The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


October 20, 2014 - Issue 1309
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Air Canada News
Women in Aviation
Star Alliance 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
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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 Alliance
meal Lufthansa introduced its first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, equipped with premium-economy class, in a special flight from Frankfurt Airport over Northern Germany recently. Here we have a photo of the premium economy meal service offered.

Air Canada News
Air CanadaAir Canada begins 6X-weekly Toronto-Amsterdam Boeing 767-300ER service June 2015. Air Canada is increasing Paris service offering 2X-daily Montreal-Paris CDG summer seasonal service June-Sept. It also begins seasonal rouge Montreal-Venice and Vancouver-Osaka service. Air Canada rouge Montreal-Athens doubles to 4X-weekly and -Barcelona increases to 3X-weekly for summer service.
Air Canada Express begins seasonal 4X-weekly Toronto-Mont-Tremblant Bombardier Q400 service Dec. 18-March 30.

Air Canada has reached a tentative agreement with the leadership of its pilots union on a 10-year labor contract. Leadership of the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), which represents 3,000 Air Canada pilots, said the agreement covers "compensation, benefits
and other work rules until September 2024." Neither the airline nor the union released details of the agreement, which must be ratified by a majority vote of Air Canada's pilots.

Women in Aviation - Compiled by Terry Baker
"Quiet" pilot was first woman to make solo world flight.

Geraldine Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world passed away September 30th 2014 aged 88.

Ms. Mock was 38 on March 19th, 1964, when she took off from Columbus, Ohio in a 1953 Cessna 180 single engine monoplane named "Spirit of Columbus", 29 days and 23,103 miles later she landed safely back at Columbus, 27 years after Amelia Earhart's much more famous, albeit unsuccessful attempt to circle the earth. Ms.Mock wrote a book about her solo flight titled "Three-eight Charlie" in 1970 which was recently reissued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the flight.

Quarter Century in Aviation Club
The Quarter Century in Aviation Club was formed in 1952 in Vancouver to provide a venue where people of all areas of aviation could meet old friends and create new ones and share their experiences and stories.

Dinner meetings with various aviation related speakers are held on the third Tuesday of October, November, January, February, March and April.  The opening speaker this season is John Horton who will speak on Fraser River Traffic management. He is also an active Steveston BC, Life Boat society member and well known marine artist.

First meeting this season is tonight (October 21, 2914 at 17:00 hours.

For more information see:
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.  


Alan Evans in South Africa sends us this - This is the interior of the Red Bull DC-6B. Way back in 1967 I used to fly the DC-6 & DC-6B for Pacific Western in Edmonton Canada. It was great machine but not in the condition of this one.

Red Bull stripped it back to a bare airframe and rebuilt it to better than factory delivery condition. Engines, props, you name it.

The interior is VIP, and is used by the Red Bull Board plus inverted Corporate Heavyweights to attend major events around Europe. When not in use, it is housed in a glass display hangar at Salzburg Airport.


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.

  •  Apr 1st - First direct transportation service of any kind between Canada and the southern U.S. with the initial schedule between Montreal and New York with North Star equipment, commanded by Captains Don Beatty and Rube Hadfield.
  • Apr 2nd - First scheduled flight to Tampa-St,Petersburg, under the command of Captain Dal Woodward.  
Reported in the Leader-Post dated Tuesday March 1st, 1938, sent to us by Betty Draper was this article -

All Canadians

MONTREAL, March 1 - Personnel of Trans-Canada Air Lines will be 100 per cent Canadian as soon as such staff can be trained. Philip G.Johnson, vice-president, told members of the Canadian Club on Monday.

Issue dated - May 1950
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
The first TCARA (forerunner of ACRA), Badminton Club in Montreal was formed during the fall of 1949 under the chairmanship of Ken Green and, on September 26th, the Club was comprised of twelve members who turned out at the West Hill High School gym to start the 1949/50 season.

In this photo are front row, left to right: Ken Green, Joan Paul, Shirley Harper, Norma Hunter, Mickey Ryan, Chris Thorwaldson, Marion last, Gladys Clapp, Babs Dennis, Jack Chamberlain.

Second row, left to right: Al Magnusson, Eric Wyeth, Mel Lagasse, Hal Walker, John Trewin. Merle Dunne, Alice Thorslund. Sybil  Magnusson, Audrey King.

