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NetLetter #1435 | April 11, 2020
The NetLetter

Air Transat A310-300 Registration C-GSAT
Photo by Laurent ERRERA

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.

Please note: We do our best to identify and credit the original source of all content presented. However, should you recognize your material and are not credited; please advise us so that we can correct our oversight.

Our website is located at Please click the links below to visit our NetLetter Archives and for more info about the NetLetter.

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NetLetter News

Dear Subscribers,

tmb self careThere is nothing helpful that we can say concerning the COVID-19 virus but it is impossible not to acknowledge that it is affecting all of our lives.

We wish to thank you for allowing us to share a bit of your time and we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy during this difficult time.

The NetLetter Team

archives x200Back issues of The NetLetter are available in both the original newsletter format and downloadable PDF format.

We invite you to visit our website at to view our archives back to March 2015 when we began sending The NetLetter in the current format

We hope to continue to restore issues previous to March 2015 in PDF format for future posting in the Archive Section.


Coming Events

The 2020 Farnborough International Airshow has been cancelled.

tmb farnborough airfieldThe show was scheduled to take place July 20-24 at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Organizers previously stated that there was a record demand for space at the 2020 event, with work underway to make room for more exhibitors.

Show organizers said "We are determined to continue to work together and will ensure the Farnborough International Airshow returns in 2022 better than ever.”

Approximately 1500 exhibitors from 96 countries were expected to attend the Farnborough International Airshow, which is held every two years. In 2018, the event saw more than 80,000 visitors and $192 billion in business deals were announced.

(Source: AVwebFlash -  March 20, 2020)

Full details at

Readers Photos

Submitted Photos

Diane Loader has sent us this information -

tmb img397I have two pictures that were taken & published by the Winnipeg Free Press in 1968 showing what was then “state of the art” computer systems.

A third picture (below right) of our computer tape library was featured in a data processing magazine.

I was a tape librarian then. You can put them in the NetLetter.

Thank you,

Diane Loader (nee Semenko)

tmb img398 tmb img399

Remember When

  Remember When

Trevor Trowel has sent us this story about Captain Doug Holland - The Way We Were

This little anecdote tells about an incident that probably most people might think of as petty or inconsequential, and that may be true, but I remember the flight and the people on the plane and I’ll tell you about it to let you know the type of people who made the airline into a world class organization.readmore orange160x65


Graeme Shelford sends this memory of his first flight -

As a South African-born Canadian, my first flight is probably a bit different from most people. In 1948 my family had moved from South Africa to Nyasaland (now Malawi).

There were no schools in Nyasaland so I was enrolled in a Southern Rhodesian boarding school. To get there involved driving 85 miles to Chileka airport, flying 200 miles to Salisbury (now Harare), taking an overnight train 270 miles to Umtali (now Mutare), and finally completing the last 10 miles by bus into the Vumba Mountains.

The first time I did this, at the age of 8, I was accompanied by my mother and sister. Although there were three vehicles on the tea estate that we lived on, none would start. The mechanics worked on the most promising one, a Ford V8 Pilot.

It finally roared into life three hours before our flight, with a normal three-hour drive ahead of us on rough roads. We piled in and set off in a cloud of dust on the dirt roads. As we progressed, the car started missing, getting worse with each mile covered. Finally, in the town of Limbe, it was down to a couple of cylinders, so my mother pulled up at a taxi stand and we piled all our luggage and ourselves into the taxi.

My mother told the driver there was a huge bonus in it for him if he got us to the airport in time. This switch to a taxi probably saved our lives as he was aware of a washed-out bridge just after a blind corner, and my mother, driving fast to make up lost time, could have sloughed right into the abyss.

As we had lost quite a bit of time over the car trouble, my mother had called ahead from Limbe to warn the airline (CAA, Central African Airways) that we were running late. In those days you paid for a seat you had booked, whether you occupied it or not, and fares were not cheap, so we really needed to make it.

We did, they had held back the flight for 45 minutes for us, but it was not on a Vickers Viking as expected. They explained that the recent rains had left the landing field too soft for a Viking, so we were on a DeHavilland Dragon Rapide biplane instead. The flight would take over two hours instead of the 1 hour and 45 minutes scheduled on the Viking.

The flight was extremely rough, flying at about 5,000 feet over the African bush, and I was violently airsick. As we approached a scheduled stop at Tete in Mozambique, the pilot turned around and asked the passengers (all four of us, my family plus one other) if any of us wanted to stop at Tete. To my relief, the answer was no, so we continued to Salisbury, non-stop.

