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NetLetter #1469 | September 11, 2021
The NetLetter
Air Inuit C-GSPW

Air Inuit C-GSPW
40 year old Boeing 737-200C
Photo by BriYYZ @ Flickr

Dear Reader,

Welcome to The NetLetter, established in 1995 as a dedicated newsletter for Air Canada retirees, we have evolved into the longest running aviation-based newsletter for Air Canada, TCA, CP Air, Canadian Airlines and all other Canadian-based airlines that once graced the skies.

The NetLetter is self funded and is always free to subscribers. It is operated by a group of volunteers and is not affiliated with any airline or associated organizations.

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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new subscriber 200wWe have welcomed 142 new subscribers so far in 2021.

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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: Trans-Canada Air Lines, 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 and all other Canadian based airlines that once graced the Canadian skies.

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Readers Photos

Submitted Photos

Shirlee Schacter sends us this report and photos of a recent Pionair picnic -

Central Ontario Pionairs hosted two picnics for their members as a “kick-off” social social event after this long hiatus. The first picnic was at Centennial Park in Etobicoke on August 5, 2021 and attendees were Pionairs from the Burloak, Brampton and T2 Coffee Groups.

The next picnic, on August 11, 2021 was held at Sunnybrook Park in East/Central Toronto and was enjoyed by Pionair members from the Toronto East End Coffee Group.

District Director, Lesley Huether, awarded an iPad to Earnie Sweet as the lucky prize winner for enrolling new members to the Central Ontario District.

It was a fun day for all and hopefully the start of many more to come!!!

tmb 1 Welcome tmb 2 Lesley Huether Dist Director
Welcome poster District Director, Lesley Huether

tmb 7 choice from the prize table tmb 9 iPad PrizeWinner
Prize table iPad winner, Earnie Sweet

tmb 550 3 Centennial Park Group
Centennial Park - Etobicoke, Ontario

tmb 550 4 Centennial Park dining
Centennial Park picnic

tmb 550 5 Sunnybrook Park Group
Sunnybrook Park - Toronto, Ontario 

tmb 550 8 Relaxing
Relaxing and enjoying the sunshine 

Remember When

  Remember When

ACRA ARAC logo bil 450x71
The short history of Air Canada Recreation Association (ACRA) formerly Trans-Canada Air Lines Recreation Association (TCARA). 

Originally founded in 1941 in Winnipeg, TCARA/ACRA was a company sponsored association supporting social activities for both management and union employees. It was a part of the Awards and Recognition branch and was funded by the company and membership dues.

Unfortunately, company sponsorship ceased during the CCAA restructuring during 2003/04. ACRA groups still exist at individual stations but are now wholly funded by member contributions. 

tmb tcara curlers 1942 1943 champsHere we have the 1942-43 Curling Champions of the TCA Recreation Association. On March 2 they concluded a triumphal march with their successive victory as against no defeats.

From left to right: Charlie Johnson, Rene Baudru (skip), Fred Wood and Bill Harvey.


'ACRA' ...providing leisure and building teamwork.

Below is an excerpt from and article that appeared in 'Horizons' magazine dated November 1997, including comments from a group of ACRA representatives. 

It's after work and the fun is just beginning for thousands of Air Canada employees on any given day of the week across Canada and as far away as Los Angeles and Frankfurt, thanks to the efforts of local chapters of the Air Canada Recreation Association (ACRA).

Close to half of the airline's employees worldwide are ACRA members, who through the association have access to a range of leisure time activities limited only by their own imaginations.

Baseball, bowling, art shows, floor hockey, yoga, darts, photography, tennis and fishing derbies are only a few of the options.

Each of the 22 'ACRA's' in Canada, the U.S. and Europe "does pretty much what it wants and can afford," explains Gail Ellis, who as Coordinator of Employee Services in Montreal is the national contact for the Association.

Most membership fees run between $8 and $15 per year. Additionally, Air Canada provides administrative and financial support to the organization.

Air Canada welcomes the team building value of the 'ACRA's', and acknowledges the importance of the role played by the association in personal development, stating in its general policy that employees with leadership potential find opportunities to gain valuable experience in organizing and running activities and administering the local chapters.

Jim Miller, treasurer of the Toronto ACRA, says the Christmas dance and children's Christmas party are two of the most popular events staged by his chapter, which has about 3,000 members.

There is also a range of sports and cultural activities and organized events such as picnics and Blue Jay days.

