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  NetLetter #1326 | September 05, 2015  
  The ACFN NetLetter

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees

Air Canada L1011

Air Canada L1011 Fin 551

  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. 

Air Canada News

Reminder! Employee standby travel with checked bags.

Over the past few months, we have started to see an increase in the number of employees/retirees approaching Gate Agents to change their standby flights before that flight has closed. Please remember that if you have checked in a bag, you are required to standby for your originally checked in flight. Once the flight has departed, the Gate Agent will ask if you’d like to be transferred to standby for another flight and will advise you whether you need to reclaim your bag. This helps our Airport colleagues look after all revenue and non-revenue customers in an orderly way, which also helps ensure that we get our flights out on time.


Reader Submitted Photos

Neil Burton sends this  photo taken by his father when vacationing in Yellowknife, N.W.T in September 1972.

tmb bristol freighter yellowknife

The plaque for this monument reads: "Bristol Freighter 170 MK 31 – This aircraft was donated by Wardair Canada Ltd. as a monument to commemorate the work done by this type of air freighter in developing Northern Canada by servicing trading posts, schools, mining properties, oil exploration crews, and un-named Arctic islands”.

This particular aircraft was retired from active service early in 1968 after making history on May 6, 1967, when, piloted by Captain Don Braun, it was the first wheel equipped aircraft to land at the North Pole.”

Neil Burton


Beryl Oborne sends us this photo and memory -

tmb cpa empress of hnlHi from another retiree who enjoys your publication.

Here’s another Reader submitted photo. Maybe you can find the original photo and possibly obtain more details about it. This is just an iPhone shot of a framed photo.

I started with Pacific Western but used to car pool from North Vancouver to Richmond with my friend Lorna Dragman. Lorna worked at the YVR CP OPs Centre in Computer Services. I have always liked this photo she has on her wall.

The occasion was CP’s first 747 to travel YVR/HNL (the Empress of Honolulu) Hence the lei on the nose and Lorna with her champagne bottle. Lorna doesn’t remember why she was chosen for the promo shot. I think it might have had something to do with the way those legs of hers held up that mini-skirt. Maybe the guy who operated the lift and had ducked down out of camera range remembers??

Beryl Oborne


Cora Thomson sends this to correct the information in NetLetter nr 1325 “Photos submitted” -
Thank you so much for including the CPA stewardess luncheon pictures in the Netletter. I may have mixed the photo’s but the names were reversed on the two of them. The names on the first photo were of those on the second and visa versa. A great letter and so interesting. I enjoy reading each issue.

Cora Thomson
(With apologies for the mix up- eds)


Wayne's Wings

wayne albertson articlesLockheed L1011 - 500

Although the L-1011 TriStar had been a part of the Air Canada fleet since 1973 the addition of the – 500 series in 1981 was a turning point. Fins 551 through 556 had much greater range than the TriStar at 5120 Statute Miles (8240 k.) which allowed the introduction of non-stop transcontinental service between western Canada and Europe, specifically YVR – LHR which is still a very busy route today and is now serviced by the B777 High Density configuration.

I don’t recall the specific fin# but I do remember working midnight shift in Toronto while one of L–1011–500 aircraft was modified for the return of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Vatican after his tour of Canada in September 1984. Sleeping quarters were installed in the J-class cabin and the maintenance check was so thorough that every wheel assembly on the aircraft was changed as a precaution.tmb fin551

The era of service for this fleet was relatively short spanning 1981 to early 1992 when they were sold to Delta Airlines. I gathered information from to track them down to their present resting places.

Fins 551, 553, & 556 remained in service with Delta until 2000 and are now stored at Victorville, California.

Fin 552 was acquired by YES Air Charter of Portugal and continued service until 2006 when it was stored and later scrapped in Lisbon.

Fin 554 was acquired by Hewa Bora Airways of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has been stored at Kinshasa since 2007.

Fin 555 was bought by Wells Fargo Bank in 2004 but the trail ends there. It is not known if it is still operating today.


TCA/AC People Gallery

TCA/AC People Gallery

1940 jan1940 January  timetable from the private collection of Bjorn Larsson.

tmb b787 9 first rev flt2015 - July 27th - First Boeing B787-900 Dreamliner C-FNOE fin nr 31 delivered. First revenue flight was AC424 YYZ-YUL July 31st and then AC429 YUL-YYZ was the return flight.

Found in the "Between Ourselves" magazine issue - December 1959

A new slate of officers and executive committee for 1959 has been elected for the TCA Recreation Association (TCARA) in Sidney.

