2008 NetLetter #1011 - Feb 25, 2008

#1011 - Feb 25, 2008
Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonOne of our readers sent me some pictures datedVesta 1964 1964. here's one of yours truly.

The following  article (Part 2) originally appeared in the August 1999 Issue of "Air and Space Magazine"
which I found fascinating and I thought you may be interested in, of an unplanned trip around the world by a PanAm crew who got caught by the outbreak of WWII in the Pacific and made the most unexpected trip of their careers. (This is a continuation from NetLetter 1010...)

1941 CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF the GLOBE BY PAN AM'S "PACIFIC CLIPPER" (continued from Netletter 1010)

PanAm ClipperThe crew set to work fueling the airplane, and exactly two hours later, fully fueled and carrying a barrel of engine oil, the Clipper took off and pointed her nose south for Australia.

It was late in the afternoon when the dark green smudge of the Queensland coast appeared in the windscreen, and Ford began a gentle descent for landing in the harbor at Gladstone. After offloading their bewildered passengers, the crew set about seeing to their primary responsibility, the Pacific Clipper. Captain Ford recounted, "I was wondering how we were going to pay for everything we were going to need on this trip. We had money enough for a trip to Auckland and back to San Francisco, but this was a different story. In Gladstone a young man who was a banker came up to me and out of the blue said, 'How are you fixed for money?' 'Well, we're broke!' I said. He said, 'I'll probably be shot for this,' but he went down to his bank on a Saturday morning, opened the vault and handed me five hundred American dollars. Since Rod Brown, our navigator, was the only one with a lock box and a key we put him in charge of the money. That $500 financed the rest of the trip all the way to New York."

Ford planned to take off and head straight northwest, across the Queensland desert for Darwin, and then fly across the Timor Sea to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), hoping that Java and Sumatra remained in friendly hands. The next day, as they droned into the tropical morning the coastal jungle gradually gave way to great arid stretches of grassland and sand dunes. Spinnifex and gum trees covered the landscape to the horizon. During the entire flight to Darwin the crew didn't see a river big enough to set down the big flying boat should anything go wrong. Any emergency would force them to belly land the airplane onto the desert, and their flight would be over.

They approached the harbor at Darwin late in the afternoon. Massive thunderheads stretched across the horizon, and continuous flashes of lightning lit up the cockpit. The northernmost city in Australia, Darwin was closest to the conflict that was spreading southward like a brushfire. A rough frontier town in the most remote and primitive of the Australian territories, it was like something out of a wild west movie. After they had landed, the Pacific Clipper crew was offered a place to shower and change; much to their amusement their "locker room" turned out to be an Australian Army brothel.

Ford and his crew set about fueling the airplane. It was a lengthy, tiresome job. The fuel was stored in five gallon jerry cans, each one had to be hauled up over the wing and emptied into the tanks; it was past midnight before they were finished. They managed a few hours of fitful sleep before takeoff, but Ford was anxious to be underway. News of the progress of the Japanese forces was sketchy at best. They were fairly certain that most of the Dutch East Indies was still in friendly hands, but they could not dally.
(We will continue this sage in another NetLetter - eds)

We will continue more next time, meanwhile we have these links (same as previous issue)

Alan tells us there's also a book at: www.flyingclippers.com/postflight/6580-X.html

From my postcard collection - Hotel Orbis Kasprowy
Postcard 1011
Sep 2000, Dear Vesta;
Regards from Poland
Matt Laubitz.

Note: for our new readers, I have been collecting postcards from our travelling NetLetter "family" for many years. If you are away and have a minute, I'd be delighted to get one from you as well. You can obtain my address by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (it's automated and will respond right away)
Air Canada - our first 70 years

On March 1st 1952, Trans-Canada Air Lines operations at La Guardia New York was moved to Idlewild, later renamed JFK International Airport in 1963. At that time, there were three daily flights to YYZ and three to YUL daily. The company started moving flights back to LGA in 1979.

PDF fileWe have this cutting in pdf format sent to us by Peter Andes retired LGATR This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
On June 25th inauguration of service from La Guardia to Calgary and Vancouver started with B767 equipment.

Bombay - Singapore1985
- Jan 15th - Inauguration of Toronto-Bombay-Singapore via LHR. We have this picture of the London staff gearing up in Sept 1984!


The mid-air collision of a Harvard training plane and a Trans-Canada Air Lines North Star airliner on April 8th 1954 over Moose Jaw was the worst Canadian aviation disaster. To date this is Saskatchewan's worst aviation disaster with the loss of 37 lives.