Apparently missing a scheduled stop was no big deal in those days. But delaying the flight for us made the front page as news in the Central African Times, the first time my name appeared in a news story and something I was able to show off with pride to my schoolmates.

Graeme Shelford

Ken Collie sends us this memory which he called Churchill Duties -

tmb transair ys11Transair closed the Churchill maintenance in about 1972 but still had regular flights in and out of Churchill Airport (YYQ) using the NAMC YS-11.

No one would volunteer to be based there, so the compromise was that 6 of us would rotate for one week at a time. Half of these managed to be on holidays or sick or visiting their mother-in-law on their assigned rotation so three of us did most of the work.

On one occasion, my wife drove me to the airport to catch my flight to Churchill. My three year old son rode along with us. As I made my way to the departure lounge my wife and son made their way back to the car. Shayne was not happy and the entire airport knew that he wanted to go with Daddy.

One of the pilots we knew asked my wife what the problem was. On learning the reason for the outburst he asked if it would be 'OK' for him to escort Shayne to Churchill on Wednesday to stay with me there till my return on Friday. Security was quite lax in those remote locations and I could take Shayne to work with me and all would be fine. She phoned me and advised me of the plans. I was OK with it and so 'Captain A.' (I believe the 'A’ is Anderson, I do not remember his first name) delivered the young boy to me.

He enjoyed watching the action on the ramp from the windows that afternoon and we had a great time at the hotel. The hotel manager even made a supper of baked Arctic Char for the occasion.

Thursday I managed to find safety ear muffs small enough for his head and he accompanied me on the ramp as I serviced and dispatched the flights. Like I said, security was lax!!

He rode beside me on the tug as I positioned the power unit at the plane’s left side with the cord extended to its limit. Shayne was instructed to stay on the tug while I dispatched the plane. I signaled ‘power is on’,  Captain A. acknowledged, I signaled ‘start #2', they did. I signaled ‘start #1'. They did. I signaled ‘can I remove power?’ I got a thumbs up and pulled the cord, then I pulled the tug forward to a safe distance.

I stepped down and signaled ‘thumbs up’ giving the clearance to taxi out. That is when both Captain A. and his Co-pilot “lost it”, they both burst out laughing and gesticulated, pointing at me or behind me. I looked back and saw nothing. So with a wave, I drove away and back to the hangar to await their return in a couple hours.

When they returned they both rushed over as soon as they could, Captain A. picked Shayne up and declared; “You are definitely going to be an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (A.M.E.).

Then they laughingly explained that as I was dispatching them, Shayne stood on the seat of the tug mimicking every move I made accurately, till the “all clear” thumbs up signal, at which time he studied my signal and looked at his hand, experimented with a couple options then very seriously raised his middle finger as high as he could get it. That’s when they lost it!

And yes, Shayne is now an A.M.E. and with Air Canada.

This photo is of the YS-11, but not in Churchill.

Ken Collie


Women in Aviation

Shirlee Schecter sends us this information-

Edmonton’s rich aviation history saw another first Thursday March 5, 2020, with the arrival of a seemingly ordinary Air Canada flight from Toronto. As the Boeing 787 Dreamliner eased its way to the ramp, keen observers may have noticed the ground crew tending to the aircraft were all women.

When the air crew deplaned, every one of them were also female. The arrival of air traffic controllers visiting the passenger gate signaled something truly unusual, as three women from the control tower helped guide the historic flight safely to Edmonton International Airport.

It was the first such journey crewed entirely by women. 

First Officer Stacie Kamin was beaming as she soaked in the event. Flying one of the most advanced passenger aircraft in the world is a dream job for her, one that she knows younger women can now aspire to as well.

With over 200 female pilots now flying with Air Canada in various aircraft, Captain Jean Nash appreciates the gains made since she began work on the flight deck 35 years ago. She’s encouraging anyone with skills and passion to take to the skies.


tmb 550 all female crew

AC News

Air Canada News

Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation are working with Canadian food rescue organization Second Harvest’s to redistribute fresh food items from our in-flight kitchens as we begin suspending the majority of our international and U.S. transborder flights as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.


Horizons on a break.

To help ease COVID’s impact on our business, we have suspended the publication of April Horizons and subsequent issues until further notice. We encourage you to stay informed of latest news and updates through The Daily through acaeronet.