Newly elected were Gerald Hawley, President; Lloyd Doyle, VP; Kevin Earl MacKenzie, Treasurer. Executive committee is made up of Elmen MacCormack, Leonard Morrison, Ivan Melanson, Donald MacAdam, Ken MacDonald, and Gerry MacKeigan. There was no photo available.

tmb five stenos

Five stenos from different stations in the TCA system got together for this photo during their vacation at the Tower Isle Hotel, Jamaica. From the left: Rita Filyk, Gloria Pelletier, Marjorie Stephens, Natalie Semliw and Laverne Norenberg.

tmb sales germany

Flooded with requests for information about travel between Germany and Canada, Bill Ulshcefer, Sales Representative and Stewardess G. Kieser answer questions during the Christmas Fair in Toronto. Over 16,000 people attended during the six day event.

Drafted from the "Horizons" magazine issue dated October 1979

tmb concorde at yyzNo, It's not a new addition to the company fleet but a photo by Peter Blyth of the British Airways Concorde being serviced at the Air Canada Malton hangar. Employees had the opportunity to inspect the supersonic jet during its shot visit to the Canadian National Exhibition.

Air Canada Pionairs were granted Letters Patent dated April 24th, 1979 making it an incorporated body.

Time is on their side.
tmb six watch winnersAt the beginning of the long tone the time will be exactly... as six Paris employees synchronize the new watches they won in the "We need you" contest sponsored by the Cargo branch earlier in 1979 for personnel throughout the system. Shown in the photo are, from the left: Jean-Pierre Juppe, Jean-Pierre Oiry, Peter Herold, Jacqueline Desaulniers, Pierre Paquin, Annie Camus, Maurice Demont, Jacques Masson and Yves Vallee.


Alan's Space

Alan Rust

Gimli Glider - Air Canada FIN 604 memorabilia parts prepared for display at Gimli Museum

(submitted by Tony Walsh)

Below are sequential photos of the 3-window fuselage panel off Fin 604 at Mojave MHV that was display-finished to our specs by a third-party aviation display company in Illinois, our only source in conjunction with the current aircraft-parts salvager owners of Fin 604 and other AC B767-233s at Mojave that have been parted out and the only few remaining to be cut-up for alloy recycle, Fin 604 among them.

This 3-window fuselage panel arrived at Gimli on August 11, 2015 to local admiration about the quality of the finishing work and celebrations of the return to Gimli (for a second time) of a touchable part of 604 to be held for a future Gimli Glider Museum or display in Gimli. This museum will commemorate not a negative event, but a safe, successful and inspiring landing at Gimli despite the extreme circumstance, attributed primarily to Flt. 143’s crew superb skills and indirectly to Air Canada’s flight and cockpit management training and company culture.

Please click on the thumbnails below for larger images. More news and further developments are coming regarding this project and a special web page is being built to present this project properly with more photos and information.

604 nose section for gimli museum cut line200x139 604 at MHV 2015 06 17 side200x200 604 at MHV 2015 06 17 tail200x200
604 OEM ID Plate full200x112 604 window closeup200x112 604 3 window section200x112
 604 3 windows and plates200x112 604 finished window panel 2015 08 07 200x112 604 window panel unveiling200x112

Above photo courtesy of
The Winnipeg Free Press

The display finished 3-window fuselage panel from Fin 604 was shown to the municipal officers and staff on its arrival Aug. 11 and to the people of Gimli on Sunday / Aug 16, 2015. It was received with enthusiasm and emotion. In this photo I received from the project leader in Gimli, are RC aircraft model pilots attending the Gimli Model Airplane Festival, who insisted on touching it and having a group photo with this actual piece of the Gimli Glider. A similar reception occurred everywhere the fuselage panel went. One resident said that the hair stood up on his neck and arms when he touched this real piece of Fin 604, on its second Gimli arrival 34 years later.”
 604 model pilot group with panel550x309

We'd like to thank Tony Walsh who was instrumental in making this happen and provided the photos above. Although he is a Delta, BC resident and does not live near Gimli, he states - “I am motivated to help the people of Gimli in this endeavor in memory of the late Rick Dion – Air Canada AME and close friend who as most of you know was on board Flight AC143 on July 23,1983 and in the cockpit for most of the glide to Gimli.”

Tony Walsh / Retired AC – Mgr – Airport Operations Services – Western North America & Pacific Rim – YVR based

If you would like to support this endeaver, then please send a cheque marked GIMLI GLIDER FUND to the address below. You’ll receive tax receipt in mail later from the Rural Municipality of Gimli:

RM of Gimli,
P.O. Box 1246
Gimli, MB
R0C 1B0

Tel: (204) 642-6650 (# needed if sending express)

Anthony Walsh will be keeping a tally of donators, and there will be a posted list of donors at the future Gimli glider pavilion, so please advise amount when you send off the cheque.

