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NetLetter #1452 | December 28, 2020
The NetLetter
Christmas Caricature

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

tmb seasons greetings

Dear Subscribers,

We frequently receive your kind messages thanking us for the work we do compiling and sending out The NetLetter.

Although 2020 has been difficult year for everyone, sharing the memories of the remarkable people of aviation has never been so much of a pleasure. For us, it has been a very welcome means to remain productive and involved in a rewarding activity.

Our goal has always been to remain positive and hopeful for the future as we celebrate the past. We miss our dear friends and colleagues who have passed on but we are grateful for the memories left to us.

We are adding new subscribers almost daily and we appreciate your interest. Welcome!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Please take care and stay safe,

Terry, Wayne, Ken & Bob

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We always welcome feedback about Air Canada (including Jazz and Rouge) from our subscribers who wish to share current events, memories and photographs.

Particularly if you have stories to share from one of the legacy airlines: Canadian Airlines, CP Air, Pacific Western, Eastern Provincial, Wardair, Nordair, Transair, Air BC, Time Air, Quebecair, Calm Air, NWT Air, Air Alliance, Air Nova, Air Ontario, Air Georgian, First Air/Canadian North and all other Canadian based airlines that once graced the Canadian skies.

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We will try to post your comments in the next issue but, if not, we will publish it as soon as we can.



Coming Events

t mb rcaf snowbirdsThe Canadian Forces Snowbirds have released their tentative schedule for the 2021 show season and are set to return to British Columbia for their annual spring training along with a handful of shows.

Dates include four B.C. shows, including Boundary Bay on July 17, White Rock on July 18, Terrace on July 21 and Abbotsford on August  6 to 8.

The 2021 season will celebrate the team’s 50th anniversary.

To see the full schedule and more information:

Visit them on Facebook or

Source: Vernon Morning Star

Readers Photos

Submitted Photos

Submitted by Bob Hanna -

Hi NetLetter folks,

Attached are a couple of pictures you might find useful. These were taken on July 22, 1956; I came across them when scanning some old slides I had.

Picture #1 is a view of Malton airport with a DC-3, a North Star, and the tail of a Super Connie in the background.

Picture #2 is a picture of the hole burnt into the cowling of the North Star that occurred with a cracked cylinder head. This happened enroute from YYZ to YWG. According to my trip diary we landed routinely on 3 engines in YWG, transferred to another North Star in YWG and carried on to YVR without any further delay.

Note in the diary also showed leaving SNN on Super Connie at 23:50/21 July -  arriving YUL at 07:10/22 July - leaving YUL at 11:10, one hour late, on North Star arriving YYZ at 12:10 and then a three hour delay in YYZ due to engine trouble.

Departed YYZ at 15:00 and arrived  YWG at 19:10 - departed YWG at 20:00 - stopped YQR at 21:30 - stopped YYC at 23:30 and finally arrived YVR at 01:15/23 July. 


Bob Hanna, CP Air 1963-1998

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Remember When

  Remember When

This, a second in a series, appeared in the "Horizons" magazine, issue dated March 1996.

Life as A Con by Annette Malvar.

The Alps have always held a special allure for me. Who knows why? They have nothing on our own Rockies — I've just always wanted to go.

So, after my first whole year with the big AC, seven Res agents and I thought it would be neat to ski in Austria for five days. Since I knew of the perfect spot, yours truly was designated the official planner. I got us the cars from Hertz (great weekly rates) found us the perfect "Heidi House'" pension, knew which restaurants would accept hungry Canadians and which mountains to ski at what time of the day.

In all humility, I had planned the perfect ski vacation. That was before the return trip home at which point things started to unravel faster than an Alberto Tomba ski run.

In my defense there were 30 open seats on AC 879 from Zurich on that fateful day. Who would have guessed "WEIGHT AND BALANCE" would become significant words. Ever heard the term before? To this day, I'm still not sure of its complete technical meaning, except for "you ain't going anywhere".

What to do? Next AC flight from ZRH to Canada only in three days, and we had a slight logistical problem (called work) the next day. There were no more flights with any airline from Europe to North America that day.

Fortunately the AC flight from Frankfurt (FRA) the next day had plenty of space (L-1011, what a life saver), so we ran to the AC counter and purchased eight ID90's from ZRH to FRA, then ran to Lufthansa and made the flight to FRA with one minute to spare. Upon arrival in FRA, we phoned around for a hotel deal which we promptly found at the Steigenberger Hotel for a measly CAD $170 per room.

