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NetLetter #1421 | September 14, 2019
The NetLetter
AC507 & CF-TCC

C-FTNG (Fin # 507) with CF-TCC

Photo submitted by Dave Wall

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the NetLetter, an Aviation based newsletter for Air Canada, TCA, CP Air, 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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NetLetter News

new subscriber 200wWe have welcomed 145 new subscribers so far in 2019.

We wish to thank everyone for your support of our efforts.

New Subscribers for August 2019
Joshua Adams Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines
Joy Beardsley Air Canada
Bernie Bisson Trans-Canada Air Lines, CP Air, Pacific Western Airlines
David Doige Air Canada
Isabella Galvin Air Canada
Ravi Gharat Air Canada
Jose Henriques Air Canada
Dave Kent Air Canada
Peter Larsen Air Canada
Janne Layzell Air Canada
Donna Leblanc Air Canada
Jane MacAdam  
Carlos Matos Air Canada
Antony Merry Canadian Airlines, CP Air
Jim Morrison Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines
André Parent Air Canada
Sylvie Pelletier Air Canada
Simone Prince Canadian Airlines
Lois Reeleder Air Canada
Clyde Stoute Trans-Canada Air Lines
Pat Verrier

Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, CP Air


feeback 200x165We always welcome feedback from our subscribers who wish to share their memories and photographs.

If have stories to share from your Air Canada career or one of the legacy airlines: Canadian Airlines, CP Air, Pacific Western, Eastern Provincial, Wardair, Nordair and many more, please feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AC News

Air Canada News

Air Canada will deploy its initial Airbus A220-300's on two new routes that support its long-term strategies of growing transborder revenues and driving more intercontinental connecting traffic through its hubs.

The Canadian flag carrier’s A220's will enter service May 4, 2020, on daily routes between Montreal and Seattle as well as Toronto and San Jose, California.

Both routes will be daily and year-round—which no other carrier is offering.


tmb airbus a220 300

Star Alliance News

Star Alliance News

tmb tapStar Alliance carrier TAP Air Portugal is suspending flights to London City Airport, blaming weaker-than-expected demand on the UK’s departure from the European Union (Brexit), as part of a wide-ranging network shakeup planned for 2020.

(Source: ATWDailyNews August 16, 2019)

tmb aviancaBrazilian airline Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas S/A, formerly doing business as Avianca Brasil, will leave Star Alliance September 1.

(Source: ATWDailyNews August 20, 2019)

Readers Photos

Reader Submitted Photos

Gretchen Aird Dawson sent in the following:

Hi Terry,  the "Silver Spitfire" flew into Kelowna this morning on it's around the world flight (never before attempted), which began in Goodwood, England.

She's beautiful - looking like new with her very shiny Silver 'skin'. 

Thought you'd enjoy seeing these photos! Hubby Jim and I have just come home from seeing her fly into Kelowna for a day's visit.

Dave McElroy (President of the Kelowna Flying Club), and former pilot was aware that "the 1943 Silver Spitfire" is on a round the world flight. Kelowna was not one of the tour stops; so Dave "flew down to Oregon a few days ago, and caught up with them and convinced them to add Kelowna as a tour stop.

McElroy says: "Anyone who knows what the Spitfire is and what it did for the world in the Second World War, many would say the Spitfire changed history. So the opportunity to see one up close and personal and one that's flying around the world is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

You can see from the photos below that it was a beautiful day to view the aircraft, and what a real thrill for all in attendance.

Cheers, Gretchen  

tmb Spitfire logo tmb Spitfire1
tmb Spitfire2 tmb Spitfire3

Ken Pickford has supplied the following additional information and links:

Regarding the "Silver Spitfire" and its around the world trip.

More on that aircraft in this article which also mentions its brief service with an RCAF squadron during WWII.

Good photos arriving at Iqaluit (YFB) on August 12 and departing August 15. Iqaluit its first stop in Canada after Iceland and Greenland. It's accompanied by a chase plane carrying support staff and the second pilot (they alternate the flight sectors).

