, Bob Holt. I Just started to talk to the gentleman on my left when called for photo and didn't get his name. (If anyone can identify the gentleman please let us know - eds) John & I served our apprentice ship with Short's in Belfast 1951-56.

John came to Montreal in about 1958 and retired with 40+ years 15 years ago when he turned 65. I retired in 1998 @ 63 with 25 years.
Over 40 people were here. John's son Colin was not in the photo as he decided that being let go when Aveos went under, he didn't actually qualify with us "Old farts".

Tom Heald

Betty Draper found this article in the "Leader-Post" dated April 1st 1939 -

San Francisco in 13 hours!

Air-minded Reginans desiring to ride above the clouds to San Francisco's brilliant Golden Gate Exposition can do so in just 13 hours.

New Trans-Canada Air Lines passenger schedule, connecting at Seattle and United Airlines, allow a "Fair" minded passenger to leave Regina at 7.00 am MST and be at the Fair at 7.00 pm P.S.T. the same evening, just 13 hours and five minutes.

United Airlines planes traveling south from Seattle are 21-passenger Douglas Mainliners, twice as big as the Lockheed 14's on T.C.A. If the mythical Reginan wished, he could travel onwards and be in Los Angeles, California at 9.55 pm M.S.T., about 18 hours out of Regina.

Issue dated - Jun/Jul 1959
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
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 centre, 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 Commissory 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 Managers functions. Ackroyd was formerly Supervisor of Load Control, Station Services.

NINE  EMPLOYEES were awarded Indlvldual and team trophies at the annual banquet of the 1959 Airline Bowling League in Montreal. 

Shown from left to right, back row: Gll Gilbert. Madelaine Bordeou, Len Raymond, Sue Owens and second row on the left Is Pat King.  The players represent the Viscount team, league champions and playoff  winners.

Missing are Bili Donaldson and Pete Raymond. Rozane Burns, second row on the right, is winner of the Ladies' High Single trophy and in the center is Pete Robinson, winner of the Men's High Single trophy. Len Raymond, Viscount team captain, also won the High Average trophy.

Issue dated - August 1977
Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.
On  Aug 7th, 1977 the Canadian A.T.C. 3 day strike cost company an estimated c$7.5 m in lost profits. On this day the normal schedule of 500 flights were reduced to 26. These long-haul domestic and Overseas flights operated into and out of airports close to the Canadian border points - Burlington, Vermont, Niagara and Buffalo, New York, Bangor, Maine, Detroit, Minneapolis, Great Falls, Montana and Seattle. (Do any readers have any stories of this episode to share? - eds)
 "They'll try harder'' next year is the promise of this foursome which  represented Air Canada in the Calgary Industrial Golf League in 1977. They lost out in the final match after finishing second In the 12-team league. From the left are: Don Graham, Bob Marshall. Gerry Naugler and Lorne McDermot.

(Did they try any harder in 1978? - eds)

Miami whoops it up!
Hidden talent came to the fore at a Miami Interline party celebrating the company's 40th anniversary when local Air Canada staff put on a show for the more than 300 interliners and local media who attended.
The party, which had a cabaret atmosphere with music and dancing, was a howling success.  Highlight, of the evening was the floor show featuring the singing "Supremes" and the "Can-Can" dancers, all Company talent.

What was lacking in talent was made up in enthusiasm and there was even an encore! Shown in the photo are from the left, back row: Bob Munro, Jim Pitts, Mary Bermudez (Supreme), Miriam Alvarez  (Can-Can), Yvon Viau (Supreme), Peter de Sisto. Lise Cooley, Gene Stockett and Julia Russell (Supreme).

Front row: Carlos ''Chicken-Man'' Escobar, Monique Gkikas (Can.Can), Therese Van-Tassel,  Bessie Thomas (Can-Can), Luella Jackson, Helen Pellerin (Can·Can), June Marcum, John deGroot, and Molly Whyte (Supreme). Missing from the photo is Jason Trocale (Supreme).