Anthony Walsh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CPAir, Canadi>n People Gallery

CPAir/Canadian People Galler

1987 - April 26th - New identity named "Canadi>n".
1993 – Jan 1st - The Family Reunion Fares program reintroduced for employees and retirees for 3 months.

epa timetable

Eastern Provincial Airways

timetable found on the internet.

Found in the "Info Canadia>n" magazine issued June 1993.

tmb cpa barbara Vandervelde

Serving hot meals using Canadian's new half size Canadian Class trays is flight attendant Barbara Vandervelde.  The trays introduced in February 1993 for short and medium sector flights, will help save more than $1.9 million.

Vancouver sting snares swindler.
When Vancouver CTO Supervisor Fred Pattje received official confirmation April 19 (1993) that a $7,243 certified cheque he had received in payment for four tickets was counterfeit, the wheels of justice spun into motion.

With the cooperation of the Vancouver Corporate Security office, Richmond RCMP, TD Bank and Vancouver CTO, the culprit was set up at the Vancouver Airport check in and apprehended.

On April 27, the culprit was arrested for his fiscal fabrication and formerly charged with fraud and passing forged documents against Canadian Airlines. The fraud charges were dropped in lieu of a guilty plea on the passing forged documents charge. The malefactor was found guilty and sentenced to seven days in jail and 18 months probation.

Issue dated August 1993

How many sleeps to the Canadian Summer Games?
tmb cpa kamloops gang

15 B-737 charters arrived in Kamloops during August 1993 carrying 1,599 athletes partaking in the first week of Canada Summer Games. Another 1,764 athletes were carried for the second week.

Employees at the Kamloops airport have been excitedly counting down the days: from left, Sandra Schmidt, customer service agent, Dave Harms, Cargo agent, Warren Cook, manager and Kim Pich, customer service agent

A close knit group
tmb cpa close knit yhzTaking care of the 121 flight attendants based in Halifax is from front to back, Debbie Bastow, senior administration clerk, Denise Chiasson. onboard service manager (OSM), Patty Jo Berardi, acting-OSM and Maria Judson, senior administration clerk. "We're a small and senior group,'' says Chiasson. "We've been flying together for so long that we've become a very tight knit group.

Pressing to get the job done.

tmb cpa yvr launderersTurning laundry into money are the employees of Laundry Services in Vancouver. Shown are foreman Jamie Aydon, dry cleaners, May Cheuck, Balraz Dhanowa, Lee Elliot, Bettina Grenier, supervisor Richard Hobbis, Debra Lacey, Terry Lawson, mender Audrey Lee, Katerina Malis, foreman Carlos Perez, Hilde Poerschke, Laini Puchalski, Theresa Quon, Alex Rios, Finley Roberts, Carla Schwarz, dry cleaner Leo Soriano, Sue Toor, Cori Tymrick, Shirley Vipond, mender Niki Vlachias and Connie Yu


Readers Feedback

Ted Beaudoin has been researching the Royal Air Force Ferry Command for his book "Earth Angels Rising".

This decade-long project, for which research began in Jan. 2005 and ended in January 2015, has morphed into a trilogy.

The months of December 1939 and January 1940 saw the start of recruiting of air and support ground crews, and administration personnel, along with the delivery of aircraft from the USA into Canada. The actual flying of bombers across the North Atlantic Ocean only began on Sunday, Nov. 10th, 1940 with a Canadian National Railroad company… the Canadian Pacific Air Service which came into being earlier, in September, 1940. It came to be known unofficially as the CPASD - or Canadian Pacific Air Services Department, a branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway - CPR .

This same operation was also known by two other identifiers… ATFERO for Atlantic Ferry Organization and its Return Ferry organization/service, the RFO/RFS, for which no known logos have yet been “found” on the net, nor in corporate archives of the CPR. By April 1943 the fourth and final name change was made revealing the final “official” name of the operation, the one by which is was formally known and recognized throughout the world - the R.A.F. Transport Command. Little wonder it’s been difficult to find useful and accurate results on this incredible airborne armada by using only the words "Royal Air Force Ferry Command" or "Ferry Command".