It was delayed at Iqaluit for a couple of days due to weather and missed its planned appearance at an airshow in Gatineau, Quebec (across from Ottawa) where it was going to fly with the RAF Red Arrows (now on a month-long visit to North America) and two other Spitfires.

It was previously painted in WWII RAF livery but they switched to bare metal, apparently to reduce potential problems with landing and overflight permissions etc., especially at the many planned stops in Russia, Asia, Middle East etc. Due to limited range it has to make many stops.




TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

Continuing the Time Travel: 75 Years in Events.

Started in NetLetter #1419.


tmb new yorkTorontonians take a bite out of the Big Apple in 1941. The first transborder service launches on May 10.

Overall, the number of passengers increases by 60 percent that year.

tmb tcaraThe real fun starts in 1941. TCA Winnipeg employees set up the Recreational Association, which organizes hockey tournaments, photo contests, picnics, parties and even, in the early days, beauty pageants.

It lives on today as the Air Canada Recreation Association (ACRA).


tmb female employeeSome 163 male employees are enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1942, presenting TCA with a serious manpower problem.

The company starts employing women as agents, chauffeurs, cargo handlers, radio operators, stock keepers and mechanics – a total of 464 women that year, or one-third of the workforce.


(More next NetLetter – eds)

1972 April 30 - Montreal - Toronto Rapidair service commenced.

horizons logoFound in the “Horizons” magazine.

Issue dated April 1987 (50th Anniversary)

New Egypt service planned.

Air Canada was planning to fly to Egypt as a result of a successful air trade agreement signed between the Canadian and Egyptian governments.

The day Murphy stayed at home.

On a bright cloudless day in the fall of 1986, two private jets carried identical loads of precious data from Toronto to Winnipeg.

The future travel plans of thousands of passengers were moving, in duplicate, to their new home on Portage Avenue. This was the start of the most complex technical feat ever attempted by the Computer & Systems Services Branch.

Reservec II was being moved from Toronto, where it was born 16 years ago, to Winnipeg, the site of C & SS's most recent and modern installation. Some have likened it to a heart transplant, others more accurately to changing an engine in mid-air.

While most of the travelling public was unaware of this major event, it took two years of planning and development to successfully make the transition.

Work began in mid-1984 when it became apparent that the Toronto computer did not have the capacity to handle the expected growth in the passenger reservations area.

After much research to find a computer large enough and compatible with existing programs, the Sperry 1190 series computer was chosen to replace the existing Univac 1146. The project defied Murphy's Law, being successful in the face of formidable odds.

Pictured below are the Montreal and Winnipeg teams involved in coordinating the move.

tmb 550 montreal team
tmb 550 winnipeg team

Air Canada was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1987. Below we have a photo of a group of original employees hired during 1937. 

From the left: Russ Bulger, Dick Leigh, Bruce Saunders, Rene Giguere, Herb Seagrim, Lindy Rood, Ches Rickard and George Lothian.
tmb class of 1937

The 1987 joint meeting of ACRA Presidents and System Events Chairmen took place in Montreal.

Main discussions centered around activities, past and planned, of each of the 22 ACRA  chapters across the system, the 13 recognized sports and cultural events and of course, the 50th anniversary celebrations. The first A.C.R.A. (aka T.C.A.R.A.) was formed in 1941 at Winnipeg.

(Note: Sadly the ACRA does not seem to be active - eds)

In the photo below, ACRA Presidents or their representatives and System Events Chairmen or their representatives.

In the front row are, from left to right: Brenda Williams, Montreal; Cory Smith, Los Angeles; Emy Amendola, Thunder Bay; Jim Whitelaw, Senior Vice President - Corporate & Human Resources; Brenda McCasin, Edmonton; Sheila Snow-Cline, Vancouver; Barbara Bernoth, Frankfurt.