Mid AirLarry Shaak wrote this book - Mid-Air Moose Jaw- with the intent to:
* pay tribute to the crash victims and their families;
* dispel many myths regarding this crash that still persist;
* challenge the three Boards of Inquiry who held three pilots solely responsible;
* challenge the aviation administrators and federal politicians who in 1954 ignored the many warnings of near misses between military and civilian aircraft near Moose Jaw, SK;
* ensure that this air crash remains a well documented part of prairie and Canadian History.

Book at ca$24.50 available at

Where are they now
- A340-313 fin 902 C-FYKZ c/n 154 returned to Maple Leaf Financing during Nov 2007 has been leased to Swiss International and re-registered HB-JMM

- A319 fin 254 C-FYJD ic/n 649 is reported to have been sold to Skybus on Jan 29/08..

- A319 fin 293 C-GJWE c/n 1756 has been returned to CEGAS and is due for Air Portugal.
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustSince this is issue #1011 of the NetLetter, I thought it fitting to remember the L-1011 which I know many retirees have either fond or "not so fond" memories of. I know it paid off a lot of mortgages with overtime!

Having worked in Line Maintenance all my career with Air Canada, the L-1011 was part of the fleet that I worked on for 23 of the 28 years I spent with Air Canada.

From a maintenance perspective I had mixed feelings about being one of the many technicians that helped maintain it. Part of my job was to occasionally carry out "service checks" every night. The #2 engine was a pain to access easily as it was on the tail and difficult to service. Seems like whenever there was an engine problem, it was always on #2 engine and we had to work off of lifts and stands that were 20 feet in the air. I remember being so impressed when I first saw the intake "S" duct on #2 eng. We entered through a small access hatch (that I probably wouldn't get through now) as we had to inspect fan blades and intake every night. It was an erry feeling looking out the #2 engine intake to see the forward part of the plane below (i should have taken some photos).

I remember someone putting a snag in the log book that one of the "elevators" were jammed. It was a relief to find out that they meant one of the "lifts" and not the flight controls...

AC L1011Air Canada L-1011 - part of the Air Canada fleet from 1973 - 1996.

L1011 devouring a 727Rare photo of a L1011 devouring a B727 - I know it's hard to believe, but aircraft DO eat their young. (don't laugh, the DC-9 is next).

The best thing I remember about the L-1011's is being lucky enough to get a back row on a long flight to England. I'm sure many of you took advantage of that as well!

Some links; www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/historical/lockheed-1011.html


Air Canada News
Air CanadaNew Routes - commencing May 18th new daily Toronto-Quebec City route a new daily Saskatoon-Toronto service.

The airline will also be re-introducing service to Abbotsford and Regina along with increased frequencies on the Toronto-Vancouver route to eight daily.

The twice-daily service between Toronto and Las Vegas will continue through the summer and the new Toronto-Los Angeles route will also continue through the summer.

Service to Punta Cana and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic will be extended to year-round departing once a week from Toronto.

Starting May 1st will add a new Ottawa-Washington-DCA service twice daily with 50-seat CRJs operated by Jazz Air.

A new Ottawa to Saskatoon daily service will utilize a 75-seat CRJ705 operated by Jazz Air

A new daily year-round Ottawa to Thunder Bay flight will commence with a 50-seat CRJ operated by Jazz Air.

Ottawa to Charlottetown will be daily year round with a 50-seat CRJ operated by Jazz Air. Additionally, Air Canada will commence a new Calgary-Chicago service on May 15th with a daily year-round Embraer 190 service

On May 1st a new non stop service linking Toronto and Austin Texas using a 75-seat CRJ705 by Jazz Air.

Toronto to Richmond VA will be re-started with twice daily year-round service using 37-seat Dash 8 aircraft operated by Jazz Air.

Previously announced was a new Ottawa to Frankfurt service commencing June 1 in addition to the daily Ottawa-London flight.

Star AllianceA330 fin 938 c/n 419 C-GHLM has been painted with Star Alliance colours.
How it used to be

Two in a Tower: (written in 1926)

Reproduced from the U.K.Pionairs monthly newsletter

Two men with earphones strapped to their heads sit in a tall white tower at Croydon Aerodrome. When they are not speaking on a wireless wave, receiving telegrams, writing figures in ledgers, or poring over maps, they can look out of the windows and watch the big Paris air liners swoop out of the sky. The green Surrey fields behind the landing ground rise to a ridge on which, far off, the Crystal Palace holds two giant "candlesticks" in the air.