I`m trying to find out how many men and women from Canada`s commercial carriers between 1939 and 1945 may have been `seconded` to the RAF FC... your NetLetter is about the only way I can find out about this. Canada`s civilian aviation - busy lines, larger regional carriers and Canada`s CP Air in its early days and TCA among others contributed greatly to the effort and I do not think they should be overlooked.

Perhaps some of you readers may have had relatives within Canada`s civil aviation community who did join, either as full-paid employees of the British Air Ministry - who funded the RAF FC, or were seconded to it by their own carrier.

Ted Beaudoin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ken Pickford sets the record straight with these comments regarding NetLetter nr 1324 -

The AC DC-8 fire at YYZ was June 21, 1973, not June 22. Here's a related news item from the Montreal Gazette dated June 22, the day after the event: Click here for a photo of the same DC-8 at Vienna in August 1972, 10 months before its demise. The flight preparing for departure when the fire occurred was en route to Zurich and Vienna. CF-TIJ, FIN #822, was one of 3 DC-8-53s (Pratt & Whitney engines) acquired by AC in 1968.

We refer to the photo of the model sent in by Per Christensen in NetLetter nr 1324, and received several observations -

Richard Coulter had this comment -
I believe the model of the DC4 at the beginning of your letter is really a North Star as it has Merlin engines and square windows. the DC4 has oval windows and radial engines.

Ken Pickford also had some comments and some historical information -

Re the photo of the Canadian Pacific model aircraft submitted by Per Christensen which he refers to as a "Douglas DC-4", while based on the DC-4 design it was actually a Canadair C-4 (also referred to as DC-4M) with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, and pressurized unlike the Douglas-built DC-4. The version built under license by Canadair in Montreal was of course known by the manufacturer's "North Star" name by TCA (and the RCAF which operated an unpressurized transport version). CP didn't use the "North Star" name, referring to their four aircraft only as "Canadair C-4". BOAC, the other original customer, called theirs "Argonaut".

The aircraft represented by the model, CF-CPR, "Empress of Vancouver", was unfortunately written off in a landing accident at Tokyo on February 9, 1950. Overran the runway into the water. No fatalities or serious injuries (a NetLetter some years ago had a couple of photos of the aircraft in the water at Tokyo.)

The other 3 CP aircraft were sold to TCA in 1952 to join the rest of their North Star fleet. That was about the time CP's more capable and economic Douglas DC-6Bs began arriving. CP also acquired several used Douglas DC-4s from Pan American around that time.

One of the ex-CP aircraft sold to TCA was the North Star lost in the mid-air collision with an RCAF Harvard trainer over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on April 8, 1954, killing all 35 on the North Star plus the Harvard pilot and one person in a house in Moose Jaw struck by falling wreckage.

Regards, Ken

and this from Bob Barwick -

NetLetter Feedback - The photo of the model of the CPA DC-4 is of course the Canadian built North Star. TCA , CPA, BOAC and the RCAF operated these aircraft. My time on the North Star was on 426 Squadron, RCAF. TCA actually operated some of the RCAF North Stars until their own were delivered. BOAC called the aircraft the Argonaut. RCAF North Star 17515 is being restored at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa by “Project North Star” volunteers and member contributors. This aircraft is described on my license as a DC-4 M2. You can see the Merlin engines in the photo.

RW (Bob) Barwick

Jack Mills refers to NetLetter nr 1323 and 1324

Just to add to Ken Pickford's very informative e-mail on the history of the ex Wardair and Canadian Airlines A310s, I thought it might be of interest to add a few additional comments.

A company that I started quite a few years ago, and that I recently retired from, had and continue to have a contract with the RCAF that provide some technical operational support for their CC 150 Aircraft (ex A 310s) that are now operated by 437 Squadron. These aircraft have been reconfigured to RCAF Specs and operate in various configurations.

Some operate as tankers in the aerial refuelling configuration. The others in passenger, Cargo and VIP. They support CF 18s and other aircraft in the tanker role. They are all very active. I thought that this might be of interest to know the activities that these aircraft perform in different roles during their lifespan.

Thanks Ken for your update. Sincerely, Jack M. Miles

Ron Carradine sends us this memory

Reading the Netletter often brings back memories, but the strangest one so far was the photos in Netletter#1324 of the DC-8 CF-TIJ (822) which caught fire during re-fuelling. Although I am not in the picture I have a weird connection to it.

At that time I was on " Lav" servicing on the day shift, and sure enough the "Lav" truck trapped under the tail section was the vehicle I was assigned to. (The fire occurred on the evening shift.)

Ron Carradine, (Retired)

tmb viscount fleet

Norman Hogwood, a reader from New Zealand was checking out “Alan’s Corner” and the information in Peter Piggott's latest book and came across this photo and made the comment -

One thing I, and thousands of others know, is that TCA had more than 22 Viscounts!