In the second row are, in the same order: Bill Kent, Hockey; Michael McHenry, Art; Jim Batten, Ottawa; Yolande Bourque, Moncton; Noel Ebden, Saskatoon; Duncan Butchart, Calgary; Neil Stephenson, Regina; Deidra Roberts, San Francisco; Larry Lee, London, Ontario; Ron Corbin, Saint John, New Brunswick; Fred Bourdeau, Sydney; Wilfred Hackey, Quebec; Keith Windsor, St. John's, Newfoundland.; Ken Rodgers, London, England.; Gordon Graham, Halifax; Michael Hickey, Dusseldorf; Diana Duval, Winnipeg; Joe Holmes, Bowling; Jim Miller, Toronto; Warren Dunne, Ski; Ken Mackenzie, Darts.

In the back row are, from the left: Roy Keane, Tennis; Lucie Chabot-Gagnon, Softball; Linda Kellins, Golf; Jack Inouye, Curling; Evan Quick, Squash; Bernie Brennan, A.C.E. Fly-In; David Paxton, Soccer and Barry Drinkle, Photography

tmb 550 acra presidents and directors 1987

Soccer kick-off.

Back in 1980 the Air Canada Soccer Club (Montreal) organized the first invitational airline soccer tournament and Aeromexico (Mexico City) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt) were the only foreign carriers to participate.

This year's event on May 15 and 16, 1987, will be Canada's and possibly North America's largest airline tournament, attracting teams from as far away as Japan, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, France and England.

tmb north star painting 705North Star painting commissioned by the T.C.A. Alumni by artist Don Connolly and presented to Air Canada during the 50th anniversary of the airline in 1987.


CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CPAir/Canadian People Galler
tmb cail advert frankfurtOn April 5, 1988, Frankfurt becomes a Canadian city. On that date Frankfurt joins Amsterdam, Rome and Milan as a European gateway served by Canada's most successful new airline Canadian Airlines International.


tmb cpa advHere is an advert from 1966.

Canadian Pacific Airlines jets are Canada's flag carriers between 5 continents.


There usually was a Fairchild 71 or an 82 any day around Edmonton from the late 1920's into the early 1960's.

This lovely period view by Leslie features CPA's famous 82D c/n 69 CF-AXQ getting some daily servicing. Built in 1939 for Mackenzie Air Services of Edmonton, it migrated to CPA with that company's takeover in the early 1940's of a host of smaller northern operators.

In 1946 CF-AXQ was acquired by Waite Fisheries of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. When the pilot got into deteriorating weather on January 28, 1947 his windscreen iced up so badly that he couldn't see properly on landing, and crashed near home base.

In our junior days of shooting at Malton in the 1950's we'd have been happy with the lighting here, but would likely have passed on even taking a shot for the record due to the gas drum, tie-down ropes, engine cover, open cockpit door ladder in the background and, horror of horrors, that fellow standing there. How pitiful, eh, to be missing out on such fundamentals of a true aviation scene.

cf axq
CF-AXQ was sold to Wells Fisheries, Big River, Saskatchewan on December 3, 1946.

The beloved “82” first had flown at Longueuil near Montreal on July 6, 1935. Twenty-four were built, including examples for Mexico and Argentina.

(Source: From the Leslie Corness collection book via Larry Milberry/CANAV Books)


Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articles

L-1011 TriStar - Brief Return 1994

NetLetter reader, Dave Wall, submitted the following:

"I enjoyed your recent articles about the 1011 and noted the history file after clicking on the link in the text.

I can add updates info on three of the aircraft:

Fins 504, 507 & 512 were all returned to AC service from the desert in the spring of 1994 and flew exclusively on YZ-VR & YZ-LAX until Jan 1996. This was done at the direction of Hollis Harris who was a 1011 fan.

I flew all three back to the desert at Marana in Jan 1996. Then in April 1996 I returned to do a demo test flight in 512 as part of its sale to Air Transat which was completed at that time.

Cheers, Dave Wall

Dave also submitted the picture in the header of this issue with CF-TCC sitting beneath the wing of C-FTNG (Fin 507).

Dave's comments on the photo:

"We staged it one day in 1995 (I think) when the old 10A was in Toronto. I sent a framed copy to Hollis and got a nice note." 