(Source: AC Daily April 2, 2020)

tmb 1990 first a320Air Canada's first A320 arrived back in January 1990 to a lot of fanfare and ceremony but is quietly retiring to Marana Pinal Airpark (MZJ) in Arizona. 

C-FDQQ made its last commercial flight (AC426 YYZ-YUL) on March 31 and was ferried to MZJ on April 6. 

As mentioned in Wayne's Wings article in NetLetter #1324, the A320 was had been the subject of much controversy but, after thirty years of workhorse service, it certainly has proven its worth. 

Still don't know whatever happened to those earmuffs; it won't be needing them in the desert!


Additional reference:


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

Continuing the Time Travel: 75 Years in Events. Started in NetLetter #1419

1963 - TCA became the world’s first major airline with an all-turbine fleet when it retired its last piston-engine aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, in 1963.

With the purchase of the exciting DC-8 aircraft, TCA's first jet, TCA – which became Air Canada in 1965 – revolutionized the Canadian airline industry and cut flying time in half.


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tmb 550 horizons classic

Issue dated September 1989.

Bombay staff don fancy duds.

tmb bombay staffBombay's ACRA hosted a fancy dress competition and both employees and their kids decked themselves out in colourful and imaginative costumes.

Top prizes went to Arren Bowen in the toddlers category and Dinaz Keshwala in the adults group.

In the photo are, back row (left to right): Melissa Iyer, Dinaz Keshwala, Pankaj Dawda, Firoza Batliwala, Elaine Desouza, Gulrukh Mehta and Ashwani Malhotra.

In the front row are (same order): Arren Bowen, Kaizad Bharucha, Tushna Bharucha and Kyan Bharucha.

Duke hangs up his tools.

tmb duke yegWhen Edmonton Lead Mechanic E.L. (Duke) Knopp retired he was the guest of honour at a farewell party held by Flight Support Equipment Maintenance staff. Duke is seen here seated between Sherry Stark and Karen Kipling.

Standing from left to right are: Lyle Sorenson. Nestor Malowany, Hans Brower, Bob Kozack, Don Harbarenko, Myles Adams, Denver Lauridson, Jack Ewing, Roger Simpson and John Rempel.

Issue dated October 1989.

New pilots join the ranks.

Graduates of Air Canada Course 89-3 and 4, an initial pilots course are seen here with Instructors Pierre Forget and Denise Egglestone after successful completion of the 18-day training session held in Montreal.

Our photo for Course 89-3 we have:

Back row (left to right): Pierre Forget (Instructor), Bruce White, Guy Trudeau, Dahl Manthorpe, Ken Jones, Sylvain Martin, Suzanne Henderson, Phil Korman, Glenn Marquis, Ron Platt, Randy Putnam, Alain Hild and Denise Egglestone (Instructor).

Front row (same order): Grant Corriveau, Yvan Robichaud, Al Graham, Doug Totten, Lyle Folkmann, Bruce Klassen and Joe Persoja.

tmb 550 new pilots 2

In our photo for Course 89-4 we have in the back row (left to right): Pierre Forget (Instructor), Manjeet Thind, Christian Comeau, Mike McKay, Phillipe Bleau, Rick Roberts, Elaine Bradbury, Doug Black, Mario Guillemette, Pat Vaughan, John Baron and Denise Egglestone (Instructor).

Front row (same order): Jeff Sparkes, Daniel Bouchard, Glenn Swetlishnoff, Jeff Crawford, Doug Cochrane and Claude Saint-Martin.

tmb 550 new pilots 1

Demolition day for London crew.

tmb demolition day lhrOver the past three and a half years our customer service staff at London Heathrow's (LHR) Terminal 3 have worked in the midst of a noisy and dusty construction zone, as Heathrow Airport Ltd.'s (HAL) multi-million pound modernization program took shape around them.

As Air Canada was one of the last airlines to move, the leaky ceiling, icy winter winds and cramped facilities made for anything but pleasant working conditions, and passengers, often forced to queue beside cranes outside the terminal, were not spared their share of frustration and inconvenience.

Even the mice, in desperation, joined the agents in their lounge. Finally, on August 21, 1989 Heathrow staff were able to vent their pent-up frustrations in a bang-up fashion.

Decked out in jeans and T-shirts and waving hard hats, our demolition squad in Heathrow's (LHR) Terminal Three celebrate the destruction of their old check-in desks.

tmb demolition day lhrFor the grand opening of the new check-in area, staff celebrated a "new look for Air Canada".