Back row. left to right: George MacMillan, Don McLean, John Nicas, Les  McDowell, Bob  Affleck, Eric Wolfe. Hazel Goodall, John King, Al Wilson. Fred Robinson and Bob Needham.

Issue dated - May 1979
Some items gleaned from the "Horizons" magazines.
A first at Dorval
Dorval's first passenger agent to retire, Maurice ''Moe" Dicaire was given a royal sendoff by his many friends recently. He Is shown centre, flanked by, from the left: Len Raymond, Passenger Service Manager; Michelle Scraignem CALEA Chairman; Ron Pelletier, Passenger Service Supervisor, and Bob Vezina, Customer Service Manager. Maurice had 20 years service with the company plus five with the military.

Halifax Bowl
Some seven employee teams from various  divisions at Halifax station took part in "Bowl for Millions", a fundraising effort for the Local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. The company bowlers joined 600 others representing leading business firms, government and civic organizations, the entertainment field, news media and sports celebrities and raised $30,000 on Celebrity Day. 

Among the bowlers were the participants from the regional office. Shown in the photo are, from the left: Shirley Hill, Christopher Franklin, Janice Sullivan, Paul Machina, Mike Lezama, Starr Williams, and Mike De Wilde. 

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's SpacePilot's artificial arm 'became detached while landing plane'

I know, I know... we're not the National Enquirer but this is actually true!

A pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, an accident report has said. But how do amputees fly planes?

The pilot of the Flybe plane heading from Birmingham to Belfast had a below-elbow left arm prosthetic. This was attached to the yoke - the plane's "steering wheel" - using a clamp.

But, as he made the flare manoeuvre - a stage of the landing - "his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft".

You can read the full article by clicking here.

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.

  • June 1st - EPA commenced service between Halifax and Ottawa.
  • June 15th - Nordair commenced service between Mirabel and  Orlando, Florida.
Issue dated - May 14th 1985
Items from the "PWA Update" magazine -
An On-time Performance/Punctuality Team was formed during January. The team was formed to review the system's performance which, although not the worst in the industry, the object was to do better so as to live up to a commitment of being the best airline in Canada. The team consisted of Al Craig, Capt. Dave Geekie, Len Jones and Jack Huibers. The initial program commenced April 1st.
Issue dated May 1985

With  the  April  28th 1985 withdrawal from Boeing  767 operations, the airline's plan to standardize its fleet was complete. Prior commitments  for two additional Boeing 767's were converted into firm orders for six
more Boeing 737's for delivery during the 1985 to 1988 period to bring the PWA Boeing 737 fleet to approximately 30 aircraft within the next four years. In 1985 the Corporation operated 21 Boeing 737's. On May 1st, Joe Childs, PWA Manager Technical Projects took delivery of the first B737-200 since 1982 as Fin 760 is one of the new Boeing 737-200's committed for upon conversion of the Boeing 767 orders.

Issue dated June 1988
Extracted from the "Info Canadi>n" magazine

During the 27th and 28th of May 1988, the Calgary reservations offices was moved to 2912 Memorial Drive.

Dunc Fischer, Vice President Western Region, cuts the cake to open the new Calgary reservations office. Looking on are res manager Darlene Berscht and director Bruce Watson.

Working on the group desk, a specialized function of the reservations office, are, from left, Jackie Nyaradl, B.J. Tsul, Richard Wagenaar, and Judy Griffiths.

Issue dated - August 1987
The newly formed  Archives Committee was created to look for any historical items from PWA, CPAL, ND, EPA and any of their predecessor airlines. The Committee was lead by Peter Wallis, assisted by Ron Barker, Harold Johnson and Ken Fraser. Limited space was secured in the Ops Centre at YVR.

In this photo is Audio-visual producer Ron Barker, Harold Johnson, PWA Retirees Association and Pionair Ken Fraser inspecting some of the first historical data of Canadian  Airlines'  company archives. (Unfortunately, since the merger with Air Canada, we, at the NetLetter,  have no idea there where abouts of the collection - 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.

Phil Pawsey sent us this memory - Miracle at Deer Lake.

Several years ago, Bob Brown, Alan MacLeod and I visited our Shediac Road friend Bill Gillis in Moncton NB. During a party (Bill called it a smoker) at Bill and Pats house, Gerry Doyle, a mutual friend, told us a story which I had not heard before - now this Gerry is one great story teller with all the dialects etc. The story was a true one but maybe
embellished in places and after about one half hour, my stomach was sore from laughing. The name of the story was the Miracle at Deer Lake.

