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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We have welcomed 229 new subscribers so far in 2020.
We wish to thank everyone for your support of our efforts.
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, Quebec Air, Calm Air, NWT Air, Air Alliance, Air Nova, Air Ontario and Air Georgian and many more (let us know if we have omitted your airline).
We will try to post your comments in the next issue but, if not, we will publish it as soon as we can.
Women in Aviation International.
WAI is headed to Reno, Nevada, and we want you to join us for WAI2021!
The 32nd Annual International women in Aviation Conference will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, March 11-13, 2021 in Reno, Nevada.
Enjoy all the amenities of the Peppermill Reno Hotel Resort as you network with aviation industry professionals and continue your career development at education sessions and professional development seminars. Save the dates for next year's three-day gathering for more mentoring, networking and fun!
(Source: Aviation for Women magazine September/October 2020)
Marty Vanstone has sent us this memory of the Great Blizzard at Dorval (YUL) in March 1971.
On March 3rd, 1971, first officer Jack Humphries and I operated CP 72, a B737-200, from Vancouver to Montreal (Dorval) via YYC & YWG. Some memories of the following two days are still sharp but others are a little fuzzed over by time, so please forgive any errors.
I do not recall the weather we encountered on our arrival into YUL on the early evening of March 3rd but it should be safe to assume, given what followed, that there were snowy conditions. Our return flight was to be a 0700 departure the next day back to Vancouver via YOW, YYZ, YWG & YYC.
We were staying in the Chateau Champlain Hotel and it was not surprising that, as we left the hotel very early on the 4th and climbed into our Murray Hill limo, it was still snowing. The first realization of unusual conditions came on the ride out to Dorval. Traffic was exceptionally light. Some of the freeway had been plowed but as we turned off to the Dorval Circle, that road had not been cleared and the driver was beginning to express some concern. By this time visibility was becoming more limited as the snow became heavier. The underpass leading to Dorval Circle, which was to claim a life later that day, was still bare but the rest of the trip to the terminal was difficult.
Subscriber Christine Hayvice returned home to New Zealand after her career with Canadian Pacific Air Lines / Canadian Airlines and retirement from Air Canada.
She has been keeping very busy writing a book (see 'Remember When' below) about the history and her personal memories about the trade union activities in Canadian aviation.
Christine also sent us a few pictures of her recent DC-3 adventure.
I just got involved with a DC-3 group here in Napier NZ which is working on buying the only operating DC-3 here - there are three here, the other two are in museums. I live in Napier and we have an Art Deco festival every year. Everyone dresses up in 1930s clothing. The city was flattened by an earthquake in 1931 and was rebuilt in the style of the times which was Art Deco, so every year there’s a week of all things 1930s including a vintage car parade, old trains, motorbikes, swing dances, movies etc, and this year they brought in the DC-3.
I went for a ride; most exciting. See photos below.
My first plane ride was on a DC-3 at age 9 and I fell in love with airplanes. I had my first flying lesson at 16 on a Piper Cherokee and discovered I couldn’t reach the pedals.
I’m 4’10” (147cm) so that dashed my hopes of being a pilot. But later, at 25 I tried again on a Cessna 150 and could reach those pedals. I passed the ground school exam and got to the point where I could take off and land a plane by myself, with an instructor beside me, but life got in the way and I didn’t get my licence.
Anyway back then in the early 70's, being a “girl” meant the chances of being a pilot was minimal. I used to chat to Rosella Bjornson when she was operating a flight out of YVR that I was controlling at the gate. I admired her so much.
She told me how it was hell on wheels in the flight deck in her early days as the guys didn’t want her there. I envied her upbringing and the terrific support she had from her family especially her dad. So I just ended up working for an airline instead, CP Air. Started in 1974. I’m from New Zealand, where I recently moved back to, rather happily these days given covid.
Paul Gautier shares this memory -
During this pandemic, we all need to laugh a little; so here's my true experience -
In January 2019, I booked a four-months World Cruise; for the India segment, I bought a side trip from Kochi to New Delhi and the Taj Mahal, rejoining the ship in Mumbai.
We flew to Indira Gandhi International airport (DEL) on low-cost Indigo airlines; I expected to see ads on the tray tables, overhead bins but to my surprise the A320Neo was spotless. As always I looked in the seat pocket and among other things, there was this sickness bag; I laughed out loud!
Jack Morath has sent us this article and photo taken some years ago -
A toast to Executive Class.
A group of enthusiastic employees recently participated in the promotion of our new Executive Class service at the World Travel Market in London, England, one of Europe's leading travel trade shows.