In Tampa, ACRA spokesperson Cory Smith says the association promotes fellowship and a sense of community among all Air Canada employees through local events and fund-raising activities.

"We also sponsor employees to attend system sporting and cultural events so they can feel they are of the larger Air Canada family." she explains.

Charlene Jacques of ACRA Winnipeg says her chapter encourages fun and inventiveness and hopes to become a new and more innovative ACRA in the future.

"Winnipeg is a great city and our dedicated and talented employees are genuinely spirited and enthusiastic," she notes. "Our outlook for the future is to have more of a handle on our members' ideas to make events even more successful than they already are."

In Montreal there are picnics and sports as well, but that chapter, with more than 3,700 members, has also invested in its own gym and campground, both of which offer bargain prices to members.

"We charge only what we have to in order to cover costs," says Chapter President Julie Anne Lambert-MacKenzie.

Competition can get hot and heavy at some of the sporting events, especially when teams are vying to go to one of the system events like the tennis tournament in Long Boat Key, Florida, but in most cases the emphasis is on recreation and fun, says Jim Miller.

Membership is an option for any Air Canada employee or retiree. For active employees, dues are paid through a once-a-year payroll deduction.

Below is a list of ACRA stations including their inauguration dates (if available). 

The following also had TCARA at one time - Moncton (1944), Sydney, Nova Scotia (1944), Lethbridge (1944), Gander (1945), Chicago (1973), Pat Bay (North Saanich, British Columbia) (1945), Goose Bay (1950), London, Ontario. (1978).

In 1978 these were 15 locations for ACRA: Winnipeg, Moncton, London, England, Sault Ste. Marie, Halifax, Los Angeles, Quebec City, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Saint John, St. John's Newfoundland.

Sadly today, there are only a handful of districts who now organize local social events.

During a zoom meeting with LHR on August 11, 2021, Sally DeMendonca mentioned that the LHR ACRA would fold by the end of August, 2021, due to lack of interest.

For a personal reminiscence of ACRA, see 'Wayne's Wings' from NL #1440.

tmb pionairsThe spirit of comradery that had always been the basis of ACRA is still present in the Pionairs.

Hopefully, full activities among retirees will resume soon.

Check for up to date information.

patricia lannon150x200We wish to congratulate Patricia 'Deedee' Lannon who is now serving as the 22nd President of the Pionairs.


Women in Aviation

Teenage pilot Zara Rutherford takes off on youngest round-world solo flight attempt.

As part of her circumnavigation, Zara departed her home town of Kortrijk in Belgium on Wednesday August 18, 2021 in the first stage of an epic three-month journey during which she will travel to 52 countries over the next 12 weeks.

The teenage pilot is hoping to carve a name for herself in the history books as the youngest woman to circumnavigate the planet flying solo.

Flying a tiny Shark Aero, the world’s lightest sports plane, Rutherford’s first flight was a short hop across the English Channel to the UK.

She'd originally planned to leave Belgium last week, but delayed the launch to install an improved camera system inside her plane to help her capture better quality footage as she flies around the globe.


Also see for the story and video of Zara's visit to Montreal. 

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Trans-Canada Air Lines uniforms over the years.

Brian Losito, Air Canada corporate photographer, sent us these photos several years ago.

They are uniforms from 1938 through 1968 and we thought you may like to reminisce over them. Here are the earlier photos, more in the next NetLetter.

Editors' Note: Some of the dates supplied may be incorrect, any comment would be appreciated.

The term 'stewardess' is used as it is applicable to the time period.

tmb first uniform 1940First stewardess uniform circa 1940.

tmb uniform 1938 1941Four stewardesses, with Lockheed 14H-2 show off the uniforms issued between 1938-1941.

tmb uniform 1941 1949Service with a smile in the North Star; uniform issued 1941-1949.

tmb eleven at ywg 1942A bevy of 11 stewardesses with a Lockheed 14H-2 at Winnipeg 1942.

tmb north star crew 1947North Star crew in 1947.

tmb uniform 1948 1953 first classDC-8 8 First Class service in the 'salon section', uniform from the early 1960's. 

tmb 1949 uniformSix stewardesses in 1949 Uniform on North Star 'Frobisher' fin #205 CF-TFE.

tmb seven stews unkown dateSeven stewardesses framed by a North Star, date unknown.

AC News

Air Canada News

Air Canada Rouge To Restart Services

Air Canada has re-affirmed its commitment to Air Canada Rouge after the low-cost airline resumed flights on Tuesday. Air Canada Rouge has restarted flights to three destinations, and the parent airline said Air Canada Rouge remained integral to Air Canada’s overall strategy.