Next problem - only one of us had any room left on their credit card and only enough to cover ONE double room. Solution - six of us snuck into the room only to realize that two beds in Europe means two single beds, not double.

Here's a free tip for the frugal amongst you: should you ever stuff eight people into a double room, don't call room service for six extra towels sets as it tends to make people suspicious. Oh yes, my last piece of advice, after you've taken the mattresses off the box springs (that's four beds now), please replace them in the morning.

In case anybody is wondering, we all made the flight from Frankfurt to Toronto the next day.

After reading Norm Foster's account in NetLetter #1451 of the worst PR flight, it brought to mind a similar story.

I can't remember the dates but I was a newly minted Flight Dispatcher in 1988 and it occurred shortly after that. The "horn" was now operated by DC-9 equipment and if I recall the routing was YUL-YVO-YUY-YUL.

Because of high fuel costs up north we always carried enough fuel from YUL to cover the entire trip. The winter weather and runway conditions up north were not ideal but certainly worthy of an attempt. Well, on one occasion, things did go sour and the flight missed both YVO and YUY, and, by the time the aircraft returned to YUL, the weather had deteriorated there as well and precluded a landing.

Bottom line is the aircraft ended up in Burlington, Vermont. So these poor passengers in the back ended up with probably a 4 hour plane ride and didn't even end up where they started.

Eventually the weather cleared up in YUL and the flight terminated back at origin. What a night!!

Don Stewart

Retired Flight Dispatcher


Women in Aviation

Eileen Vollick is the first Canadian woman to earn her pilot's license.

tmb eileen vollickEileen Vollick worked at the Hamilton Cotton Co. as a textile analyst and assistant designer. Both from her bedroom window and on her way to work each morning, she watched takeoffs and landings at Jack V. Elliot’s Air Service and longed for the opportunity to learn to fly.

Vollick applied for government permission to learn to fly commercially and was granted permission to take flying lessons when she turned 19. While waiting for her 19th birthday, Eileen became the first Canadian woman to parachute into water.

She walked the wings of a Curtiss JN-4 (often called a "Jenny") and parachuted 2,800 feet into Hamilton Bay, which has since been renamed Burlington Bay.

When her 19th birthday arrived, Vollick officially became a student at Jack V. Elliot's Flying School at Ghents Crossing overlooking Hamilton Bay.

Despite doubts, she was determined to earn her license. She took 6 a.m. lessons before going to work at 8:30 a.m. Pilot Leonard Tripp served as her instructor and also taught her aviation mechanics. Since Vollick weighed a mere 89 pounds and was only 5 feet 1 inch tall, she used pillows to prop herself up to see out of the cockpit of the Curtiss JN-4.

On March 13, 1928, Vollick received time off from her job at the Hamilton Cotton Co. in order to take her federal aviation test. She demonstrated her knowledge of take-offs and landings on the frozen bay. In order to pass the test, the applicant had to make four landings from 1,500 feet and land within 150 feet of a designated point on the ground.

An additional landing had to be executed with the motor off and the pilot had to land within 5,000 feet of a designated point. Other requirements of the test included performing five figure-eight turns between two designated points and completing a 175-mile cross-country trip.

Vollick successfully passed the test along with 10 other male cadets of the Elliot Flying School. Eileen Vollick was issued Private Pilot Certificate No. 77 on March 22, 1928.


AC News

Air Canada News

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Vancouver Customer Service Agent (and YVR ACRA President), Tiffany Smitz is inviting YVR employees (and visitors) to :

"Come check out our 'plane' at the International Terminal Building check in area by the fragile belt, to take some fun photos to submit. Include names and any well wishes to retiring CEO, Calin Rovinescu. Let's show him our YVR spirit and congratulate him!"

Tiffany had the plane constructed for use at ACRA events. Let's hope it gets plenty of use very soon.

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Air Canada Welcomes Hawaii's Science-Based Initiative Eliminating Quarantine for Canadians Going to Hawaii

Air Canada today welcomed Hawaii's announcement that Canadians are now eligible to be exempt from the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in the Hawaiian Islands via a pre-travel testing process.