In the photo, television and radio personality Gloria Hunniford is shown seated (centre) in the Executive Class mock-up.
With her are (front row, left to right): Rosalyn Volavka, Brian Hall and Tony Dunn.
In the middle row are (left to right): Deborah Haynes, Pam Warburton, Lisa Gopie, Shirley Dunn and Julie Wilmott.
Behind them are (same order): Andrew Edmonds, Robert Atkinson, Stuart Duddy, Barry Stride, Malcolm Davey, Dara Curham and Allan Owen.
Allan Gray sends us this memory -
When there was a flight delay we would stamp the boarding pass with a 50 cent complimentary coffee. When was the last time a coffee cost 50 cents.
From defunct airline collection.
Jack Morath retired from Heathrow (LHR) sends another of his memories -
In the summer of 1959, I was able to use my free pass to travel to Canada after one year's service.
The aircraft I flew on was a Super Constellation with wing-tip fuel tanks, and the flight to Toronto was via Prestwick, Goose Bay, Montreal and then Toronto, taking a total of 16 hours.
During the stop at Dorval Airport I was able to walk around as you can see from the picture. During my walkabout, a cleaner at the entrance there said to me "You're English aren't you?" I said "how did you know" and he said he recognised my Burton suit! In those days it was important to dress for the flights, and the average tourist was not flying to Canada, mainly business people or rich members of the public.
I arrived in the evening to stay with a family and afterward they asked me if I would like to visit Niagara Falls as it was great to see it floodlit at night. I said yes straight away but didn't realise it was a hundred mile drive. It was worth the drive though, but I was shattered and slept in the car all the way back!
Larry Harris sends this memory -
In June of 1984 I was an agent for Pacific Western working at Comox, British Columbia (YQQ).
At the end of June 1984 a cruise ship/ferry was enroute from Seattle to Alaska and when just north of Campbell River it struck rocks in Seymour Narrows.
The ship was badly damaged and managed to limp back to the Elk Falls mill north of Campbell River where it was tied up at the dock. Total crew and passengers of 787 were evacuated and standing on the dock when the ship sank to about half its height under water. That meant a lot of the cabins were flooded and of course the bottom car deck was also flooded. It contained many luxury vehicles as well as campers, fifth wheels and others.
It was decided to take all the passengers and crew down to the air base of Comox because transportation was being arranged using aircraft too large for the Campbell River airport. CP Air provided a DC-10 and PWA brought in 2 767's and a 737 to take everyone back to Seattle.
In the meantime all the crew and passengers also needed clothing as a good number of the passengers were still in their sleep wear. They were provided with military style clothing such as cover-all’s and other items.
Help was needed from the local airline staff due to the using of airline aircraft, so agents Larry and Brian Hazard were called to do the required work.
We had to manifest everyone and issue boarding cards to use when the aircraft arrived. All in all it turned into a successful rescue despite the loss of items for the passengers. The ship was eventually refloated and towed to Vancouver.
Regarding the article about the Brabazon aircraft. I also saw it flying. I think it was late 1952, when walking in Hounslow the aircraft flew directly down Hounslow high street at quite a low level. It brought back many memories. Now retired, I live in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island.
As mentioned above in 'Submitted Photos', Christine Hayvice has published a book entitled 'Arrivals and Departures' chronicling the evolution and work of various unions including her own personal experiences as a union representative while employed by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. The book covers 60 years beginning in 1942 up until the merger between Canadian Airlines and Air Canada.
The book is available, in a limited edition, if you live in the Greater Vancouver, British Columbia area. You can purchase the book by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrangements for purchase and delivery throughout the rest of Canada and internationally are currently in process.
Christine has provided an audio file introducing her book.
(Editor's Note: Some email applications cannot play the audio file.
If you do not see the link to play the audio, please click the icon at left to open this article in your internet browser.
Women in Aviation
In NetLetter #1444 we published details of the commemorative stamps issued by the East Canada Section of the Ninety-Nines in order to celebrate Canadian women pilots representing various flying careers.
Here we have another stamp commemorating Judy Cameron who, in 1978, was the first female pilot hired by Air Canada. She later became Air Canada's first female Captain on the Boeing 767 in 2006 and the Boeing 777 in 2010. The stamp was issued in 2016.
During her 40 years flying career, Judy logged over 23,000 hours in the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed L-1011, Airbus A320, Boeing 767 and 777.
Soon, 15-year-old Kensie Hewson won't need a driver's licence to explore the Okanagan region of British Columbia.