In the front row are (left to right): Anne Thompson, Sue Heath, Sharon Chandler and Judy Greenwood.

And standing behind them are: Brian Flanagan, Caroline Stanley, Nicki Perrier-Flint, Adele Wills (behind Nicki) and Heera Pankhania..

Issue dated November 1989.

First Airbus team ready to fly.

Meet the first Air Canada Flight Attendants qualified to work on the Airbus A320. The 16 graduates underwent an intensive two-week training session in Montreal and Toronto and more than 4,500 cabin and support staff would be trained in the coming months.

In the photo are standing (left to right): Robert Daousl, John Amoor, Bonnie Simpson, Susan Harris, Chris Aveline, Bruno Ciaramicoli and Ray Farkas.

And seated (same order) are: Chantal Viau, Angela Godin, Carroll O'Connell, Janice Baptiste, Connie Pfeiffer and Andrea Morgan.

Missing from the photo is Ardyth Cleveland.

tmb 749 first airbus team

Issue March 1990.

A320 makes its Canadian debut.

The first of our Airbus A320's - fin 201- has been the centre of attention since it arrived in Montreal on January 27, 1990. The plane visited Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver, where viewing sessions were organized for journalists, civil dignitaries, employees, retirees and their families.

At the Official launch of the A320 in Montreal, Bruce Aubin, Senior Vice President, Technical Operations presented a number of Maintenance employees with a special plaque in recognition of their contribution to the introduction ot the Airbus into the Air Canada fleet. The A320 team stands in front of fin 201 with Bruce Aubin.

They are, from left o right: Mike Treacy and Pierre Jean (Winnipeg); Nelson Fraser, (Ottawa); Doug Platt and Tom Lumb (Toronto); Dennis Dreger (Montreal); Karl Krupka (Toronto); Ernest Kesseler (Montreal); Sam Batthish (Toronto); Michel L'Ecuyer, Bruce Aubin, Gerry Richardson, Rick Palmer, Brian Dobson, Cosmo Colozzo, Roger Chaput, Richard Cadieux and Dave Brooks (Montreal).

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What is a 'Pionair'?

A Pionair is any individual retired from any of the legacy airlines that are now a part of Air Canada regardless of years of service, position held, contract or non-contract, management or non-management and shall include wives or husbands, widows or widowers.

There is no distinction or position level maintained, all are equal members with the objective to maintain and continue close friendships and associations and develop goodwill to Air Canada to assist the company with the promotion and selling of its services and interests in whatever viable manner may be appropriate.

If you are not a member, why not check out their web site

Air Canada marked 40 years of service to Tampa International Airport on April 2, 1990.

In 1950, the airline, then called Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), was the third commercial carrier and the first foreign airline to operate into Tampa.

Air Canada has come a long way from the approximately 6,300 passengers it carried on its 40-seat North Star aircraft on the route.

Below, crowds gather at Tampa/ St. Petersburg Airport to greet the arrival of the first TCA flight from Canada on April 21, 1950. 

 tmb 550 tampa celebrates


CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CP Air Banner
1987 - October 29 - Service between Vancouver and Bangkok, Thailand commenced.

tmb commercial airways timetable 1435Here we have a copy of the timetable issued by Commercial Airways Limited on November 27, 1929,

Commercial Airways Limited of Edmonton was one of several pioneering operators to bring air mail delivery to remote areas in the Northwest Territories.

On December 30, 1929, it delivered the first official air mail to reach Aklavik, Three aircraft were used in the project between Edmonton and Fort McMurray, and two, flown by W. R. “Wop” May and Glyn Roberts, completed the haul from McMurray to the various stopover points between McMurray and Aklavik, which consisted of thirteen altogether.

For more info check the link below:

A gallery of commemorative stamps below:

tmb info canadian

Issue dated June 1987.

Three Beluga whales were shipped on a 3 1/2-hour B-737 combi  charter flight August 1, 1987 from Churchill, Manitoba. to New York.

They went to the U.S. National Aquarium in Baltimore, a distribution point for the whales, and they were accompanied by 12 handlers, vets, aquarium and a film crew. Five whales made a similar trip during 1985.

Featured Video

 Featured Video(s)

Our featured video comes from one of our favourite 'YouTubers', Alex Praglowski, who booked a trip on an Air Transat A310 before the fleet was retired in March.

