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NetLetter #1325 | August 17, 2015
The ACFN NetLetter

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees

DC-8 with Conway Engines

Air Canada DC-8, in YVR

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

The NetLetter was created in 1995 by Vesta Stevenson (RIP) and Terry Baker and is normally published every two weeks (we're late sometimes). If you are interested in Canadian Aviation History, and vintage aviation photos, especially as it relates to Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada then we're sure you'll enjoy this free newsletter. 

Coming Events

Elvis ShowElvis

Video - click here

The Air Canada Pionairs (Quebec District) still have a few seats left for this event. Join them for a trip back in time to the early 70’s and an unforgettable Dinner/Show experience with Elvis at le Capitole Theater in Québec City, August 26th, 2015

Open to non-Pionair Members as well!

Cost is $250 per person


  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - Bus trip from Montreal to Quebec City.
  • Overnight Accommodation at the Chateau Repotel.
  • Dinner
  • Elvis Show
  • Thursday, August 27, 2015 - Continental Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Open afternoon with optional tour.
  • Return trip to Montreal.

CONTACT: Guy Masse - 450-472-2158 OR
Bernard Yansouni - 514-684-6821

For full details please follow this link.


Women in Aviation

tmb alys bryantOn July 31st., 1913, Alys McKey Bryant made Canada's first solo flight by a woman, at a Vancouver racetrack.


Air Canada News

About the Air Canada Foundation.

In celebration of its 75 years of community involvement, Air Canada launched in 2012 the Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth.

The Air Canada Foundation at work in Anahim Lake, BC.

tmb trent leonA newly launched video highlights the Foundation’ support to the Breakfast Club and follows Trent Leon, a young First Nations boy living in Anahim Lake, as he goes about his daily routine – starting off with a nutritious breakfast at school provided by the Club. The video features a surprise trip to Montreal for Trent to meet and spend some time with his idol, famous Montreal Canadiens goalie and Breakfast Club Ambassador Carey Price, who also comes from Anahim Lake.

On January 18, 2015. Trent and his companion were treated like celebrities by AC150 flight crew. Seated in Business Class, they experienced a premium Air Canada flight experience. This photo of the captain presenting a gift to Trent.

(Unfortunately, the captain is not identified - eds)


Wayne's Wings

wayne albertson articlesMcDonnell Douglas DC-8

The DC-8 was a pivotal addition to the Canadian aviation industry in the early years of the “Jet Age”. Developed to compete with the Boeing 707 it was the choice of both Trans-Canada Air Lines and Canadian Pacific Airlines for transcontinental expansion to European and Asian destinations..

The first to enter service for TCA was Fin# 804 (CF-TJD) delivered on February 7, 1960. A total of 43 aircraft flew in TCA and Air Canada liveries. From my research, I believe that Fin# 817 was the first to be sport the “Air Canada Rondel” and carried Queen Elizabeth II back to the U.K. after a Royal tour Canada in 1964.

The first to enter service for CP Air was Fin# 601 (CF-CPF) delivered on February 22, 1961 and proudly named “Empress of Vancouver” after Canada’s gateway to the Asian market. A total of 13 aircraft flew in CP Air livery, however, all of which had been transferred to other operators by the formation of Canadian Airlines International Ltd. in 1987.

My first flight as an AC employee was on a “Stretch” DC-8 and I have always remembered the “Fishtail” effect on take off  when sitting in seats at the rear of these aircraft due to the long, thin fuselage.

tmb ac867Air Canada passenger service on these aircraft ended in 1983 but they continued to be of service in all Cargo configuration right up until 1994. Attached is a YouTube video posted by Ryan Bomar showing Fin# 867 departing LAX in January 1992. This particular aircraft was later leased to DHL Worldwide Express and ASTAR Air Cargo under registration N801DH until retired in May 2012 after 43 years of service and is now basking in the Arizona sun at the Kingman Air Field

Sources: Wikipedia,

Note: We are in the process of building a Historical Fleet area on the ACFamily Network where we will be inviting you to submit photos, stories and information about the DC-8 and the rest of Air Canada's fleet. This will also be expanded to other Canadian Airline aircraft in the future as well.

Trivia Question - does anyone know why the first delivered aircraft was "804" and not "801"?


Reader Submitted Photos

tmb cpa wings 1Cora Thomson sends in these two photos
Here are the pictures I promised which were taken on May 25th., 2015, when the “Empress Wings” gathered at the Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver for our semi annual luncheon.

The “Empress Wings” is a group of former CPA stewardesses, most of us having to take compulsory retirement when we were married. Our group have done a lot of charity work for “Families for Children”.
We had fashion shows and various fund raisers and this is still going on by some of the ex CPA stewardesses that are still flying with Air Canada. We meet twice a year for a luncheon in Vancouver and often there are 25 of us attending. The group was started in 1960!!!

