1939 - February - A Trans-Canada Air Lines aircraft was the first flight to land at Calgary airport.
With the Vickers Viscount long out of service in Canada, Captain Jim Griffith never thought he would ever fly one again, but in 1983, nearly ten years after the last one flew with Air Canada, the phone rang and he got another chance to take the grand old lady to the dance.
Late August 1983 in Winnipeg proved hot and muggy, stretched out on a lawn chair in my back yard I studied condensation droplets dribbling down the side of the tankard holding my first ice-cold beer of the day. The phone rang. It was my good friend Gerry Norberg.
“Jim” he said, “have you still got a Viscount endorsement on your licence?”
“Yes I do Gerry. What’s up?” I replied.
Gerry breathlessly explained. “The Western Canada Aviation Museum now owns the former Trans-Canada Air Lines hangar at Winnipeg and will use it for the home of their historic aircraft. Their Vickers Viscount, the largest aircraft in the collection, is stored in a former RCAF hangar up at Gimli. He continued catching his breath,
“When Beaver Industries donated the Air Canada Viscount they flew it up there but now two of the four engines are time expired and to make it airworthy for a flight to Winnipeg they need to swap two engines with Beaver Industries.”
“And?” I interrupted.
“They need someone to fly it to Winnipeg.” He blurted out and added, “They don’t have the money to pay anybody.”
“Hmm.”, I mumbled, stalling while I mulled over the possible consequences of the oblique request. Back in the days when cars had wings an aircraft endorsement was not required to act as co- pilot and restrictions like currency had not been invented yet. So I countered to Gerry, “How about coming along for the ride?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Sure.” “That settles it then. Let’s do it, but when?” I enquired.
“Oh but by the way,” he hesitated before adding “they had to take the rudder off to get it into the hangar so as soon as they finish changing the engines and put the tail back on … probably three weeks.”
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From the "Between Ourselves" magazine issue dated June 1943
TORONTO T.C.A.R.A. - A second Recreation Association has appeared among us. At a recent meeting of Malton, Central Control and Royal York personnel it was decided to form a body modelled along the lines of the Winnipeg group, which was the first TCARA formed in the spring of 1941.
Those present at once became Charter members of the Association and the following were elected officers:
The Executive Committee will consist of these four, together with the Chairmen of the various sub-committees representing the different activities of the Association. An intensive membership drive is now under way, and it is hoped that all those who have not already joined will do so immediately. Regular membership is open to all employees of TCA and associate membership to their wives, husbands and children, also to members of the Department of Transport, and to others closely associated with the company. The first social function was a dance held on June 9th (1943) attended by 170 members and friends at the Casa Loma. For July a boat cruise to Niagara-on-the-lake was planned.
L - R Back Row then Front Row - All have since passed away except myself. John Wild, George Lothian, Roy McCormack, Ron Baker, Joe Held, George Cambell, Al Ross and Phil Pawsey.
|These photos are from The YYZ Ramp Rats part 1. There were no identifications, location or date – anyone care to let us know the details?