The aircraft that Alex flew on (C-GSAT) is pictured in the header for this issue. It also appears to have been the aircraft that was used on the last A310 flight from Porto, Portugal to Toronto on March 30, 2020.


More info in Wayne's Wings below.

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

World's longest flight.tmb air tahiti nui

On March 14, 2020, French airline Air Tahiti Nui flew the longest ever scheduled passenger flight by distance - transiting 9,765 miles across the world from Papeete, in Tahiti, French Polynesia, to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

This one-off milestone was a direct consequence of the coronavirus-induced US travel restrictions.

This route usually involves a scheduled stopover at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But when an airplane stops over in the US, all passengers must alight the aircraft and proceed through US Customs and Border Protection before they're allowed to advance on with the next leg of their journey. 

Current restrictions rendered this part of the journey untenable, so instead, flight TN064 just carried straight on, departing at 3 a.m. local time from Papeete airport and arriving in Paris at 6:30 a.m. local time on March 15, 2020.


Another abandoned airport –

Berlin Tempelhof Airport (German: Flughafen Berlin-Tempelhof) (IATA: THF, ICAO: EDDI) was one of the first airports in Berlin, Germany.

Situated in the south-central Berlin borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, the airport ceased operating in 2008 amid controversy, leaving Tegel and Schönefeld as the two main airports serving the city, with the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport still under construction as of 2019.

Tempelhof was designated as an airport by the Reich Ministry of Transport on 8 October 1923. The old terminal was originally constructed in 1927. In anticipation of increasing air traffic, the Nazi government began a massive reconstruction in the mid-1930's.

While it was occasionally cited as the world's oldest operating commercial airport, the title was disputed by several other airports, and is no longer an issue since its closure.


tmb 550 berlin airport

'Miss Piggy' - Manitoba, Canada.

tmb miss piggyFar away on the frigid shores of Hudson Bay in Canada's northern Manitoba province lies the town of Churchill, renowned as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World."

It is here, just outside the bounds of the local airport in this incredibly remote corner of North America, that this Curtiss C-46 aircraft came to rest one morning in November 1979.

As the plane took off, one of its two engines had a mechanical failure, causing the plane to crash-land, adding its wreck to the tundra's landscape.

Thankfully, though three of the crew members were injured in the incident, everyone managed to walk away.

Since then, the plane has become an attraction of its own, lovingly dubbed "Miss Piggy."

(Source: Microsoft News, November 6. 2019 and Instagram)

Also see at the Manitoba Historical Society website

Nok Air.

tmb nok airLow-cost Thai airline Nok Air has a variety of bird liveries, which plays on the traditional joke, "Is it a bird or a plane?"

{Source: MRO Digest, January 6, 2020)

Court blocks third Heathrow runway.

The UK's court of appeal on February 27 ruled that plans for a third runway at London Heathrow (LHR) do not take into account government commitments relating to climate change.

"We have concluded, in particular, that the designation of the [plans] was unlawful by reason of a failure to take into account the government commitment to the provisions of the Paris Agreement on climate change, concluded in December 2015," the summary of judgement states.

(Source: Flight International Magazine, March 3, 2020)


Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articles

 Air Transat A310 Fleet

I first wrote about the Airbus A310 in NetLetter #1338 on the topic of the five aircraft acquired by the Canadian Armed Forces from the Wardair fleet after the airline was acquired by Canadian Airlines. These aircraft are designated for military transport as well as VIP's such as the Prime Minister and Governor General.

As mentioned in this issue's Featured Video from Alex Praglowski Aviation, Air Transat was the last commercial airline to operate this fleet in Canada. With its last A310 flight on March 30, 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces are the only operator in North America. The aircraft are now designated as Airbus CC-150T Polaris (A310-304).

I decided to research the history and fate of the 14 aircraft operated by Air Transat. As you can see in the table below, 2 of them were among the original 12 delivered to Wardair in 1988. The majority are now stored (or scrapped) at Mirabel, however, 2 still show in active service with Mahan Airlines of Iran.