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Air Canada Returning To Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Canadian national flag carrier Air Canada says it is returning to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Starting from Wednesday, September 8, 2021, Air Canada will offer five daily flights between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).


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

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


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

We have, with permission from Larry Milberry, some photos and stories of aircraft once operated by Trans-Canada Air Lines. We will present these over several NetLetter issues.

Source: via Larry Milberry @

Excerpt from 'Chasing Airplanes: My 1961 Road Trip

I knocked around Fort William airport for a day, until boarding TCA Flight 53 (Viscount CF-THX) for Winnipeg. Taking off at 2145, we landed 1:50 hours later. Having no options, I slept in the passenger terminal, then was up early to start the day. I had set myself a budget of $2 a day, so needed to be innovative about meals and accommodations. I could get something like a fried egg sandwich, or, wieners and beans plus a drink for about 50 cents. That was about the extent of the “admin” side of my trip.

I noted three TCA DC-3's at Winnipeg on September 4. These still were needed to cover Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) prairie routes to such smaller communities as Brandon and North Battleford. Here are views of CF-TES awaiting its day's work.

Originally RAF FL547 in January 1944, in 1946 "TES" was converted by Canadair for TCA. 

Editors' Note: DC-3P CF-TES fin #391 c/n 11906 purchased by Canadair as one of 225 surplus C47's from the RAF and reworked at the Canadair Conversion Plant and delivered January 17, 1947. Sold to Transair on April 13, 1963 then to Lambair in June 1967. Withdrawn from service 1970.

Source: Air Canada 'A Pocket Guide'.

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tmb 550 cf tes 1

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Found in 'Horizons' magazine

Issue dated March 1998

Present to celebrate the recent inauguration of Aeroplan's Super Elite desk in Montreal were:

Left to right: Steve Beisswanger, Maria Simonette, Christine Dean, Alain Parent, Vivian Sallai, Maria Peinado, Stephen Lussier, Gabriella Bars, Frank Di Lena and Dave Burns.

tmb 550 aeroplan team

These employees from Customer Service in Toronto, in 1998, celebrated an important service anniversary.

Seated, left to right: Dianne Luciani Cuss, Mike Roncetti, Shirley Goveia and Evelyn Costigan.

Middle row: Barry Coak, Lynda Bowles, Arlene Butler, Terry Ramsay, Marilyn Black, Sheilagh Dreyer, Elsa Kiertscher and Luna Boon.

Back row: Larry Beattie, Larry Jolicoeur, Muriel Gleeson, Anna Kennedy, Al Graham, Mary Jo Sorbera, Elsie Ford, Mike Craig, M. M. Hasselmann and Stew Frake.

tmb 550 customer svce yyz

tmb francoise girardFrancoise Girard, Senior Clerk, Paris, received roses on her 25th service anniversary.

She is congratulated by Annie Broquet, Manager, Personnel Services.

The following employees from In-flight Service in Montreal celebrated 25 years of service.

Top row: Raymond Aucoin, Louis Sergent, Roberta McKibbin, Carol Hayes, Vivianne Hainault, Micheline Godue, Jocelyne Desautels and Andrée Gouin.

Middle row: Barbara Jones, Denise Gref, Agnes Ségard, Michele Leroux, Danielle Brault, Patricia Fromont, Marie-Paule Crete and Pierre Dagenais.

Front row: Donna R. Bertie, Elise Amiot, Paulette Cloutier, Patricia Grimaud, Christiane T. Vigneault, Monique Collard and Francine Desautels.

tmb 550 in flt service yyz 25 years

In-flight Service in Toronto celebrated 25 years of service.

Seated, left to right: Ginette Simard, Marcia Finzi, Esther Devos-Netherby, Gay Moore and Brenda Holman.

Second row: Geraldine Marion, Heather Allison, Vivian Robertson, Palma Von Ferst, Joan Larkins and Susan Smith.

Third row: Louise Cadotte, Eve English, Vivian Crosby, Diane MacMillan, Eileen Anderson, Louise Hebert Rooney, Joanne Longmoore, Monika Kratochwill-Diaz, Herbert Langstein and Rene Lanczvoski.

Fourth row: Andre Fournier, Irene Pribble, Evelyn Frake, Vilma Innocente, Carla Baldwin and Ingrid Saaliste.

tmb 550 in flt service yyz 25 years

Fellow workers gather to offer anniversary wishes to Merl McAndrew, Certificated Station Agent in Fredericton, after 35 years of service.