I cannot begin to tell it like Gerry did but will now attempt to give you portions of it which are contained in a written narrative and audio tape that Bill kindly sent to us.

Around daybreak on May 9, 1979 a confused, semi-inebriated
Newfoundlander wandered down to a dock at Deer Lake Nfld. It was windy and cold and seeing a Cessna 185 which had come in the evening before, decided to open the unlocked door and crawled inside. Getting out of the wind was a help but the key in the start switch looked inviting so far as getting some heat. What actually took place then, we do not know but Gerry said that he turned the key a little too far and the starter went into action starting the engine. No one knows exactly what took place then, perhaps with a little shoving and pulling, breakage of mooring ropes etc., our man became airborne. He was aloft for possibly half an hour before he managed to switch on the plane's radio which, fortunately was tuned to the flight service station (FSS) frequency. The following greatly condensed dialogue is taken from the recording of the incident.

As it begins, the man is literally screaming for help. The nearest flight service specialist (FSS) is at Deer Lake airport.

(We will continue this saga in NetLetter nr 1310 - eds)
Following the comments by Mike Nash in NetLetter nr 1306 regarding the recently published book by Peter Piggott, David Varnes sends us this information about the A310 aircraft mentioned in the book -

A310's (I think eight of them) were acquired by Max Ward in his attempt to make Wardair a national carrier. The A310's were acquired by Rhys Eyton's Canadi>n Airlines in a 1985 takeover. The A310's were operated for a very short while and then taken over by the Canadian Government as an asset against loans to reduce the debt load for Canadi>n. Most sat in storage for a very long time. At least five were transferred to the then Canadian Armed Forces and two were later converted to aerial tankers.

One was modified to "an official government business transport aircraft" at considerable taxpayer expense for then Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney but never saw service. The Liberal Government under John Chretien tried to sell the aircraft to the "luxury business jet market" but found no takers. The last information I had was that
this aircraft was in use by the Canadian Forces as a "training aircraft".

The specific details of the A310 purchases have been clouded in Conservative Government obstrufication to this day.

David Varnes,
Chair, History Committee,

(The NetLetter gang dug up this report from the "Info Canadi>n" magazine issue February 1990.)

Canadian has concluded agreements for the sale of 12 Airbus A310-300 and two Boeing 747-100 aircraft. Ten A310-300's have been sold to IACO, two to Blenheim Aviation and the two B747-l00's to ATASCO. The aircraft disposals are in accordance with Canadian's previously announced five-year fleet plan said Dave Murphy, Senior Vice President. finance. Of the 14 aircraft, six will leave the fleet in 1990, five in 1991 and three in 1992. - eds)

Ken Pickford sends us this comment referring to NetLetter nr 1307 -
Noted the video on the construction of LHR and reference to the Lancastrian departure on the first flight from the new airport on January 1, 1946.

It wasn't TCA or BOAC but BSAA (British South American Airways), the government-owned carrier established to operate to the Caribbean and South America (also Miami via the Caribbean). They only operated briefly from 1946 through 1949. The January 1, 1946 flight in the video was a proving flight to Buenos Aires with about 6 stops. Their inaugural scheduled service was March 15, 1946.

After several serious accidents, BSAA was merged into BOAC legally on July 30, 1949, and BSAA flights became BOAC on January 1, 1950.
Note the May 31, 1946 entry in the British Airways history site which refers to that January 1, 1946 BSAA flight. That was before the airport's official opening. For information please follow this link.

Regards, Ken
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!

Vern Swerdfeger sent us this information - The Bristol Brabazon aircraft.
In 1943 Lord Brabazon of Tara headed a Committee to explore the needs of post war British civilian passenger airliners. The Brabazon Report was the result of the committee's work, which recommended the construction of four of the five designs under consideration.

One of the designs studied was awarded to The Bristol Aeroplane Company at Filton and the aircraft was named the Bristol Type 167 Brabazon. Their contract was for the construction of two prototypes of this aircraft. Work started on the first aircraft in 1946 and it was ready for its maiden flight in September 1949. It visited the Farnborough Air Show the same month and was demonstrated at the Paris Air Show in 1951.

This large aircraft, which would become one of the largest in the world required the existing 2000 foot runway at Filton to be lengthened to 8000 feet, which meant the demolition and removal of a local village.
The construction and assembly of this very large aircraft also required the construction of a similar large size assembly hall building.