The names on this picture are from left and clockwise: Cora (Bethel) Thomson, Alison (McKay) Smyth, Nancy (O'Brian) Chambers, Roberta Stitt, Gerry (Meyers) Adams, Shirley (White) Laidlaw, Suzanne Green, Dorothy (Meyer) Randall, Katie Hill, and Evelyn (Donnelly) Curran.

tmb cpa wings 2

The second picture: Joan (Scott) Van Stone, Violet (Hubner) May, Barbara Barnes, Dorothy Randall, Yvonne (McGillvary) Wiley, Lorraine (Nichiguchi) Elliott between the Olsen twins.

(I am recalling the names as best I am able and possibly mispelled a couple).

Cora Thomson


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

1939 timetable

1966 - November 1st - Inaugural flight Montreal - Moscow.

1939 - timetable from the private collection of Bjorn Larsson. (Pictured)

1959 - Oct 28th - Viscount service for first time between Toronto and Tampa Florida. This was the first time TCA offered first-class turbo-prop flights on its southern routes.

Extracted from the "Between Ourselves" magazine issue dated November 1959.

tmb long ticketProbably the biggest ticket ever created at the TCA ticket office in North Bay is being displayed by Passenger Agents J.A.Moore, V.M.Mittelstaedt and P.D.Laframboise.

The ticket is made up of 52 coupons and the itinerary covers a circle trip around the United States, with a side trip to Mexico.

(Just one e-mail would do for this ticket today! – eds)

tmb top four at yyzThe four top passenger agents in the Toronto District are shown with District Sales Manager E.J.May at a luncheon held in their honor. The agents were chosen during a competition among Telephone Sales records, City Ticket Offices and the Airport Counter to determine the four top people considered to be giving customers the best service. 

From the left: V.Graskaufmenis, A.Crinkley, E.J.May, M.Salieris and E. Ellen.

tmb simulator courseFlight Simulator Technicians from the company completed an eight week course at Link Aviation, Inc., Binghampton, N.Y. Also on the course were two members of the staff from Japan Airlines.

Shown in our picture seated from the left: Larry S. Burke, Simulator intenance Supervisor, TCA; Link Instructors Gene Davidson, Dick Selrette, Heb Heisler; Hugh Rombough, Senior Technician, TCA.

Back row: Kasaku Shibata and Kenji Chnuna, Tokyo Instruments; James Ayerst Senior Technician, TCA; Joseph Clarke, Technical Assistant, TCA; Hector Brannington, Technician, TCA; Des Callihso, Technician, TCA and Ed Grcynovicz, Instructor, Link Aviation.

tmb prestwick tower

Prestwick airport, Scotland's famous control tower was once the home of James Dairymple, Lord of Orangeville, and an early patron and lifelong friend of Robbie Burns. The original mansion was built between 1720 and 1834. Parked in front of the historic building is one of TCA's Super Constellation in 1959.


Alan's Space

Alan Rust

Ten Things you may not know about Air Canada

(Source: Globe and Mail, March 2014)

I happened to come across an interesting article from the Globe and Mail.

In his latest book, Air Canada: The History (Dundurn), Peter Pigott shares an incredibly detailed account of our national airline, from its birth in 1937 as Trans-Canada Air Lines to its bankruptcy – and recovery – in the early 2000s. Here, he reveals 10 things you may not know about our national airline.

ten things550

malton 1938 525x362


CPAir, Canadi>n People Gallery

CPAir/Canadian People Galler

quebecair timetableEarly Quebecair timetable found on the internet. (Pictured)

PWA Corporation sold two A310 Airbus aircraft to the Department of National Defense. One delivered November and one in December 1992 and the third in March 1993.

Total cost was $150 million.

Following the lead by Air Canada who implemented a cash bar for domestic economy passengers August 1st 1992, Canadian implemented a cash bar on September 1st, 1992. Complementary bar service continued to be available in business, international and charter flights for both airlines.

Extracted from the "Info Canadi>n" magazine issue dated September 1992.

Biking for Britain.
tmb cpa cyclistsCargo employees from London and Canada braved the famous London to Brighton Bicycle ride in the aid of British Heart Foundation. The group raised L2,100. Biking on the seven and a half hour bum-numbing ride was,

from the left: Jamie Comport, Tim Stevens, Phil Gooders, Tim Hitchins, Simon Allsop, Mark Bowles John Auchie (Calgary), Paul Norris, Audrey Hollamby , Richard Ovenden, Peter Comport and Hugh Montgomery (Calgary). Missing was cargo agent Tiffany Smitz, who also traveled from Calgary.

(Perhaps Tiffany is still cycling - lost! - eds)

tmb cpa crew trainingLarry Syret, an Air Crew Training Instructor in Vancouver, runs through the procedure with flight attendant Doris Loo for opening the B747-400 cabin door.

Issue dated December 1992

tmb cpa ypr feryWhat was Canadian Airlines' most northern island in the Pacific? It was YPR of course - that's Prince Rupert, a deep sea port 800 kilometers northwest of Vancouver B.C. served since 1947 writes Herb Pond, Station Manager, Prince Rupert.

Not only is the city on an island, but the airport is on another island, with no road link. Passengers check-in at Canadian's downtown facilities which were located in a shopping centre. About a half hour before aircraft departure, the staff and passengers boarded a bus which, along with baggage and cargo carts, were loaded onto the local airport ferry. When the ferry broke down, a tug/barge combination kept the operation going.