Left to right: Bill Penney, Kit Blois, Michel Gauthier, Don Cairns, Merl McAndrew, Andrew Lint, Marc Belliveau, Mark Stevenson and Joel Ritcey.

tmb 550 merl macandrew fredericton

In-Flight Service employees from Halifax celebrate important anniversaries:

Left to right, front row: Flight Attendants Heather Smiley-Stone (25 years), Kathy Aitken (25 years) and Brenda Willey (25 years).

Back row: In-Charge Brian Murphy (30 years), Sandy Molson, Director, In-Flight Service Bases; Flight Attendant Dale Little (30 years), In-Charge Jill Sutherland (25 years) and Fight Attendant Andrea Cross (25 years).

tmb 550 in flt yhz staff


CP Air, Canadi>n People Gallery

CP Air Banner

Continuing excerpts from Larry Milberry's blog @

Malton's classiest DC-6's were the Canadian Pacific Air Lines (CPA) 'Empresses'. These were almost daily visitors at Malton (YYZ) into 1961, although CPA's 'Britannias' were taking over. Seen on November 28, 1959 is CF-CZV, 'Empress of Suva'.

These long-range beauties ranged far and wide on CPA's routes from Vancouver to Hawaii, Fiji and New Zealand, down to Chile and across to Amsterdam so they wouldn't step on Trans-Canada Air Lines' (TCA) toes back in those deeply regulated Canadian airline days.

Delivered new in August 1957, "CZV' served CPA into late 1961, when it was sold in Sweden. Many global operators followed (Greenland Air included), with the old classic eventually ending in 1998 with the South African Airways Historical Society. In 2010 it was made airworthy for a final flight to a private dirt strip in the Republic of South Africa.

Editors' Note: DC-6B CF-CZV c/n 45329 delivered to CPA August 15, 1957 fin # 444 sold to Trans Air, Sweden November 9, 1961 registered SE-BDG.

Source: CPA History by D.M. Bain

tmb 550 cpa cf czv

The life of two Nordair Super Constellations - CF-NAL and CF-NAM.

  • Delivered to National Airlines October 1957 as N7133C and N7134C.
  • Stored at Miami, FL from mid-1963 until sold to International Aviation Company, N7133C on December 10, 1964 and N7134C on December 18, 1964.
  • N7133C delivered to Nordair December 11, 1964 as CF-NAL, and N7134C as CF-NAM on December 21, 1964 and ferried to Montreal where used as a source of spares in ex-National colour scheme and later restored and entered service with Nordair spring 1966.
  • CF-NAL was leased to Eastern Provincial Airways late 1968 for a brief period.
  • Both to 'Canairelief'  on April 24, 1969, CF-NAM was ferried to Sao Tome June 2, 1969, while CF-NAL went on July 30, 1969, for use on the Biafran Airlift.
  • Stored at Sao Tome for sale from January 1970, but the sale to a Canadian freight charter company fell through in 1974.
  • Canadian registrations were cancelled in February 1980.
  • Both aircraft were abandoned at Sao Tome in derelict condition. Plans were underway in July 2007 to declare both aircraft as national monuments to commemorate the humanitarian airlift based out of Sao Tome during the Biafran conflict.
  • The aircraft forms the centerpiece of an airport restaurant, the aircraft are under cover and incorporated into the Asas D'Avião Restaurante Santola in 2018


tmb 550 cf nal nordair

Former Nordair Super Connies Soldier On as Restaurant Centerpieces in São Tomé – March 4, 2020.

On November 22, 2018, contrary to previous reports, former Nordair Super Connies CF-NAL and CF-NAM had not been scrapped in São Tomé Airport and were part of the Asas D'Avião Restaurante Santola located at the airport.

Riku Helppi visited São Tomé on January 31st and February 6, 2020 and photographed both aircraft, confirming their continued existence.

While the exteriors of both aircraft are in desperate need of some TLC, the restaurant appears to be open for business.


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Posted by Angela Onuora on the Nordair Facebook page on March 25, 2021.

Morning everyone! Has anyone ever heard of or seen a DC-4 aircraft fitted with bomb racks?

In Captain Jack Patterson's unpublished memoir/recollection of the Biafran Airlift, he mentions a mercenary pilot who tormented the relief pilots. This mercenary flew a DC-4 fitted with bomb racks. 