Lirette at leave-taking.
Some 80 fellow employees bid farewell to Toronto Commissary Services Supervisor Andy Lirette on the occasion of his retirement. Bearing witness to his 35 years of company service are, from the left: Commissary Supervisors Russ Ley and Jack Lowrie, Andy and his wife Lena. Vere Brooks, Commissary & Catering Manager and Supervisor Jack Taylor.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
Canadian Lancaster on its way home!
(submitted by Anthony Walsh)

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Lancaster has landed in Keflavik, Iceland, (using the loaned BBMF RR Merlin in #4 position) completing the first leg of its 6,000-kilometre journey to Hamilton. The plane touched down at 11:50 a.m. Hamilton time Tuesday after taking off from RAF Coningsby six hours earlier in England. The 8 member crew will spend the night in Iceland and, wx permitting, plan to take off Wednesday morning for Goose Bay, Labrador.

The CWH Lancaster made its "goodbye" takeoff at RAF Coningsby England earlier this morning at 10:00 (their time) See video below "Farewell VeRA - Canadian Lancaster Bomber leaves the UK" which shows the 2-Lanc plus 2 x Spits / 2 x Hurricane farewell formation flight, the last 2-Lanc flight video you'll see for quite some time.  Note: As mentioned, VR-A is still using the borrowed substitute RR Merlin engine from the BBMF (the original CWH Packard Merlin needs more extensive repairs than first thought, so is still at Retro Track), VR-A is flying past a few RAF bases and a cathedral before heading to Iceland.  As far as arrival at the CWH Mount Hope is concerned, the earliest will be Thursday evening, but most likely on Friday.

The link to the YouTube video (below) should run through 7 videos of this historic plane and it's recent sentimental journey to the UK.

Bomber Tour 14 - 2 Lancaster Bombers fly together for the first time in 50 years!! 
Bomber Tour 14 - 2 Lancaster Bombers fly together for the first time in 50 years!!
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.
Continuation of the Stranraer story from NetLetter nr 1306 - Three years later, CF-BXO was sold to Queen Charlotte Airlines. She was returned to the west coast and christened the Alaska Queen. Based out of Sea Island Airport, Vancouver, the Alaska Queen flew scheduled and charter services to fishing villages. paper mills, and mining operations along the B.C. coast. A daily loop was flown, with scheduled stops at Powell River, Minstrel Island, Alert Bay and Sullivan Bay. Other stops were made as requested.

A typical day's flying might involve up to 14 stages over 500 miles, all covered in eight or nine hours. Docking facilities were limited to the Sea Island airport so, at almost all ports of call, passengers and freight were ferried by boat between the shore and the aircraft.

Maintaining the Stranraer run had its own unique hazards. Few radio and navigation aids were carried in those days, which meant that the pilots had to be very familiar with the many coastal inlets and islands they flew over.

It was not uncommon for the Stranraer to strike submerged obstacles on takeoff or landing, but its rugged construction usually carried it through when other aircraft would have been lost.

On February 21, 1952, the Alaska Queen made a hard landing at Sullivan Bay. The hull, wing floats. and some control surfaces were badly damaged. Still, the pilot elected to try to get airborne and made a successful emergency landing at Comox. Fortunately none of the 18  passengers or crew were injured. The Alaska Queen however, was taken out of service, beached, and left.

Time was to be hard on the Stranraer fleet. By 1955, when Pacific Western Airlines bought Queen Charlotte Airlines, only two Stranraers, CF-BXO, and CF-BYM, survived. CF-BYM, the Zeballos Queen, was used solely on cargo runs to various coastal stops. Zeballos Queen too was destroyed on October 1, 1957 in an accident at Sovereign Lake, B.C.

