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NetLetter #1376 | October 19, 2017
The NetLetter
Canadian C-FCAB

Canadian C-FCAB Boeing 767

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the NetLetter, an Aviation based newsletter for Air Canada, TCA, CPAir, Canadian Airlines and all other Canadian based airlines that once graced the Canadian skies.

The NetLetter is published on the second and fourth weekend of each month. If you are interested in Canadian Aviation History, and vintage aviation photos, especially as it relates to Trans-Canada Air Lines, Air Canada, Canadian Airlines International and their constituent airlines, then we're sure you'll enjoy this newsletter.

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ACFN/NetLetter News

AC Life App Update #2

AC Life AppAs mentioned in previous NetLetters, the long-awaited Air Canada AC Life App is now available to eligible retirees.

We now have the following menu items in place at:

There has been a large amount of interest in the AC Life App by retirees and many comments (as well as questions) have been asked in our comment section of the NetLetter. We have moved all the questions to the ACFamily Network pages and have also created a FAQ section at:  This area should answer the most commonly asked questions. 

If you have a question that hasn't been answered, we have introduced a "Life Support" page as well (pun intended), where you can submit your question. See:

AC Life App


Coming Events

tmb friends of front street 2016Friends of Front Street 2017 Reunion

Saturday, October 28 at 11:30 AM

Where: Hooter's on Carlingview
171 Carlingview Drive Etobicoke, Ontario, M9W 5E8

Time for our yearly get-together and the chance to see old friends again!! Hope you can drop by.

If you intend to attend, RSVP to Bob Newson or Shirlee Schacter
telephone: 416-464-9096 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Women in Aviation

tmb catherine dyerAir Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu has announced the appointment of Catherine Dyer as Chief Information Officer.

Ms. Dyer is based at the airline's Montreal headquarters. Click Here for more details. 

English aviator MARY VICTOR (MILDRED) BRUCE, born November 10th, 1895.

tmb mary victor bruceAs early as 1928 she joined the Mayfair Flying Club and by January 1930 was the owner of a Gipsy Moth. She did not take her first flying lesson until 25 May 1930 the day after Amy Johnson completed her record-setting flight to Australia. Bruce learned to fly at the Brooklands School of Flying; her instructors were G. E. Lowdell and Capt. H. Duncan Davis. Bruce soloed on 22 June 1930 and received her A license #2855 on 26 July.

On 25 September 1930, she named the aircraft "Bluebird" and took off on a round the world solo flight from Heston Aerodrome. She flew east with stops in Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq. India, Burma, Siam (Thailand), Hanoi, French Indochina (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul. On 24 November 1930, having covered 10,330 miles (16,620 km) in 25 flying days, she reached Tokyo.

She crossed the Pacific aboard the “Empress of Japan” to Vancouver. Her flight across North America was via San Francisco; San Diego; St. Louis; Chicago; Oregon, Indiana; Baltimore and New York. She sailed on the “Ile de France” to Le Havre and flew to Lympne Airport, England having flown 19,000 miles.

She was the first person to fly from England to Japan, the first to fly across the Yellow Sea, and the first woman to fly around the world alone (crossing the oceans by ship).

Mildred Bruce died on 21 May 1990, at age 94.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Note from Ken PickfordLympne airport was in Kent, about 4 km from the English Channel, dated from WWI and closed in 1984.

AC News

Air Canada News

tmb rob fyfeFormer Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe has been named as Air Canada’s newest board member.

Fyfe, who led the New Zealand flag carrier for seven years until stepping down at the end of 2012, is credited with returning the airline to profitability. He  took his seat as a non-executive director on September 30, 2017.

Air Canada said in a statement: The aviation veteran replaces Joseph Leonard, who is retiring after 10 years on the board. (Source: australianaviation 9/2017)

AAR Corp. announced September 19 a deal to acquire two MRO facilities from Canada's Premier Aviation and has struck separate agreements to perform heavy-check work for Air Canada on the carrier's Airbus A320-family aircraft and its Embraer E190s in one of them.

AAR is acquiring privately held Premier's facilities in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and Windsor, Ontario.