This is the Control Tower of London's Air Port. It is the ear, eye and
voice of the aerodrome. There is nothing else like it in the country.
Pilots above the clouds in the Channel pour their troubles into the ears behind the headphones, and voices from this white tower go out into the sky, soothing the worries of airmen in bad weather, helping them, leading them home. On a cork table is painted a map of Europe. One of the men is always busy sticking little coloured flags on the map.
"Look!" he says "These are the aeroplanes now flying. This Goliath has just passed that Handley Page over Hythe. That flag in mid-Channel is a French machine coming over with a cargo of silk stockings. This blue flag is the Cologne 'plane..." "Passed Lympne!" whispers the man next to him; and the aeroplane-spotter picks up a little flag and takes it out of Kent into the sea.

I pick up a headphone and strap it on. Nothing happens. Everybody, it seems, is happy in the sky. There is no fog, there is no wind, there are no complaints. Then, suddenly: "Hello, Croydon?" cries a cheery voice.
"Hello? A passenger in my machine is very troubled" "That's the Cologne pilot speaking from the Channel" whispers one of the control men. "He's very troubled," says the pilot "because he's left his passport with you at the aerodrome. Now, can you send it on at once to the Dom Hotel at Cologne?
You can? I'll tell him. Thank you." Before the man driving the Cologne
air-liner cuts off, I think I heard him sing a cheerful little song away up there in the sky above the Channel; but I cannot be sure. One of the clerks writes out a note about the passport, and a messenger climbs down the perpendicular ladder with it and goes off among the old army huts below to deliver it.
I look round the control tower, admire the hundred gadgets it contains, admire the map with two pieces of string hanging to it, which is one way of finding a lost 'plane. (I wish I could explain why.) Then one of the control men turns a switch and hundreds of red lights spring out, deep ruby in the sunlight, crowning the tops of the huts. He turns another switch and ground lights come to life. I realize how thrilling this tower must be on a stormy winter night with a cold pilot buffeting about in the sky and the rain lashing the windows, and a plaintive voice coming out of the clouds, asking for light - and more light and news of the wind down below..
The telephone rings. The restless traffic controller of the Imperial
Airways is on the other end of the wire. He is a man who counts his
'planes more carefully than a hen mothers her chickens. If one lags behind, he gets nervy and wants to know all about it. "What's happened to the cargo machine that left Zurich this morning?" "Signalled Lympne half an hour ago," is the quick reply. "Thanks, she'll be here in no time".
A man with a pair of field glasses moves round on the outside platform and says something that sounds nautical. I look out and see far over the Surrey hills a dot in the sky. He has spotted the Paris 'plane. The men write in their books: She is up to time. In a few minutes she comes roaring over our heads, making a wide circle, going off, it seems, to the Crystal Palace; then she turns, skims back over the aerodrome roofs, and comes to earth, her fat-tyred wheels churning up the dust from the grass. She is big and brown, and along her body runs a strip of plate glass, through which I can see a
row of excited faces, a girl's pink hat, a man in a tweed cap .... She
taxies to her landing place. The mechanics run to her. The pilot heaves himself up in his seat, raises his goggles and steps out in a belted leather coat, groping for a cigarette. Men run up with steps. A young man comes out of the aeroplane with a camera, the girl in the pink hat appears and stands smiling in the doorway as he takes a snapshot of her. Then she steps delicately out upon the earth. She does not notice the tall white tower that brings liners home through the sky, and the tall white tower does not notice her, for it is chatting with a pilot half-way to Holland.

Printed with kind permission of Croydon Airport Society.
Contact Tony Etheridge on 01923-231699 for further information.
(More information at the web site www.croydonairport.org.uk)
TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

David Williams sent us this photograph of the Implementation Team R2P2 1986 Winnipeg

Res II YWG 1986When we moved Air Canada RESII Computer System from Toronto 151 Front St to the Computer building in Winnipeg, a photo was taken of the implementation team, in front of the building.

David Williams

Sun Belt Houston During April 1984 the President visited both Houston and Dallas.
We have this picture from "Between Ourselves" April 1984.

From "Horizons" issued July 1984
Terminal IIPictured the Outside sales staff "Conveniently yours" to promote YYZ terminal II.

The GlidersFrom YOW the "Gliders"

604 LGA-YYC-YVR 1984B767 fin 604 at La Guardia before departure to Calgary & Vancouver.
Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
We are most anxious to borrow any copies of in-house magazines we can use for inclusion in our future Netletters. Mailing costs will be reimbursed.