In the image below, Captain Pat Patterson leans out the cockpit window of a 'Canairelief' Super Constellation on Säo Tome. The occasion was the first relief flight into Biafra, January 23, 1969.

The aircraft, CF-NAJ, was previously owned by Nordair.

Via J.S. Patterson.

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Featured Video

 Featured Video(s)

Join Alex Praglowski on his 'Trip Report' aboard this 40-year-old Air Inuit Boeing 737-200C from Montreal to Puvirnituq.

Registration C-GSPW began its career with Pacific Western Airlines in November 1981 and has also flown for Eastern Provincial, Canadian Airlines, Air Canada and Canadian North.

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

More from Larry Milberry's travels @

The Transair ramp also included Canso CF-IEE. The historic type still was an essential freighter and passenger plane, chiefly for serving remote native reserves in northern Manitoba and NW Ontario.

This was 1961, so almost none of these destinations yet had a runway. Lakes and rivers, however, were plentiful for a Canso. "IEE" had begun as a US Navy PBY-5.

Transair imported it in 1953. After many years, it was sold to Austin Airways. While at Sugluk far up Hudson Bay’s east coast one day in 1970, there was an unexpected storm and "IEE" sank and was never recovered.

tmb 550 cf iee transair canso

tmb an 74 tk 200Russia’s Antonov is hoping to reach an agreement with Canadian authorities on development of a extensively-modernised version of the An-74TK-200 airlifter for North American and other international markets. 


The Halifax Project

An interesting story about the recovery of a Halifax bomber which crashed into the Baltic sea off Sweden during WWII.


tmb 550 halifax bomber


Wayne's WingsWayne's Wings

wayne albertson articles

Election charters

As Canada is now in the midst of an election campaign, I decided to look into the aircraft that are now being chartered for the three main parties. 

I don't know if the Bloc Québécois, Green or People's Party have chartered aircraft for their primarily regional campaigns.

I have noticed that, over the years, there has been significant growth in 'branding' the aircraft. I seem to remember that, at one time, usually the only change was a very simple decal identifying either the political party or its leader; as is the case with the NDP lease. However, it seems that  the Liberals and Conservatives can afford full makeover liveries.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives are leasing their A319-100 from Air Canada Jetz, while the New Democrats have leased a 28-year-old Boeing 737-500.

Images and history of the three aircraft below. Aircraft are listed in order of age (youngest first).

It would be great to hear from anyone who has served aboard any leased aircraft during either this or past election campaigns. 

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C-GBIK (fin #282) was delivered to Air Canada in December 1998 and has been in the 'Jetz' fleet since September 2015. Currently leased to the Liberal Party.

Photo courtesy of Brodie Meeres @


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C-GBHN (fin #275) was delivered to Air Canada in January 1998 and has been in the 'Jetz' fleet since September 2013. Currently leased to the Conservative Party.

Photo courtesy of Chenhao Gong @ 

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C-GANJ was delivered to Aer Lingus in February 1993 and was added to the Air North fleet in August 2012. Currently leased to the New Democratic Party. 

Photo courtesy of Gilbert

Additional videos and photo gallery.

you tube linkLiberal Party charter departing Toronto for Vancouver on August 17. Posted by Ernest Gutschik Aviation.

you tube linkConservative Party charter arriving in Hamilton from Ottawa on August 25. Posted by Haseeb Khan Aviation.

twitter iconNew Democratic Party charter photo gallery posted by Tom Podolec Aviation.


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.

Boeing 707 now a restaurant.

Few Palestinians in the occupied West Bank get to board an airplane these days.

The territory has no civilian airport and those who can afford a plane ticket must catch their flights in neighboring Jordan. But just outside the northern city of Nablus, a pair of twins is offering people the next best thing.

Khamis al-Sairafi and brother Ata have converted an old Boeing 707 into a café and restaurant for customers to board.

For years, the jetliner sat along the side of a major highway in the northern West Bank, providing endless fodder for conversation for passersby baffled by its hulking presence.

The 60-year-old identically dressed twins' dream of transforming the airplane into a café and restaurant was born in the late 1990s when Khamis saw the derelict Boeing aircraft near the northern Israeli city of Safed.


An Interline Travel update -

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A couple more announcements attributed to flight attendants on Southwest Airlines -

“No smoking is allowed, not even in the toilets. Don’t be naughty in our potty. If you do there is a $2,000 fine, and if you had that kind of money you’d be flying United instead of Southwest.”

After a plane landed, arrived at the gate and the seatbelt sign went off the Southwest attendant said “All rise.”


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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