Since she was 13 years old she has had her eye on the sky. Since then she has logged about 65 hours in the air and now, just a few days shy of her 16th birthday, she is about to receive her Recreational Pilot Permit.
"So she went up for this flight and when she landed she was vibrating and she was just like, 'This is what I want to do', said Melissa Brown, Kensie's mom.
"Frankly she is quite accomplished; she is skilled she's got a great aptitude. She qualifies for the private pilot's licence in many categories, but because she doesn't have the age requirement she can't take that test yet. But in terms of the flying skill and experience, she could be a private pilot today."
It took more than two years to develop and the equivalent of about 120,000 days of work, but Air Canada's new reservations system is finally up and running.
"RESIII was the biggest single technical change in the airline's history. Fingers were crossed and emotions were at an all-time high when we began the cutover," says Lamar Durrett, Executive Vice President. Technical Operations & Corporate Services.
"Close to 400 people were involved in the RESIII project at its peak, and the attrition rate was practically zero," he says. "That's something we're very proud of, it shows how committed people were to making RESIII work."
The first official RESIII flight took off from St. John's, thanks to Customer Sales and Service Agents.
In this photo (from left to right): L. Seaward, P. Hollett, B. Norman, W. Brake, P. Mackay, S. MacDonald, Acting Customer Service Supervisor; B. Cock, J. Davis, D. Neal, D. Hall, RESlll Facilitator; C. Callanan, N. Ford, R. Butt, J. Brien, M. Earle, D. Mercer, Customer Sales Manager.
A luncheon was held in honour of New York Personnel Services Coordinator Valerie Ravenhill who retired after more than 28 years of service.
In attendance were (standing, left to right): Grace Vaccaro, Secretary Boston; Nancy Trentadue, Senior Secretary; Cleo Gayle, Payroll Assistant; Mary Gelinas, retired; Janis Blake, Sales Assistant; Eileen Walsh, Sales Representative and Ellison Vecchione, retired.
Seated are: Valerie Ravenhill, Jean Rivera, Secretary Tampa; Secretaries Mary Wynne and Pat Scheriff; Maddy Zaino, Payroll Administration Coordinator.
Hollis Harris, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer visited employees in Paris and Frankfurt during 1994.
Here we have the Paris staff, Hollis Harris (far right) met with members of the Paris team (from left to right): Daniel Brégére, Cargo Terminal Manager; Gilles Charlu, Commissary & Catering Manager - France; Jacques Masson, Area Airports Manager France; Jean-Pierre Oiry, Senior Station Coordinator; Noél Beckwith, Passenger Terminal Manager and Claude Morin, General Sales Manager - France.
At Frankfurt, these staff members -
Ingo Hirt, Passenger Terminal Manager, Frankfurt; was recognized for his 35 years of service.
From left to right: Hans Schutt, Area Manager, Customer Service - Central & Eastern Europe; Ingo Hirt, Hollis Harris, Leo Sachs, Flight Service Director - Toronto; Hedi Wohlfahrt, Senior Passenger Agent and Hans Sittler, Manager, Service - Central & Eastern Europe.
Issue dated May 1994.
RESIII certainly had an impact on employees. One Airport Agent gave us her view on the new internal computer reservation and departure control system as she waxed poetic.
RESIII AND ME
I think that I shall never be quite the same after learning RESIII. There're dots and dashes and oblique’s and stars and weird things called lozes — whatever they are.
There's an APFAX and a GENFAX and Edits to do. And is it R* or T-Rotty to send a message to you? There's a Rebate Passengers and Duty Staff travel and regular stand-bys with their own priorities to unravel.
Infants in exits will need their seats re-arranged. And God help us all if there's an aircraft change. Make sure the monitors set right before you mass onload. Was this passenger No-Rec'd instead of Go-showed?
I don't believe it. I understood all the things I just said! Is it finally sinking into this pretty blonde head? I know about UR's, UCS and UA's. I think I've figured out the role each one plays.
I can't believe it. I'm ready. Get me a DCS. and if you don't mind just "I" this poetic mess.
Billie Hobkirk posted this photo of a fam trip to LAX in July 1976.
Pictured are: Al Drummond, Glenda, Liz, Steve Waring, Martha and Angie Brodkorb.
Canadian Pacific Air Lines (CPAL), the predecessor to CP Air, acquired a fleet of 17 surplus C-47's during 1946 and 1947.
The aircraft were refurbished and entered service on domestic routes mainly to remote communities in Canada.