Ken Bjorge sent us this series of photographs -
PWA Flight AttendantsThe six P.W.A. flight attendants for C-GIPW (745) on Jun 17, 2005 are left to right - Wendy Wood (nee Hyde), Ann Bidlock (nee Loney), Gayle Philip (nee Little), Joan Campbell (nee Grams), Ilsa Buffi and Bonnie Wensel

Pacific Western Airlines

PWA CrewPictures Complete crew of C-GIPW (745) Jun 17th 2005

The ladies in uniform are - Wendy Wood (nee Hyde), Ann Bidlock (nee Loney), Gayle Philip (nee Little), Joan Campbell (nee Grams), Ilsa Buffi and Bonnie Wensel. together with Maryann Garbencius, Bill Pratt and on the stairs are Terry Champion, unidentified, Russ Revel, Wally Crosson, and another unidentified.

Brian Bourne & Bill Campbell and crewBrian Bourne and Bill Campbell with three unidentified people.

3 GentlemenBrian Bourne
, Jack Miles and Doug Laidman

Three UIPThree unidentified people

Convair cockpitIn the cockpit of a Convair
in March 1967 at Campbell River airport, BC

Ken This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(If anyone would care to identify the people in the photos, we will pass then information along. - eds)

We have a series of photographs from the M & E "Contact" magazine loaned to us by Bill Wood -

Canadi>n Mtc #1Canadian Mtc #2

Canadian Mtc #3

Michael Smith
sent us this picture -

PWA office Whitehorse(Yukon River)
PWA OfficeThe P.W.A. floatplane office on the Yukon River at Whitehorse. Summer of 1960. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Help Wanted!

Phil Pawsey is planning to visit Ireland this spring or early summer. My wife and daughter are interested in visiting relatives near Belfast, and any travel tips would be most appreciated..
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

From: John Carleton
Subject: Historical Research. C-119. Morocco.
A Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar is on display at the Marrakech Morocco (Menara International Airport - "RAK").

If you or any of your newsletter members know of some one living in Marrakech or visiting there would you be kind enough to have them contact me.

My research query is for confirmation of the identify and history of this aircraft. There is a possibility that this aircraft was originally owned and operated by the RCAF from 1952 to 1967.
If you have any suggestions on how to contact anyone in that area please advise me.

Thank you John.C This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Found on the Internet
There were apparently no serious injuries but it looks like it might be awhile before an Aserca Airlines DC-9 is back in service after a bizarre accident at Simon Bolivar Airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela, last week. The aircraft apparently left a hangar with both engines running and crossed a runway and a taxiway before coming to rest with at least part of its gear collapsed in the infield. Details are sketchy but the report says whoever was at the controls was unable to turn or brake the aircraft
Readers Feedback

Edna Rachuk sends us this information -
The date of the above picture is incorrect - I know because my husband - Len Rachuk - is on it, upper left, and he didn't join TCA until October 1st. 1946. He passed away in November 2002.
I thoroughly enjoy all the Net Letters.
Edna Rachuk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Note: see NetLetter 1010 for the referenced YEG staff photo.

Mary Stewart is a former editor of "Horizons" with Employee Communications, Manager - Corporate before moving over to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games organization, and she sends this information -
I think many of your readers may be interested in volunteering for the 2010 Winter Games. I have attached some information that you may want to publish in your newsletter. I have also attached an icon as well as the URL that you're welcome to use as a link to the volunteer pages on www.vancouver2010.com

The URL to signup is at: www.vancouver2010.com/en/Participation/VolunteerOpportunities

Some areas that may be especially suited to former/retired airline employees include:

* Protocol ,* International Client Services, * Ceremonies,
* National Olympic or Paralympic Committee services, * Sports/competition Management,* Food & beverages, * General administration, * Press operations, * Sponsorship services
* Venue operations, * Event services

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have further questions or need assistance.

Best regards Mary Stewart This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(former editor of Horizons at Air Canada)

Frank Pedder sent us some photographs, here are a couple of them
Subject: BONE YARD, Tucson, Arizona
The Bone Yard near Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. For those of you that have never seen this, it is something to see.
DesertThe precision in the way they are parked is impressive. It's difficult to comprehend the size of the 'Bone yard' and the number of aircraft stored there Of course the important thing to remember is that they are all capable of being returned to service if the need ever arises
If you are ever in the Tucson area, the weekly tours of the
bone yard are still given through the Tucson Air Museum , located
just south of Davis Monthan AFB.