Reg. Fin # Dlvry Date Original Carrier Dlvry Date Rmvd from Service Current Status
C-GFAT 301 Dec-2000 Emirates Jan-1992 27-Dec-2019 Stored at YMX
C-GLAT 302 Mar-2001 Jul-1992 27-Dec-2019
C-GPAT 303 Mar-2001 Aug-1992 27-Mar-2020
C-GSAT 304 Aug-2001 Feb-1992 30-Mar-2020
C-FDAT 305 Apr-2002 Nove-1992 02-Nov-2016
C-GVAT 321 Dec-2003 Condor Nov-1988 15-Oct-2011
C-GTSI 342 Feb-2004 Lufthansa Nov-1991 1-Nov-2009 Active with Mahan Airlines (Iran)
C-GTSD 341 Apr-2004 Nov-1990 1-Dec-2010
C-GTSH 343 Apr-2004 Feb-1992 14-Jan-2020 Stored at YMX
C-GTSY 344 Nov-2004 Wardair Canada Mar-1988 26-Mar-2020
C-GTSF 345 May-2006 May-1988 17-Oct-2017
C-GTSX 346 Jan-2007 Lufthansa Jan-1990 5-Jul-2013 Scrapped at LDE
C-GTSK 347 Jan-2008 Tap - Air Portugal May-1990 29-Oct-2012 Stored at YMX
C-GTSW 348 Sep-2008 Aug-1988 6-Feb-2020


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.

Airbus A220-300 in Yellowknife for Cold Weather Trials.

Canada has a long tradition in cold-weather aeronautical testing. As early as the winter of 1926-27 a Siskin fighter conducted a host of demanding trials from the RCAF station at High River, Alberta.

Subsequently, the RCAF and National Research Council did much pioneering R&D re cold weather. The pace of all such science was spurred by the war. Postwar, the RCAF's famous Winter Experimental Establishment tested a long list of aircraft in severe weather from such bases as Namao (Edmonton), Fort St. John, Cold Lake and Churchill.

See “Sixty Years: The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924-1984” for a good history of WEE Flight.

See "Aviation in Canada: Evolution of an Air Force" for further coverage in the pre-WWII period.

Yellowknife recently had a rare visitor and another chance to feature itself as a centre for cold weather trials. On January 12, 2020 Airbus A220-300 C-FFDO landed there from Winnipeg to undergo some special testing. That afternoon Yellowknife had a temperature of -45C, so no one could complain about conditions.

“FFDO” sat outside being “cold soaked” (sitting outside with all aircraft power turned off).

tmb a220 300 cf fdoOn taxiing in at Yellowknife, "FFDO' parked beside the Buffalo Airways Lockheed Electra whose captain, Tony Jarvis, took this great photo.

The purpose of the testing was to change the A220’s certified cold weather operations limit from -35C to -40C. On January 14, 2020 “FFDO” — by then thoroughly cold soaked — made a 49-minute local flight. Ground testing continued until January 18, 2020 when it departed for base at Wichita via Calgary and Kansas City.

A220-300 “FFDO” was manufactured in Montreal in March 2016 as Bombardier CSeries CS300. Designated “Flight Test Vehicle 8”, to January 20, 2020 it had logged 77 flights/207.46 flying hours.

Air Canada has introduced the A220 to its fleet, so we’ll soon be enjoying this great new airliner on Air Canada’s North American services.

What a contrast in air transport history, right? (The Electra is C-GZFE, which had begun in 1961 as N138US with Northwest Airlines. There it gave good service into 1971 then flew with operators from Air Florida in the US to Atlantic Airlines in the UK (it had become a freighter in 1977). Finally, in 2013 "GZFE" was acquired by Joe McBryan's legendary Buffalo Airways.

Today it's one of those "lifeline" Arctic freighters delivering groceries and all sorts of other supplies and equipment to the north's many isolated communities and mine sites.

(Reprinted from

aircar 1435Here we have a timetable issued by Air Caravane effective December 22, 1978 for schedule between Lac St. Jean and Montreal. 

(From the collection of David Zekria at

Cargo Only.

American Airlines will start using is grounded passenger aircraft to fly cargo between the U.S. and Europe.

On March 20, 2020 an American Boeing 777-300 departed Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on its first cargo-only load and landed at Frankfurt Airport on March 21.

This will be the first cargo-only flight for the airline since it retired its last Boeing 747 freighter in 1984

(Source: MRO Digest)



Clarence Ash sends us this statement from "Military Words of Wisdom"

"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."


The NetLetter Team
 Wayne Albertson, Ken Pickford & Terry Baker

Wayne Albertson, Ken Pickford & Terry Baker
Richmond, British Columbia - December 2019
(Bob Sheppard was not available for the photograph)

Vesta Stevenson Alan Rust

We wish to honour the memories of
Vesta Stevenson and Alan Rust.
They remain a part of every edition published.

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