I have fond personal memories of this time period that Dave refers to. I was commuting regularly between YYZ & YVR while awaiting a permanent transfer and frequently flew on these aircraft. I remember that it was necessary to upgrade the interiors and livery to the new image, however, I do not recall the specific reason that they were brought out of the desert and briefly returned to service. 

I often registered on flights with the aircraft simply because I enjoyed flying on them and I knew that they would soon leave the fleet forever.  The power of the RB-211 engines could be felt on take off and I distinctly remember watching the ceiling light panels vibrate during take off. On one flight from YVR, there was an ice storm in YYZ that had us circling Detroit for almost an hour until being diverted to YUL. 

C-FTNC (Fin # 507) & C-FTNL (Fin # 512) would later join the Air Transat fleet. It seems that C-FTND was returned to the desert and broken up in 2000. 

Additional references:

NetLetter # 1344

NetLetter # 1417 

Below is C-FTNC in Air Transat livery photographed by Pedro Aragão.

c ftng air transat

Reader's Feedback

Reader's Feedback

Kenneth Collie sends this personal memory of the BN2A-26 Islander -

The picture of the Islander in Newsletter #1419 brought back fond memories of my decade old life in Northern Manitoba.

I was working for Lambair in Thompson Manitoba when they imported what I believe to be the first Islander in Canada. BN2A-26 s/n 23, CF-XYK.

My AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer) licence was so new I was afraid to fold it for fear that the ink would blot. The more senior engineers mostly looked after the Bristol Freighter or DC-3's. We all shared the DHC-2's and 3's Aztecs, Cessna's, and whatever showed up. But I considered Ex-ray Yankee Kilo to be mine.

It was a nice plane to work on except for using a step ladder for everything on the power plants. We did have a few new plane design problems, the most noticeable was that as the temperature dropped to Manitoba winter minus 40's complaints of sloppy controls began to come in. I soon ran out of adjustment on the control cables so we contacted the Britten Norman Company. Within a week Mr Norman was visiting us in Thompson. After a bit of discussion and examination he was scratching his head with no solution in mind. Finally I asked him if there was a temperature compensator anywhere in the system.

He asked, “why would you need a temperature compensator?” So I explained that each control cable was approximately forty feet long (he corrected me to the fraction of an inch) and these steel cables with a very low coefficient of expansion ran through forty some feet of aluminum (coerced to aluminium) with a relatively high coefficient rate therefore the tension was fine in hot weather but not at all fine in cold extremes.

After looking at a couple other plane’s compensators he sat down and started calculating and drawing. I realized his genius when in less than half an hour he called his partner in England, faxed a drawing and the notes and said “Your modification will be mailed to you within three or four days. It was, it worked and he picked up the tab, the other tab also.

The Islander proved to be a very nice plane to work on and to fly with. A little cold in the cabin in winter, but very reliable and quite efficient.

Ken Collie

Doug Davison has sent us this information –
(Regarding the PVM date mentioned in NetLetter #1420)

I joined 'Air Canada' (not TCA) on 5th May 1969. That was in PVM so they were already there. In fact, I must have had an interview in March or April so 3rd July 1969 for their move into PVM doesn't sound right. I remember the big snow storm. I was at home and stayed there! I lived in an apartment near the Vertu station at the time.

Some weeks ago you had a piece on Air Transit. I was digitizing some old slides and I came across Air Transit photos. I was involved in the market research prior to the operation starting up. I got a ride - the only passenger - from Montreal to Ottawa on a test flight. In Ottawa, the aircraft stopped and I got out.

The pilots did a couple of circuits while I stood on the grass at the edge of the runway and took 8 mm movie (which I still have somewhere) .....'elf and safety where are you? They stopped again, I got back on and we headed home to Montreal.