Desert 2Both the museum and the boneyard are very popular attractions in the Arizona desert. It is difficult to comprehend the number of military aircraft in dead storage until you see these photographs!

Even if you have seen this before, look again.

The 3rd largest Air Force in the world is sitting on the ground here.
It's the only unit in the U.S. Air Force that actually makes a profit.

Frank This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerWe received this information from a reader who does not wish to be identified -
My experience with Holland America Cruise Line

In October,, 2007 I booked a 20-day cruise with HAL to Antarctica around Cape Horn for Dec. 18th. As the booking was confirmed with an e-mail, I proceeded a day later to clear out my booklets on cruises (I couldn't afford another). I belong to HAL's Mariner Club and get their frequent mailings. While cleaning out I spotted the exact same itinerary for Jan. 7 - same port calls - but it was much cheaper as it didn't cover the Holiday season. What I could saved would pay the $1000+ of the shore excursions. As only one full day had passed, I phoned to change the booking. I travel alone and have no commitments.

To make this change, before time enough had passed for them to even have completed paper work, I was charged $551 for what the called 'cancellation fees.' My stand on the fact I didn't cancel but exchanged didn't hold water. Same category, same ship and same itinerary in reverse.

Being interline, one can only say so much.

Here's what happened that leaves me to NEVER sail on Holland America again. Ten days to two weeks into November, at about 20:00 on a Friday evening, I received an e-mail that my Jan. 7, 2008 cruise reservation was cancelled. I had to wait until Saturday to phone Seattle. Saturday suppertime I finally got through to a very nice lady who went to her supervisor while I was on hold, and came back to assure me that both she and her supervisor had confirmed my booking for Jan 7th.

Later that night, Saturday about 20:00 (same time as the night before), I received an e-mail that all my shore excursions had been cancelled. It took me a whole afternoon to decide the ones I wanted and book them on line, which I did Early as some had limited space. HAL's toll free number goes through to their res office and that is all you're able to reach. One day I called at 13:45, was on hold until 14:15 and then hung up after getting no help from an agent who took my name and address to have a supervisor return my call. He never did.

After about two weeks of frustrating e-mails going back and forth, I decided to search the web until I found under the Carnival web site a number for complaints. It was a different toll free number and was only voice mail to leave name and phone number. I was very pleased when the phone rang about 15 minutes later. This second nice person I encountered in this two week time period was horrified by my story. He said although it was not his job, he was going to go over my port tours with me and rebook them all. I had lost the choice time on two of them but was very grateful for the first help I had received.

New vouchers came by special delivery and the transfer from the ship to the airport at the disembarkation point, Rio de Janeiro, had been omitted. By night I had made contact with a Mr. Greg Cole, Reservation Supervisor, who said it had never been booked and paid for. I still have a copy of the e-mail that was sent when I made the change originally that it was. I told him when their computer hick-upped it was dropped. I was told that this is what had caused the problem. I was also to be pacified by the fact that they had taken the involved agent aside and explained to them that I should have been informed of the computer problem and to ignore the cancellation notices. I don't know how this would have gotten my shore excursions rebooked. Suffice to say I had nightmares about it. I remember them vividly but this story is long enough. Suffice to say I lost confidence in travelling alone and in Holland America looking after me. I now no longer wanted to go. They gave me a $50 on-board credit what I told Mr. Cole was a slap in the face. He still would not reinstate my last day transfer to the airport. I finally got it when 5 days before sailing I phoned him and told him I was prepared to cancel my cruise without it. Holland America finally coughed up a $47 transfer voucher as they did not want me to cancel my reservation.

I went. The scenery was magnificent. I told someone 3 days before disembarkation I couldn't wait to get off 'this ship of Hell.; She responded that I was the second to have said such to her that day. On that cruise I received my 100 day HAL Mariner Medallion. There won't be one more day added!

I quickly want to add the story of the Marine Biologist invited on board to lecture. I spent 2 days with his wife. It took him two months to prepare 9 lectures and he was told he'd be lucky to get in two. He told Celia and she told me, that he planned to get in every possible thing over the PA while he was on the bridge. A private car picked them up at the airport to deliver them to the ship where they were immediately told there was no cabin for them. They were squeezed in to an unused crew cabin where she said her husband felt he couldn't move as he was tall and big built. And I thought I got a slap in the face??!!