Non-stop flights from Vancouver-Hawaii resumed on December 17 and Calgary-Maui resumed on December 18.

Source: Air Canada Mediaroom

click here redfor the latest posts at the Air Canada Mediaroom.

you tube linkClick the logo to open the Air Canada YouTube channel. 

Star Alliance News

Star Alliance News

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, has completed development of an interoperable biometric identity and identification platform that will significantly improve the travel experience for frequent flyer program customers of Star Alliance member airlines.

The Star Alliance Biometrics platform advances the vision of Star Alliance member airlines of delivering a seamless customer journey, while strengthening loyalty value proposition within its travel ecosystem.

Lufthansa Group (LHG) airlines, Lufthansa (a founding member of Star Alliance) and SWISS will be the first to use Star Alliance Biometrics for selected flights starting in November. Specific infrastructure is being installed at hub airports Frankfurt and Munich, reaping operational benefits at both locations.



TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery
  • 1995
    • December 20 - Inaugural service between Vancouver and Hong Kong with B-747 equipment.
    • December-21 - Inaugural service between Vancouver and Frankfurt via Calgary.

Pionairs Email Logo 200x83Gerald White – Pionairs Director UK/EC sends this update -

Hello All,

Since the COVID-19 Global problem started in March the use of ZOOM has spread around the World. Not just for business purposes but for family and friends to stay in touch.

The UK/EC Committee have used it several times successfully, and in October the National Committee used ZOOM to hold their Annual Meeting that should have taken place in Winnipeg, again successfully (24 people took part and it lasted for just over 5 hours - with several breaks!).

I discussed with our Committee the possibility of using ZOOM for our members to "meet". We signed up to the professional version which enables up to 100 people to participate and each meeting to last longer than 1 hour.

Our District is unique in that it covers many time zones and several continents which could cause problems. To start with I'll set up our first meeting linked to GMT to see how many people will participate. Ideally it would be for Members in the UK, but could be joined by others in different time zones.

Gerald White - Director UK/EC

Pionairs LHR district organized the first ZOOM virtual meeting of members on December 11, 2020. Some 17 retirees joined in from various locations in England, including one from Canada, making it truly international.

Greetings and general chat were exchanged with the session lasting approximately 2 hours. In future sessions, Pionairs from other areas of the UK and EC district will be invited.

Any retiree who worked in the UK but now lives outside the UK/EC district would be welcome to join.

pdf download50x47Pionairs YVR district created this excellent concise guide to getting started with ZOOM. Click the icon to view/download the guide. Thanks YVR! 

The Flight before Christmas.

Below left is the front cover of the enRoute magazine December 2016 issue.

Inside the issue was this photo on the right on page 226.

Flight attendants Betty Wilson (left) and Vicky Stewart arrive with Santa Claus on a Douglas DC-3 airliner at Malton Airport (now known as Toronto Pearson International Airport). They carry gifts for the annual Trans-Canada Air Lines Christmas party for employees and their families, held at offices across the country.


tmb enroute dec 2016 front tmb enroute dec 2016 christmas

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Found in "Horizons" magazine
Issue dated February 1996.

Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Certified Station Agent II, Claude Bourque, receives congratulatory wishes from his fellow workers on his 30th anniversary.

Front row, left to right: Michel Gauthier, George Morrow, Claude Bourque, Marcel Guilbert, Manager, Customer Service - New Brunswick; Bob Lewis and Joel Ritcey.

Back row left to right: John Stewart, Merl McAndrew, Mark Stevenson, Jim Barriault and Harvey Muttart.

 tmb 550 fredericton staff

Inaugural Flight to Hong Kong.

The celebration was an absolute success," says Elaine Lee, Customer Service Assistant/interpreter who coordinated Vancouver's inaugural activities for Air Canada's long-awaited service to Hong Kong.

On December 20, 1995, flight AC837 left Vancouver International Airport at 13:00 amid a fanfare of joyous celebrations. A number of employees wore the formal "Cheongsam" for the occasion while the departure area was festooned with banners, balloons and Chinese lanterns.

Following Chinese customs, dancers performed the Lion Dance around Air Canada check-in counters accompanied by the "God of Prosperity" in full traditional dress. Even Vancouver's Dragon Boat Team, the "Dragon Flys", were on hand to see the historic event. "It's about time we flew to Hong Kong," says Joe Tassoni, In-Charge on the maiden voyage.