Now there was only the Alaska Queen which remained in storage until December, 1958, when it was sold to W.K. Slye. She was fully restored, and by 1962, was returned to active flying with Stranraer Aerial Enterprises of Vancouver. Her flying career would last another five years, until her certificate of airworthiness expired in June, 1967.

However, CF-BXO was destined to make one last flight. She was purchased by the Royal Air Force and, in August 1970, was loaded onto an R.A.F. transport and flown to England. CF-BXO, the Alaska Queen, was part of the aircraft fleet which helped Pacific Western Airlines make the transition from a bush flying outfit to a modern regional carrier.

Today, she is the sold surviving example of her type anywhere in the world. Restored to the markings of Number 5 Squadron, R.C.A.F., the Pacific Western Stranraer, is now a treasured exhibit at the world famous R.A.F. Museum at Hendon, England.  The Stranraer was a unique aircraft in its day. The boat to the left of the aircraft was designed to fit under the wing of this unusual air/water craft.

Issue dated - May 1986
Items from the "PWA Flightlines" magazine -
It was celebration day at CAB when the ladies got together to honour Purdy Evans, relief Secretary (left), who was celebrating a birthday. Also in the photo is Alexa (McCutcheon) Grue, Executive Secretary (sitting) who recently married; and new mothers Brenda McWhirter, Manager, Marketing Computer Services (centre) and Susan Shepherd, Payload Controller.
 What was Canada's answer to BritRail or Eurailpass?

 Pacific Western's Canada 1986 SkyPass.
 The SkyPass was a flight ticket pass that entitled a passenger to unlimited SPACE AVAILABLE travel on Pacific Western's system within Canada. A pass had to be purchased overseas and cost approximately $200 (Canadian) for one week of travel or $400 (Canadian) for three weeks. The pass expired at midnight one week or three weeks after the day on which the first flight was taken.

The SkyPass operated on a standby basis at the airport. Passengers may make confirmed reservations in advance, but were subjected to an additional $25 pre-booked fee payable upon check-in at the ticket counter.

To qualify, passengers had to be in possession of a valid passport issued in a country other than Canada or the U.S. SkyPass tickets were valid for travel until December 31, 1986. There was a cancellation fee for unused SkyPasses but no refunds.

The new SkyPass product was marketed in the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, Scandinavia and Hong Kong.  It was limited to 10,000 (only) available SkyPasses.

(Are there any stories or memories to be related regarding the SkyPass - 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.
Mike Nash sends a further comment following those in NetLetter nr 1306 regarding the latest book by Peter Pigott...

I did have an email exchange with Peter (his email address is
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in which he 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.

I offered to send him a PDF copy of the accident report, but he didn't take me up on that yet even though he's working on a book on aviation safety. So, my assessment is that because of the large amount of research he obviously had to do for the book, it might have been a bit cursory in places. Perhaps when you run my review you could add an editorial comment afterwards noting the errors that you found and inviting readers to send in any errors that they spot. As this is a valuable historical record, the resulting addenda could possibly go into a future edition, or at least be archived with the book. I think Peter's background put him in a good position to bring out the book's strength, namely the role of Air Canada in the Nation's recent history. Sincerely Mike

Jim Griffith thought you might enjoy this:
what's interesting is that it opens with a radio conversation between a Trans-Canada Air Lines, (TCA) Flight CF-CBD or Charlie FOX-Charlie Baker Dog using the old phonetic alphabet and London Tower and at the end you see another shot of just the tail of a TCA North Star CF-TEL.

In the middle there is a shot of the first aircraft to take off from Heathrow... its blurred and it could be a TCA Lancastrian but its more likely a BOAC Lancastrian.

Avro York & Douglas DC-4 -
Avro York & Douglas DC-4 - "London Airport" - 1948

For anyone who ever flew into Heathrow...Enjoy! 