The Airbus and Embraer work will be done in Quebec under 10- and 5-year deals, respectively. (Source: MRONetwork &,  Sept 17/17)

Readers Photos

Reader Submitted Photos

Prompted by the recent flights by CF-TCC to celebrate the 80th anniversary of TCA/AC, Allan Gray sent us these photos and memory -

We were privileged to have flown on CF-TCC at Vancouver 13 Aug 1996 with Captain Alan MacLeod. We flew around Vancouver at 1500 to 2000 feet.

tmb TCA 2 tmb TCA 4
tmb TCA 3 tmb TCA 5
tmb TCA 1 tmb TCA 8
 tmb TCA 6 tmb TCA 7

The last photo (above right) is from a calendar of the aircraft. I also still have the first day postal covers from its trip across Canada, if anyone is interested in them.

Contact me at email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Allan Gray.

Caz Caswell sent us this -

tmb n11sr l1049a lanzair lgw may76Just read Allan Gray’s post in NL # 1375.

Attached is N11SR at LGW in 1976 prior to my immigration to Canada the following April.

Sent in case Mr. Gray may be interested. Caz

Click Here to see more of Caz's excellent photo library at


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

Found in the "Horizons" magazine dated December 1981.

tmb 588 Dec 1981December 4, 1981 - Opening of new hangar at YYZ. 

The new hangar contained Bays 6 and 7 and was connected on the east side to the original DC-8 hangar (Bays 1 through 5).

 "A" checks on the wide body fleet were done in Bay 6 with Bay 7 later converted for aircraft painting.

The 10th anniversary of the TCA Alumni took place in St. Petersburg, Florida recently. Main speaker was retired Executive V.P. Herb Seagrim.

Clint Morgan, a charter member of the Alumni reminisced on the formation of the organization and noted that it was the brainchild of Chuck Gibson, Bill Fabro and Percy Heffrer.

At head table was members of the executive which were in the middle of their two year term, Gordon Webster, President: Helen Moore, V.P; Jean Webster, Secretary/Treasurer; and Mary Young, Social Director.

Former Alumni President Bill Williamson was present as was George Fox, President of the larger and more formally organized Air Canada Pionairs, who announced the Pionairs annual meeting would be in Anaheim, California, May 14-17, 1982.

tmb horst wurmHere we have photos of some Vienna staff.

Sales Manager Horst Wurm plows through a stack of waiting documents.

tmb persidis grabnerPassenger Agents Catherine Persidis, left, and Christine Grabner discuss a ticketing matter at the City Sales Office.

tmb inge stinglWhile Senior Secretary Inge Stingl keeps the office running smoothly. 

Senior Passenger Agent Renate Andrea and Cargo Agent Hans Proidl are also part of the Vienna staff.

The Toronto chapter of the Pionairs held its first annual pre-Christmas function at the Old Mill on November 24th.

Seventy retirees and spouses were in attendance to listen to reports from District Director Gord Smith who introduced Pionairs President George Fox, V.P. Bill Spratt and Montreal District Director Evelyn Desjardins.

tmb cmwa emblemThe Canadian Maple Wings Association (CMWA) held its annual meeting in Toronto late in 1981 with more than 50 members present. This was the organization's first meeting since the previous year’s reunion when more than 1,000 participated in the weekend social activities.
tmb maple wings exec 1981Seated: Jean Wassmansdorf, Correspondence Secretary; Gretchen Marsh, President; Bev Stevens, Recording Secretary; Standing are Carol Anderson, First V.P.; Noreen Searson, Treasurer.

tmb saint john 120 year groupSaint John held a reception and dinner in late 1981 to honour 4 employees celebrating 120 years of service. Bob Taylor (20), Paul Mitchell (30), Bill Scott (35), Denise Richardson (35). Also in attendance were Airport Manager Jim Henderson and Saint John Manager Dave Russell. We have this photo of the group.

The first of a series of charter flights landed in Honolulu on November 3rd, 1981 carrying 156 happy passengers. The aircraft used was an L1011-500. On arrival Station Manager Alan Lock presented the female flight attendants with orchid leis.

tmb hnl charter first crewShown in the photo from the left, front row are: Flight Service Director Trev Trower; Flight Attendants Marg Walbank and Alix McNeilly; Alan Lock and Flight Attendant Margaret Redfern.