Construction of the building commenced in 1946 which was then the largest single span steel structure, (possibly in the World?). It comprised 3 separate bays, total length 352 metres, height at apex of bay 35 metre, total enclosed volume 1 million cubic metres. Sadly, the Brabazon aircraft became a "white elephant" as the airlines BOAC and BEA never expressed any serious interest in ordering the aircraft. Only the first prototype was built and did fly, but was broken up in October 1953, a flying life of 400 hours over only 4 years. A second prototype was commenced but progressed no further than an incomplete fuselage before also being broken up.

Passengers: 50-180
Engines: 8 x Bristol Centaurus, 1864kW (2,650 hp)
Wingspan: 70.1m 230 ft
Length: 53.95m 177 ft
Height: 15.24m 50 ft
Wing area: 493.95m² 5,317 sq ft
Empty weight: 65816kg 145,100 lb
Takeoff weight: 131542kg 290,000 lb
Max speed: 483kph, Cruise speed: 402kph
Ceiling: 7620m Range: 8850km 5,500 miles.
For more information please follow this link.

Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerALLEGIANT AIRLINES joined SPIRIT AIRLINES in charging us$5.00 for a boarding pass. You can avoid this charge if you print your boarding pass on your home computer. (source: US Pionairs newsletter)  

The recent trip by your chief pilot, was on the Rocky Mountaineer, a two day trip through the mountains from Calgary to Vancouver.

We traveled Red as Silver and Gold were sold out. Our package included accommodations at Calgary, Kamloops and Vancouver and transfers.

We were up at an unearthly hour of 04:30 for the short cab ride to the station for check-in at 05:30 for seat assignment which was in the centre of the final coach. Boarding at 06.05, and departure was on time with 850 guests.


Our attendant was Ewan, who welcomed each guest and offered a drink of orange juice. After the usual safety information, tea/coffee was served. The breakfast and lunch meals consisted of chilled food and was adequate. Tea/coffee, serve yourself, was available all through the trip. Several times during the day, Ewan dispensed soft drinks with a power bar or potato chips or cookies. Spirits, wine and beer was available at $8.05 each. Excellent and interesting commentary was provided by Ewan. The passing scenery was incredible, especially the various rock formations.


As the track was single through the first part of the trip, it was necessary for us to park in a side track while a freight train passed by. These trains consist of in excess of 100 railway cars. At one time the Train Control Centre made a mistake with the length of a freight train and, after half an hour wait while the problem was resolved, we were required to back up half a mile to the previous side track. This delay made us late for our arrival at Kamloops. 

Due to the continuous rail line, with no joints, the noise level was minimal and smooth. Us "oldies" miss the "clickity clackity" noise trains made of yore.

Guests were encouraged to view the catalogue and place their orders, which would be available first thing the next day. Any item not acceptable will be returned without question. Only credit cards are allowed on board.

Traversing the tunnels in the "spiral" was interesting, especially at one time the front of the train could be seen emerging from a tunnel before the end of the train had entered it.  


Due to the delay, mid afternoon, it was announced that all drinks would be "on the house" and that a meal would be provided for supper. After sunshine all day, our arrival at Kamloops was at midnight and rain.
To save time, everyone had been pre-checked in, and the room keys handed to the guests on the train, allowing for the avoidance a long queue at check-in. 

Day two was with another early start. On each seat, everyone received a trip diary, as a thank you for the patience and inconvenience of the previous days delay and - free drinks today too! Today was different scenery as the mountains were behind us, although it was very interesting going through the canyons alongside the rivers.  


Arrival in Vancouver was on time. 


Unfortunately very little wild life was observed, one mountain sheep, one elk, several eagles. Most first time visitors were disappointed.
The seating was equivalent to business class airline mode, and the hotels used were excellent. See:  for more information.


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.

Steve Charlton sends this - with tongue in cheek!

Great news for all commuters including airport workers! New Malton (Pearson Airport) to Toronto rail link.

Apparently the 3 levels of Government have now agreed to forge ahead with the new rail link between Pearson Airport and Toronto. This is because it will be much quicker, easier and cheaper for families arriving at Pearson International to visit their relations in Toronto and the GTA.

The Government has proudly released this artist's impression of how the new rail link will look in action; due to be completed well ahead of the 2015 Pam Am Games.


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  
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