With the withdrawal of these services in the late 1950s CPAL began selling off its fleet of DC-3s however, CF-CRX remained with CP Air for pilot training purposes. On July 4 1974 CF-CRX was used to fly a group of Air Cadets on a tour of the Fraser Valley, BC.
The group landed at Abbotsford and after taking off the pilot was unable to get a positive indication that the landing gear had retracted. The pilot had no alternative but to return to Abbotsford and the crew and passengers were taken to Vancouver by bus. The following day CF-CRX was ferried to Vancouver with its landing gear down and on October 23, 1974 the aircraft was sold.
END OF AN ERA -
The last propeller-driven aircraft owned by CP Air, a venerable DC-3 used for pilot training, has been sold to Harrison Airways Ltd. of Vancouver. Retired from scheduled flights in 1969 when all-jet service was introduced throughout the system, the twin-engined Douglas was once one of 17 such aircraft which plied the airline's routes in Canada. It is still favourite with Northern flyers and will return to familiar areas in schedule service between Vancouver and Northern bases when it sheds its CP Air orange in the near future and dons Harrison Airways colours.
Above, Harrison Airways president J. N. Haldeman accepts the aircraft log from CP Air purchasing director Vern Pratt.
Neil Burton suggested our 'Featured Video' for this issue from the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives containing footage of the opening of the Vernon B.C. airport in 1931.
Odds and Ends
Name this airline – answer below.
The Electric Aviation Group (EAG) has announced a proposal for a 70-seat hybrid-electric airliner, in what amounts to “going big” in next-gen regional airliners. According to the company, “Whilst a number of small electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, up to 19 seats, have been proposed, their limited range and small capacity will make it difficult for an airline to deploy them on profitable routes in sufficient numbers to have a measurable impact on the environment and make a profit.” The high-wing regional jet, with a pair of turboprop engines and two electric booster motors, could be ready for service by 2028.
EAG, a U.K.-based “engineering and development firm,” says that its focus is on “the key technical and integration challenges facing a larger aircraft, [and] EAG has shown that it is possible to launch regional aircraft with up to 70 seats and ranges up to 1200 nautical miles. Since the majority of commercial flights flown in the world on a daily basis are at ranges less than this there is an unrivaled opportunity for a first mover in this sector.”
It always fascinates me to look back over my own time in the aviation industry at some of the (often controversial) events during the evolution of the industry in Canada.
In retrospect, the early 1980's was certainly a time of transition as airline route regulation was a hotly debated topic and the eventual deregulation of the industry led to turbulence that lasted well into the 2000's.
Pacific Western Airlines was a very successful regional airline with ambitions of growing well beyond a niche market. In 1979, they ordered four Boeing 767-200's and applied for rights to expand their market across the country. Air Canada (still a crown corporation) lobbied hard against PWA's application and was successful.
PWA had taken delivery of two B-767-200's in early 1983 but had to cancel the remaining two aircraft. Registrations C-GPWA & C-GPWB were utilized within the western Canada market until 1985 when they were sold to Air Canada. They retained their registrations and Fin #'s (671 & 672) and continued in service for close to 20 years.
According to planespotters.net, both aircraft have been stored in the desert. Pictures of them in storage can be found on the internet, but, the images are difficult to look at.
The image below (courtesy of Caz Caswell) shows us a beautiful aircraft in PWA's stylish livery; it is a shame that at least one of these aircraft is not preserved in its original livery. However, models have been available since 2018.
I asked Ken Pickford for his insight on these aircraft and he provided his personal recollection.
"I flew on at least one (possibly both) of the PW B-767's while they were with PW, both SEA-YVR (not the ideal widebody route), one in June 1984 and again in February 1985, three months before they went to AC.
Those SEA-YVR flights continued to YYC-YQR (or YXE)-YWG. Apart from possibly the odd charter, I think those 6 cities were the only PW B767 destinations. No doubt the only widebody service Regina and Saskatoon have ever had, apart from possibly a few charters on Wardair etc."
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips
Terry 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.
Eurowings GmbH, founded in 1996, is a German low-cost airline headquartered in Düsseldorf and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.
Our cartoon appeared in the "Between Ourselves" magazine issued July 1966. The authors name is not distinguishable.
The caption reads "Ever since he won that art show award, he thinks he's Van Gogh".
The NetLetter Team
Wayne Albertson, Ken Pickford & Terry Baker
Richmond, British Columbia - December 2019
(Bob Sheppard was not available for the photograph)
We wish to honour the memories of Vesta Stevenson and Alan Rust.
They remain a part of every edition published.
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