Back row: Second Officer Larry Obrien; Flight Attendant Kathy Gass; First Officer Lin Wolfe; Flight Attendant Sophie Szarek; Supervisor Mannie Eiberger; Flight Attendants Pat Ostrander and Betty Fasche; Captain A. Shaw, and Flight Attendant Marian Denyes.

tmb old tca insigniaThis photo, taken in 1944, shows a different insignia for TCA. The insignia shows two speedbirds above the letters TCA, and a different shape from the standard speedbird.

In the photo are, from the left: Bill English, Jack Dyment, O.T. Hill of the British MOA and O.T. Larson.

Working start-up on the ramp at YYZ. (used with permission)

tmb startup yyzIt’s 7:15 a.m. on April 25. On this day, the sun is peeking through the clouds on the ramp in Toronto. Airplanes are arriving and departing. At Air Canada, 6 - 9 a.m. is known as "start-up". It’s an important part of the day as safe, on-time departures from the start typically result in a smooth operation for the rest of the day.

Meet the crew (left to right): Doug Riseborough, Station Attendant; Gino Fazari, Station Attendant; Rick Brown, Station Attendant; Brian Burns, Lead Station Attendant; Vic Trento, Station Attendant.

Their day started earlier this morning. They’ve completed the departure of Chicago-bound AC501.

Alan's Space

Alan's Space

Alan RustYet Another Anniversary!

Canada's 150th, Air Canada's 80th, Pionairs 40th, Canadian Airlines 30th, etc. This is the year of anniversaries! And now we can add Chuck Yeager to the celebrations! (He's 94 years old now).

It’s been 70 years (October 14th, 1947) since Chuck Yeager squeezed into the sharply tapered cockpit of the Bell X-1 rocket plane and cracked a physical and psychological barrier that busted aircraft development wide open. After dropping from a B-29, Yeager reached Mach 1.06, causing what sounded like distant thunder to the crew on the ground. He then did a victory roll and while supersonic flight is a daily experience for military pilots all over the world, it’s eluded widespread commercial success.

Building supersonic transports is not really a technical issue, but more a political one. After 70 years, researchers are still trying to figure out how to stop or lessen the thunder from the sonic boom so that governments will allow them to fly over land at over the speed of sound. Spike Aerospace flew a scale model of its proposed S-512 $60 million 22-seat Quiet Supersonic Jet in New England last week and says it will have a socially acceptable prototype flying by 2021. Aerion continues to promise an aircraft half that size at twice the price but hasn’t flown anything yet.


B29 and Bell x1


Spike Aerospace



CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CPAir/Canadian People Galler
In November 1965, scheduled service between Eastern Canada, Amsterdam/Rome was started.

1969 air gaspe 1376The airline Air Gaspe Inc, headquartered in Sept-Iles, Quebec, operated scheduled passenger and cargo flights from Gaspé to other Canadian cities in 1951, and became a subsidiary of Quebecair in 1973.

Quebecair operated until 1986.

(Source: Wikipedia)

We have this timetable effective May 1st, 1969 (from the collection of David Zekria.)

1955 June 3rd CPA inaugurated the first service between Vancouver and Amsterdam using the North Pole route and on May 4th 1959 CPA started the YUL – YVR service.
(Source: Vancouver Sun)

1932 - December 30 - Canadian Airways Ltd. was the last airline to issue airmail postage stamps that were authorized by the Post Office. This regional passenger and freight air service, based in Winnipeg, was established by James Richardson in 1930.

(Source: "Flyer" Spring issue Vol 35 Nr 2)


Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articlesAppreciation for Canadian Airlines International 

This year has marked the 80th anniversary of Air Canada as well as the 40th anniversary of the Air Canada Pionairs organization of retirees.

I hope that I am not offending anyone when, as an original Air Canada employee, I mention that this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of Canadian Airlines International. I spent the last fifteen years of my career working at the former C.A.I.L. Ops Centre in Vancouver with veterans from CP Air, Pacific Western, Eastern Provincial and Wardair and formed lasting friendships.

Personally, I think that there is little doubt that March 27, 1987 has become one of the most important dates in the history of aviation in Canada. C.A.I.L began with high ambitions that were very much needed in the airline environment. It was the end of complacency and the beginning of a turbulent era that has been the subject of many articles and books, initiated many legal proceedings and disrupted the lives of many people.

Strong feelings concerning the events of this era still exist within those affected but today they may be most prevalent among us retirees who continue our loyalties to the companies, unions and colleagues who we shared so many years of our lives.