The carrier's name, emblazoned in six-foot high Chinese characters across both sides of the Boeing 747-400's fuselage, translates as "Maple Leaf Airlines".

Some of the Air Canada volunteers who assisted in the inaugural activities in Vancouver were:

Lisa Wong, Customer Sales & Service Agent; Frances Wong, Customer Sales & Service Agent; Tessa Liu, Flight Attendant; Kim Tye, Asian Interpreter for AC at YVR, the "God of Prosperity"; Dorothy Stauffer, Flight Attendant; Susan Hudec, Customer Sales & Service Agent and Christine Trickett, Employee Records Coordinator.

Photo by Yuki Kayo.

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Waiting in Hong Kong were:

Robert Milton, Senior Vice President, Marketing & In-Flight Service, who posed with Hong Kong Sales Office Staff; left to right: Eliza Wong, Mandy Kwan, Cassandra Ko, Debbie Tse,
Anita Leung, Ginnie Chow, Janet Ip, Ivan Tsang and Robert Pinkerton...

tmb 550 hong kong staff
...and the airport staff from left to right: Aaron Ching, Sophia Ling, Sara Ng and Kam Lau.
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LHR employees take to the river for a good cause.

Employees from London Heathrow (LHR) Ramp, Reservations and Sales Departments paddled their Air Canada raft in two races in the summer of 1995 to raise money for several organizations.

Their first race at Guildford saw them paddling 1-1/2 miles down the river Wey for a 12th place finish out of 33 entries. The team managed to raise GBP 456.37 for the Guildford Lions Club.

Their second race was held in Marlow on a very cold and rainy day. The team paddled over 1-1/2 miles of the river Thames for a 4th place finish. They raised GBP 233.44 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Air Canada sponsored the team by donating Frisbees, bags, hats and model aircraft, says Raft Race organizer Kim Jones, "but the majority of sponsorship came from the staff at LHR who have hearts of gold. Not only did they sponsor us, but a lot of them gave us their $100 gift allotment so we could order baseball caps and sun visors which helped raise money for various charities".

Air Canada's team of dedicated rafters included Kim Jones, Alan Corth, Alan Reeves, Chris Watson, Steve Cockton, Wayne Hayler, Tracy Haveland, Kim Dalrymple and Caroline Stanley.

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AC's Raptor takes flight.

An Airbus A320 (C-FDSN - Fin #208), painted in a dramatic Raptor design, has been delighting customers and employees since its unveiling during December 1995.

It took Toronto's 23-person paint crew seven days, round-the-clock shifts and some 45 gallons of paint and primer to get the Raptor just right.

After stripping off its last coats of paint to expose the naked fuselage, the crew used detailed drawings developed by Air Canada to ensure the proportion was correct. Air Canada is the official airline of the Toronto Raptors. "The hardest part to get right was the Raptor's teeth and claws on the plane's tail", says Dennis Chislett, Foreman of AC's paint shop.

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Issue dated March 1996.

Staff at London, England moves into Radius Park.

With an eye to cutting costs and an opportunity to boost cargo sales, Air Canada, during 1995, built a new facility at Radius Park, five minutes from Heathrow Airport (LHR) at Hatton Cross.

London's Reservations group may have been the last department to move into the building around Christmas time, but they didn't let the occasion go by without a small party.

In the photo below from left to right are: Sandrine Thabet, Val Everest, Shirley Stephens, Mel Bartlett, Janice Sims and Nancy Sims...

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...and here in the foreground, left to right: Mandy Barrell, Mary Grossman, Jo Choules and Julia Nunn.
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Finally we have, from left to right: Beverly King, Sue Davies, Dawn Bulley, Lucy Nevin-Adley, Caroline Stanley, Rebecca Gough, Lynda Howorth and Liz Hanna.
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Aeroplan Help group at Montreal Res, who were helping the Aeroplan Centre make the transition to One-Stop Shopping by pre-screening calls, got together for this group shot:

Front Row: Doreen Abdo and Hani Choucrallah.

Second Row: Nella Dilela, Helene Polychuck, Kathy Iacovella and Estella Fernandez.

Third Row: Viviane Chakour, Lorenzo Debonis, Norma Rachiele, Francois Liard, Francine Robidoux, Jeanne Duguay, Francine Vachon, Lisa Bourque, Sylvain Messier and Carole Cohen.