In 1947, the service was provided by war surplus Canso Bombers before the runways were constructed in 1967, so the amphibious capability made them perfect for the job.


Readers Feedback

More from Ken Pickford this time referring to NetLetter nr 1322 -

Re the wintry 1965 photo location,
I'm fairly sure it's the old Terminal 1 at Toronto, then only one year old. It didn't have loading bridges for the first few years, and of course the Viscounts (and Vanguards) couldn't use them.

Also, re the item on the IATA recommended carry-on bag dimensions, due to significant opposition, especially from all major US carriers, IATA has withdrawn that proposal pending further study! There's a related news item that you can read by following this link, and an IATA press release here.

Fergus Kyle refers to the article by Don Brady in the "Smileys" section of NetLetter nr 1323.

Your latest article involved a brash exchange twixt aviator and radar operator (air traffic specialist) who referred to unknown radar targets "squawking" You may know the origin of the term but I bet your readers won't.

When first installed, I forget the exchange, but by the time I flew Vampire fighters, the radar operator was equipped with a set which was dubbed "Cockerel" (because it 'crowed' on demand).

RO: Make your Cockerel crow... flyer: press radar button.This exchange became "Squawk (followed by a selection of the day - for clarity}" The system became "Parrot" because it continually squawked. Nobody says "parrot" any more but the aircraft still "Squawk".

Flyer: respond with suitable action


Odds and Ends

Betty Draper has located some more information of the early days in aviation in Canada.

From the Leader-Post issue March 1st 1938. Regina, Saskatchewan

tmb cf azy mail service

Through fog at three miles a minute.
For the first time in eight years a mail truck met a mail plane at the Regina airport on Tuesday March 1st 1938. The photo shows the "big" Lockheed Electra towering above the truck.

(Notice the registration at CF-AZY and the Trans-Canada Air Lines emblem on the nose - eds)

tmb cf azy unloading mail

This photo shows the arrival of Regina's air mail on Tuesday March 1st, 1938. At the left, a mechanic is shown unloading bags from the plane, while George Bennett, postal employee, holds two bags. At the right is shown Leo LaBelle, Regina postmaster, with Herbert Seagram, centre, and Robert M. Smith, youthful pilots who flew the machine from Winnipeg to Regina and westward.

Plane Circles Regina 45 Minutes in Fog As Mail Tests Start.
A big silver plane nosed through a hole in a fog bank over the Regina airport on Tuesday morning March 1st, 1938 to deliver the city's first air mail in eight years. For a time it looked like Regina would be robbed of its place as a port of call on the first air mail flight over the west as the big Lockheed plane circled the city at 110 miles an hour for 45 minutes before the fog cleared sufficiently to enable the crew to land.

Previously arrangements had been made for the crew to bring the plane down at Moose Jaw, where visibility was good, in the event the fog did not lift over Regina. After delivering two sacks of Winnipeg mail to Regina postal authorities. pilots Herbert Seagram and Robert M. Smith took off at noon sharp for Lethbridge with visibility unlimited the entire distance.

Other planes turn back.
The weather, however, played havoc with the eastbound flight out of Vancouver and pilots Bruce Middleton and Malcolm Barclay were forced to return to Vancouver because of fog over the Fraser canyon. The eastbound flight was subsequently cancelled.

The westbound machine flew into Regina along the radio beam emitted from the old radio range station on Dewdney Avenue. When the new station south on the no. 6 highway was in operation the beam will guide the planes right into the airport doing away with delays occasioned in landing.

(To be continued in NetLetter nr 1326 – eds)


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips

Terry Baker I saw this headline in the 21-17th July 2015 issue of the "Flight" magazine, soon after I had read the book "Coerced" by Dana Griffin, a fictional novel which has the theme about the fatigue of aircrews.

tmb tired approach




A new company tour package was introduced by Air Canada in November 1st, 1979 titled "London Without Cash" which allows vacationers to start, rather than end their holidays without cash. No reason to return with a clutch of credit card flimsies. For ca$499, the package included air are, hotel accommodations for seven nights, sightseeing trips, museum admissions, theatre tickets, subway and bus passes, tips and taxes, brandy nightcaps, morning newspapers right down to four pre-stamped post cards to send home - all this could have been had by employees at 10% discount.

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Extracted from the "Between Ourselves" magazine issue dated November 1959.

An ode to TCA
Pat Frate of Passenger Traffic, Montreal, received a birthday card from his young sister Kathie which contained the following poem she had composed.

The very best way to get by
Really sir, is to fly
Another thought to keep in mind
Not every airline is so kind
So seek TCA and that you'll find

Canadians always like to know
All different places where to go
Never do they have any trouble
As TCA is for ever on the double
Do remember and don't forget
A good airline is hard to get.

A lot of them are always late
Isn't TCA right up-to-date?
Really now, we can't deny

Living high means to fly
Is many places you will see
No one is busy as a bee
Except good old TCA
Sending people right on their way.

Terry Baker, Alan Rust, Wayne Albertson
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