Young people joining Air Canada today are entering a very exciting industry with a bright future. The legacy of Canadian Airlines International, and its people, played an important part in creating this future.  tmb c fcab

It is worth mentioning that the first aircraft fleet to enter service with the newly formed C.A.I.L. was the Boeing 767-300ER with the delivery of four aircraft in March 1988 and all four are still in service today.

Registrations C-FCAB, C-FCAE, C-FCAF and C-FCAG were originally numbered 631 to 634 respectively and then renumbered 681 to 684 after being transferred to the Air Canada fleet.

These are rare birds because all four have been in continuous service with C.A.I.L / Air Canada for close to thirty years under the same registrations.

Reader's Feedback

Reader's Feedback

Lorne Paterson sends this response to the article reference the aircraft washer in NetLetter nr 1375 -

I think they are a little behind the times when it comes to these machines. Canadian experimented with one back in the mid 1990's. They were used on the B-737 mostly on the overnights. We did some areas of the B747-400 and also the B-767. At one point the RCAF out of Comox brought over their SAR Buffalo to experiment on as they were faced with washing off salt water after each mission. The main problem shall go unstated but it would be interesting to see if it crops up again. It had nothing to do with the machine itself but a completely different angle.

Betty Morgan has sent us this memory -

It just occurred to me that I might be one of TCA's first passengers (still living). I flew from Moncton to Shearwater on a DC-3 for $15. I was 15 and went to Halifax as I was invited to a graduation dance at the Lord Nelson. Imagine letting a kid do that these days! That was in 1948. I wore a suit and hat and gloves. I have a picture of me somewhere taken when I was all ready to fly.

German Aero Engine update:
(Conclusion of the story from NetLetter nr 1375)

Colin Grant has kindly agreed to write up the following item explaining all about the mysterious aero engines which turned up in the Cargo Department at LHR. Apparently these engines had been the result of a WW2 historical dig down in Dorking by the Surrey and Sussex aviation society. The information they had was that the Junkers 88 aircraft that these motors had come from had been chased from Esher by a Hurricane fighter of Number 1 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force, flown by Flight Lieutenant Gordon McGregor who, after his war service, joined Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada and who later became the President of the Airline. When this information emerged, lots of interest surrounded the workshop. Our boss at the time, Scott McFadden knew Gordon McGregor and held him in high regard, describing him as a fine man. All work was abandoned for the rest of the morning and a toast or two was drunk to him, tea of course. Scott joined us in the further inspection of the two engines - a day to remember.

Gordon McGregor was 39 years old that day, 27th September 1940; it was the day after his birthday and he was thought to be the oldest pilot flying in the Battle of Britain at that time. It was a busy day for him; his logbook shows as well as the Junkers 88 he shot down over Esher, he also damaged an ME109 fighter and two DO 17 bombers. The German crew of the Junkers all managed to bail out that day, three of them landed alive and although the pilot was badly burned, they survived the war. The other crew member parted with his parachute and was killed when he landed in Leatherhead where he is buried.

The plan was for these engines to be sent to Ottawa, to the aviation museum there. A few days later the cargo boys came and collected one of them, and shipped it off to Ottawa, the other sat there for some time and finally disappeared. Some 36 years later my granddaughter took me to the Brooklands museum at Weybridge for a birthday treat and there it was, sitting in a corner. I recognized it at once; much interest and a discussion with the museum curator ensued, as they had only a sketchy history on it. I inquired about my old friend George Rowe, from Aircraft Maintenance, who I knew worked there as a mechanic and tour guide and a chat with him was something I was looking forward to. Alas, a sad end to the day as I was informed that George had recently passed away - a fine mechanic who I always looked up to. And Gordon McGregor, Flight Commander Battle of Britain, DFC, Royal Canadian Air force, Croix de Guerre, France, Czech Military Cross, and President of Good old Air Canada! Not many blaze a trail like that - a true Pioneer that one.

Colin Grant

P.S. - Colin also advises that on Google there is more information regarding the Battle of Dorking.

If you put in Junkers 88 crash, Dorking, September 27th 1940 or Folly Farm Junkers 88, you will get more details. (Source: September issue Newsletter from LHR Pionairs) - Pionairs Login required

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Fitter than ever.

tmb fitter than everJust making it five birthdays past three score and ten counts for us as a bit of a result, but American Airlines fitter Al Blackman has notched up that many years in one job.