I can tell you exactly when that was, a famous day in Canadian history: 28th September 1972.

tmb 550 air tansit 1
tmb 550 air tansit 2
tmb air transit 3 tmb air transit 4

Lauraine Pomerleau comments on the WACA trip to Israel from NetLetter #1419

I just read the Netletter and couldn't help but notice the WACA Israel trip advertised. Doreen Zenert and I are retired AC flight attendants and did this tour with WACA in February and it was fantastic. It was a beautiful country and excellent tour for Interliners.

If anyone has questions about it you may contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Michel LeBlanc adds this recollection from the March 1971 snow storm from NetLetter # 1420

I just finished reading your always interesting NetLetter. How it manages to bring back memories is par for the course but the recollection of the March 1971 massive snowstorm in Montreal was still particularly vivid for me.

Although everything did grind to a halt and Skidoos were the only things moving on the streets, the measured snow fall was nowhere near 147.7 inches. Maybe 47 would be closer to the total for that storm.

Best regards

Michel LeBlanc

Ken Pickford has been doing some fact checking:

Re the Michel LeBlanc feedback re the snowstorm. 47 inches looks like the correct number, not 147. That would have been really something, over 12 feet!

Found this CBC item:

By the way, I also had an email from a retired AC colleague I dealt with during my IATA days. He points out that the reference in the TCA/AC People Gallery to TCA moving into Place Ville-Marie in July 1969 is wrong; it was July 1962. Of course, by 1969 it would have been Air Canada, not TCA. PVM opened in 1962 and TCA was one of the original tenants as I recall. His message quoted here, quoting NetLetter #1383:

Hi Ken,

Just read the above which states TCA’s move date to PVM as July 3, 1969 which is incorrect. The correct date is July 1962 as stated previously in NetLetter #1383 dated Jan. 31, 2018. I joined in January' 64 in PVM.

“On July 3, 1962, in Montreal, TCA/Air Canada moved its headquarters from the Aviation Building across the street to the newly opened Place Ville Marie aka PVM. It not only became Montreal's tallest structure at the time, but also heralded, with its underground complex, an entirely new era of modern urban living, to be copied throughout the world."

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Flight Lines: Assorted Lies, Recollections and War Stories

flight linesCaptain A. Kent Smerdon, a retired Air Canada B-767-300 Captain in 2010 after 31 years of service.

'Flight Lines' is an easy to read collection of exciting flying stories, technical asides, tragic losses, funny cockpit happenings, humour and commentary.

The book is studded with personal touches, high drama, interesting aviation trivia and thundering humour. Flight Lines is neither an autobiography nor a book just for pilots.

It is filled with many personal yarns plus contributions from his late father Allan, a WWII RCAF instructor and Mosquito pilot and from many friends, pilot colleagues and other keen contributors to the book. You can purchase your copy of Kent Smerdon's 'Flight Lines' at most online book retailers.


tmb cargojetAmazon and Cargojet — betting on a surge in Canada’s lagging online-shopping growth rate—are teaming up in a deal that will see the e-commerce company commit to a certain level of business for the right to acquire shares in the Canadian cargo specialist.

(Source: August 23, 2019)


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips

Terry BakerTerry Baker, co-founder of the NetLetter scours the internet for aviation related Trivia and Travel Tips for you, our readers, to peruse.

Airport blues.

Being stuck at an airport due to a delayed flight is never much fun, unless someone in the crowd has a musical instrument. At the International airport in Toronto (YYZ), two musicians pulled out an accordion and a guitar and entertained travellers waiting for the delayed flight to Newfoundland.

The two musicians, Newfoundlanders Sheldon Thornhill and Sean Sullivan claim it was a spontaneous performance more akin to a kitchen party than a concert.

Nevertheless, onlookers waited for their flight with smiles rather than frowns.

(Source: "Coffee News" year 24 issue 24 August 5, 2019)

Further info and video at

tmb 550 yyz delay

Terry Baker, Alan Rust, Wayne Albertson

Terry Baker |the late Alan Rust | Wayne Albertson
NetLetter Staff - 2016
(you can read our bios at

We wish to thank Ken Pickford and Bob Sheppard
for contributing their time to proofread each edition.

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