Back Row: Bernard Milbers and Marc Constantineau.

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CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CP Air Banner
cpair news x550
Volume 10 - Number 11 - December 1979
tmb 550 cpair xmas

tmb santa elves cpa 1979SANTA AND HIS ELVES decided our new DC-10 was more fun than a sleigh and reindeer so they hitched a ride and joined in the fun at the Toronto Ops Centre where some 2,000 employees and their families enjoyed a tour of the wide-body, lots of edible treats, entertainment and displays.

From the left, Toronto staffers are Marian Burnett, Passenger Agent; Mary Pindham, Reservations; in the whiskers, Frank Chorley, Manager Convention Sales; Debbie Batten and Wendy Baldock, both Reservation agents.

tmb cpa fly australia advtHere we have this early advertisement to fly to Australia on Canadian Pacific.

On November 7, 2020, the Time Air Historical Society posted this information.

tmb time air queen flightInteresting photo from the Time Air jubilee book. Does anybody recall which Dash 7 was used for these flights and why the Dash 7 was selected to fly the Queen around?

Queen Elizabeth II came to Canada in 1987 and Time Air transported her entourage in Western Canada. Shown here are the crew who flew the aircraft for Her Majesty.

Left to right: Howard Still, Moe Martin, Fred Kinniburgh and Doug Prenevost.

More info is available on the Time Air Historical Society Facebook page. 

More info on visits by Her Majesty the Queen to Canada can be found here:

Featured Video

 Featured Video(s)

Our 'Featured Video' is posted on YouTube by Tymithy D.

Watch Santa guide in Fin #938 on Christmas Day 2016.

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

tmb hong kong expressName this airline - answer below.

A jaw-dropping property incentive.

When it comes to luxury homes at the higher end of the market, developers, realtors and homeowners alike have been tempting wealthy buyers with everything from freebie supercars to priceless jewels in an effort to stand out from the competition. Click or scroll on to discover the most jaw-dropping property incentives ever. 


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Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articles

Presidential Jets And Royal Transport

I am quite interested in how various countries deal with transportation for their leaders. Aircraft dedicated for special use are often a status symbol either for the country or their particular leader at the time.

The days of national 'flag carriers', when airlines were frequently owned by the government and the livery included some variation of the nation's flag, are increasingly in the past. Airlines today are mostly private corporations that are profit oriented and promote their own brand.

The people at Simple Flying have published an article and video about some of these special aircraft that I very much enjoyed (links below).

Clearly, Air Force One is the most well known aircraft dedicated to the transport of a world leader. It is very important to the United States that the appearance of these two aircraft (SAM28000 & SAM29000) reflect the strength of the United States.

Uniquely, the Sultan of Brunei is a licensed pilot and often takes the controls on one of the country's fleet of A340's and B-747's himself.

Russia seems to be the most elaborate in terms of security to transport President Vladimir Putin. A fleet of four Ilyushin Il-96's is used with the one actually carrying the President kept secret.

The biggest surprise for me is that, despite being the first country to dedicate an aircraft for its head of state, the United Kingdom is relatively modest in transporting the Royal Family and the Prime Minister. The Royal Air Force's 32nd squadron is responsible for them with an A330 (ZZ336) being the main VIP aircraft but the cabin is kept standard without special office space. When not in use for transporting VIP"s, the aircraft serves as a troop transport and refueling tanker, like the 13 other RAF A330's. In 2020, it received a controversial $1 million paint job in UK colours. I think that it is a very sharp looking aircraft (image below).

What about Canada? We are very much like the UK; an aircraft from the RCAF fleet is used to transport our VIP's. See my article in NetLetter #1338 for more on 'Oh Canada! 01'.

Click Here for the full article from Simple Flying. Click the image below for the accompanying video. 

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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.

Answer for the mystery airline in Odds and Ends.

Hong Kong Express, or just HK Express is a LCC owned by Cathay Pacific Airways and based in Hong Kong. The airline became a founding member of the U-FLY Alliance in 2016.

The full story on the airline's origin can be found here:

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Darrell Wood shared this cartoon on the CP Air Employees Facebook page with the caption -

"The fuel light's on, Frank! We're all going to die! ...Wait, wait.

...Oh my mistake - that's the intercom light."

cpa fuel light cartoon


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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