The achievement has seen the New York JFK-based technician honoured by the Guinness World Records for the longest career as an airline mechanic, and by his employer, which named a Boeing 777-200 in his honour. Blackman, who began his service with the airline as a 16 year old apprentice in the sheet metal shop in 1942, has worked on almost every aircraft American has flown since the flying boats of the 1940s. The 91-year old turns up for work most days at 03:00, two hours before his shift starts.

(Source: Flight International August 2017)

The following was in a late edition of Flight International magazine – Staying fitter.

Regarding the piece detailing Al Blackman's seventy-five years as a fitter: technically his job may have always been the same and he never had to fill out a second application, but it was not always with American Airlines. The carrier never had flying boats, so one presumes that his first employer was American Export Airlines, about the time it started transatlantic service with the Vought-Sikorsky VS-44 in June 1942.

AEA became American Overseas Airlines (AOA) in November 1945, and a month later was merged into American Airlines. AOA continued to fly the Atlantic as such until American sold the operation to Pan American in September 1950. Evidently Mr. Blackman remained with American.

John Davis, Wichita. Kansas, USA

Editor's reply: Thanks to Mr Davis for pointing this out. Al Blackman did indeed start his career with American Export Airlines (part of the American Export Lines shipping company). The airline was absorbed into American Airlines at the end of the war, so Mr Blackman's service has been continuous.

(Source: Flight International September 2017)

Australian pilot Charles Kingsford-Smith and the crew of the Southern Cross, a “famous old patched-up plane” landed at Harbor Grace, Newfoundland "just before 6 o’clock this morning" of June 24th, 1930 after a 31-hour flight from Ireland across the Atlantic. He had been the first man (non-solo) to fly across the Pacific. Now he’d added the Atlantic to his achievements, the first man to cross both oceans by air.

(Source: Vancouver Sun)

The city’s links to the outside world strengthened in 1931 with the opening of the Vancouver Airport and Seaplane Harbour on July 22; a welcome bright spot during the Depression.

Premier Simon Fraser Tolmie officiated, and a crowd of 55,000 turned up for the four-day opening ceremonies. The complex covered 192 hectares (474 acres).

Pictured below are an early photo (left) and the 2016 version (right).

tmb early yvr tmb yvr 2016 edition


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips

Terry BakerImportant Notice

The Government of Canada has introduced an entry requirement for those travelling to or through Canada who are not Canadian or American citizens, or permanent residents of Canada. You may require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). For more information, consult to determine if this requirement applies to you. Further information can also be found by clicking here.


Saltspring Air on Vancouver Island is the "The Islanders airline", offer scheduled seaplane service between Saltspring Island, Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Downtown Vancouver/ Vancouver Harbour, and Maple Bay on Vancouver Island.

Saltspring Air also provides charter seaplane flights to the Gulf Islands and Pat Bay, with a fleet of DeHavilland Turbine Single Otter, DeHavilland Turbine Twin Otter and Beaver seaplanes,



tmb afc emblemWe have created a platform where aviation professionals from all over the world meet several times a year in order to travel, play and celebrate with their colleagues and friends. Our first tournament was held in Portugal in 2005 initiated by airline employees and has grown since ever then from year to year. The venue for 2017 was Madrid from October 5th to 8th. 

All our participants share the passion for Travel & Football and all the values attached to that, team spirit, fun, cultural experiences, sportive competition, fairness and especially creating long lasting friendships worldwide. tmb afc madrid

Over 2800 players from more than 120 teams, representing 47 nations from 5 continents, participated within the last 12 years at our tournaments. We hope to welcome you and your friends soon in our upcoming tournaments. Come and join this fantastic unique community!

Click Here for more info and updates for the 2018 tournament.



South (Wet) Airlines

tmb south wetWhen Houston’s William P. Hobby airport was hit by Hurricane Harvey, it forced base carriers, including South West, to make dramatic changes to their operations. However, we suspect this particular image is probably what a certain president would call "fake nooz".

(Source: Flight International September 10/17)

Terry Baker, Alan Rust, Wayne Albertson

Terry Baker | Alan Rust | Wayne Albertson
Ken Pickford (missing from photo)
NetLetter Staff for 2017
(you can read our bios at

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