(Jim and the NetLetter gang could not confirm the existence of the CF-CBD. The Lancaster's had a registration starting CF-C.. and the North Stars CF-T.. - eds)

Tom Sparkes has sent these thoughts after reading NetLetter nr 1304 -

Hi to all hands. Thanks again for this issue of the NetLetter. Great articles (as usual) especially the U-Tube of the 387, It's some aircraft. Sadly we won't be flying on it as I am grounded (several health issues)
A word of advice, when you reach the age of 65, progress no further, in fact insist on it. Its a loaded gun from then onwards. Thanks again.

Tom Sparkes,
AC Retired
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

1968 - The twin air intake towers that flank the new terminal remain today.

Betty Draper has sent us this cutting from the "Leader-Post" dated April 1st, 1939.
Money for airport available...

Money for field improvements to Regina airport, which will probably include a new north-west to south-east runway will be made available this year by the federal government, D.A. McNiven. KG., M.P.. said Saturday. Mr. McNiven is In Regina for a brief visit. He was unable to say what amount of money would be available for improvements, but indicated that whatever was necessary would be done.

Although plans which have been drafted by the city engineer's departments include drainage work on the field and a new diagonal runway, the one now at the field was laid some years ago and was not designed for use by such heavy aircraft as those flying with Trans-Canada Air Lines. The reconstruction of this runway has been planned ever since last summer.

No information. As far as other airport improvements were concerned, Mr McNiven had no information. He did not think there was any possibility at present for a new R.C.A.F. hangar. Present facilities were considered adequate for the time being. Information concerning facilities available in Regina for a training centre for pilots was before the minister, but no decision to make Regina a training centre has been made.
Ron Rhodes sends us this information asking for help - I now have a new piece of TCA china: a soup bowl with TCA logo. On the bottom it states it was made by Royal Stafford especially for TCA. A plate (or saucer) has been in my collection for a while now.  Royal Stafford also has individual numbers on the bottom of each, 538 on one and 539 on the other. Could it be that they are designed to go together as soup bowl and saucer?

I hope one of your readers can help me out with this. I gather they are from the 40's or 50's and were only for first class. I cannot find any other information about these pieces on the internet.

tca John Roger supplied Ron with a copy of a 1955 TCA brochure which may show the plate. Maybe someone can remember these pieces!!  If you have further pieces and/or photos, please let me know!  Thanks so much. 

Ron Rhodes,
Waterloo, Ontario
Please write to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

dish1  dish2

Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry Baker

A timely reminder from the Pionairs UK monthly newsletter for September - The company makes this reminder on the dress code and baggage allowance if traveling on standby. If you are denied boarding due to your attire, the decision made at the airport is final. To avoid this happening, take note that the following items are not permitted



  • Any type of beach clothing or footwear (including flip flops).
  • Jogging suits, sweatpants ,sweatshirts, or workout clothing.
  • Tank -tops or t-shirts.
  • Shorts, Bermuda shorts, or leggings.
  • Extremely short or micro skirts.
  • Any type of provocative, tight fitting, revealing, or see-through clothing.

With regard to baggage allowance, employees are permitted 2 or 3 checked bags on AC depending on the flight. For more information visit HR Connex>Policies & Information>My travel>Travel Information


The same consideration applies to OAL travel. Please check your carrier's dress code and baggage allowance prior to travel by going to



Found in the Forum at the ACFamily network web site - I came across these pictures on the internet, taken in Goma, Congo, in 2012.  


They show the final resting place of original TCA DC8-42, fin 808. This aircraft was returned to Douglas on trade and converted to a -54F model in Tulsa. Sadly, this historic aircraft appears beyond all salvation, and I believe it to be the only remaining original TCA DC8 in existence.


Please click on image below to visit full photo gallery. 

TCA Fin 808 in the Congo

(CF-TJH c/n 45610 fin 808 delivered TCA on January 12th 1961 sold to Douglas May 1st, 1977. After being in service with various African cargo companies ended at Air Zaire on April 19th 1992 - 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 exchange -
Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a

The NetLetter is an email newsletter published (usually) every two weeks. It 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.