Cheers. Norm
(A total of 51 Viscounts were operated by TCA/Air Canada - eds)


Odds and Ends

Continuation of the story from NetLetter nr 1325 sent by Betty Draper more information of the early days in aviation in Canada.

Few spectators...

Airport and postal officials and some open-mouthed youths were the only spectators at the field to welcome the westbound plane.

The youths crowded at windows of the Trans-Canada Air Lines office to watch every move of Robert Williamson, dispatcher, as he talked with pilots of the incoming machines giving them weather directions along the route and they crowded around him as he conversed with the pilots from an extension telephone and on the field - everybody craning their necks upward to watch for the machine they could hear but not see due to the fog.

The flight was made in the scheduled time of two hours and 10 minutes from Winnipeg, but the fog blanket delayed the landing at Regina for about 45 minutes.

Pilots of the plane, their voices crackling over the radio system, reported they could see Moose Jaw when immediately east of Regina, but could not see the Regina field because of the fog.

Heard but not seen.

Notified of arrangements to land at Moose Jaw if the fog did not clear, the machine was flown at one stage far west of Regina, but visibility over Moose Jaw was clouding with fog, and on its return the machine landed at the Regina field, although it would be heard but not seen in the thick ground fog as it landed. The machine dropped two bags of mail in Regina and picked up two more weighing 12 pounds for the west, one billed for Lethbridge and the other for Vancouver.

Pilots Seagram and Smith were to fly the machine on to Lethbridge where the flight, if continued on March 1st, would have been taken over by two others. On hand to greet the machine were Squadron Leader H.A.Dolhaye, manager of the Regina airport; Postmaster Leo LaBelle; T.C.Russell, district postal inspector, Moose Jaw; W.C.Sissons, mail supervisor, Regina; H.Bennett, mail delivery contractor and George Bennett, mail delivery man.

Some of the mail, picked at random. was sent via plane at ordinary postage rates, although Mr. LaBell said majority of the matter carried airmail postage. One of the pieces of mail taken off the plane at Regina was a picture from The Winnipeg Free Press, published in the edition of The Leader-Post.

(The conclusion is in NetLetter nr 1327 – eds)

Larry Milberry, Publisher of CANAV books sends us this information -

tmb north star bookI still have about 200 copies left of my ancient Canadair North Star book. Most of the TCA folks long ago have a copy, but who knows... some of the younger people could. Tucker and her husband, John, have an interest.

I'm having dinner tonight (July 31st) with Shirley Tucker and her husband, John. Shirley was a stew on North Stars (where she met a certain passenger - John - one day). There are a few other titles in the main list of Canadian airline interest. A new CAE book will be available by August 17th.

Check the list of books at


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips

Terry Baker A recent article about the final flight of the Avro Vulcan brought this memory for Terry –

Some of the TCA offices at London Heathrow airport (LHR) were, during the '60s, located adjacent to the runway. One of the departments there was the P & S, at which I was an employee.

The 1st October, 1956, a dull and rainy one, with lowering clouds, we all heard two bangs, and wondered what they were. On looking out of the window, we saw a dark shadow pass by over the runway, and that was followed by a loud bang and a pall of black smoke started to rise. We all raced out of the office and around to the runway side of the next building and saw flames and wreckage strewn along the runway. This was the crash of the RAF Vulcan, a delta winged bomber which had just returned from an around the world demonstration flight. The two bangs were from the :Martin-Baker” seat ejection mechanism for the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft. It seemed that the aircraft had touched down short of the runway and, in doing so, had destroyed most of the trailing ailerons thus losing control.

tmb vulcan aircraftJust as we got to the scene, I looked up at a BEA aircraft which had been following the Vulcan, it had obviously been waved off and was disappearing into the low clouds. From the trajectory of the Vulcan, shown in the press the next day, after hitting the ground the aircraft rose up again and started to side slip towards our buildings before getting straight and hitting the runway. There was the usual controversy over the incident.

A high ranking officer, Sir Harry Broadhurst, was alleged to be at the controls - for prestige purposes - as there was an official welcoming committee awaiting the arrival of the Vulcan. Unfortunately, four civilian observers on board the aircraft perished in the crash, it seems that only the pilot and co-pilot positions are equipped with ejector seats.



tmb cartoon 1326Roy Miles found this cartoon to share with the comment - "I thought this would bring a smile to many old and new employees"

Terry Baker, Alan Rust, Wayne Albertson
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