2008 NetLetter #1013 - March 8, 2008

#1013 - March 8, 2008
Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonThe following  article (Part 4) 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.

(continued from Netletter 1012)

They flew northwesterly across the Sunda Straits, paralleling the coast of Sumatra. Chasing the setting sun, they started across the vast expanse of ocean. They had no aviation charts or maps for this part of the world; the only navigational information available to the crew was the latitude and longitude of their destination at Trincomalee, on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Using this data, and drawing from memory, Rod Brown was creating his own Mercator maps of South Asia. Ford was not only worried about finding the harbour, he was very concerned about missing Ceylon altogether. He envisioned the Clipper droning on over India, lost and low on fuel, unable to find a body of water on which to land.

As they neared the island they could see a cloud bank ahead. Ford said, "There was some low scud, so we descended. We wanted the maximum available visibility to permit picking up landfall at the earliest moment -- we didn't want to miss the island. All of a sudden there it was, right in front of us, a Jap submarine! We could see the crew running for the deck gun. Let me tell you we were pretty busy getting back into the scud again!"

Clipper PanelFord jammed the throttles of the Clipper forward to climb power, the engines complaining bitterly. Their 150 mph speed soon had them well out of range of the sub's guns, and the crew heaved a sigh of relief. It would be difficult to determine who was the more surprised; the Japanese submarine commander or the crew of the Clipper, startled out of their reverie after the long flight.

It was another hour until they reached the island, and the Boeing finally touched water in the harbour at Trincomalee. The British Forces stationed there were anxious to hear what Ford and his crew had to report from the war zone to the east, and the crew was duly summoned to a military meeting. Presiding was a pompous Royal Navy Commodore who informed Ford in no uncertain terms that he doubted Ford would know a submarine if it ran over him. Ford felt the hackles rise on the back of his neck. He realized that he could not afford to make an enemy of the British military, the fate of the Pacific Clipper rested too heavily in their hands. He swallowed hard and said nothing.

It was Christmas Eve when they began the takeoff from Ceylon and turned the ship again to the northwest. The heavily loaded Boeing struggled for altitude, labouring through the leaden humid air. Suddenly there was a frightening bang as the number three engine let go. It shuddered in its mount, and as they peered through the windscreen the crew could see gushes of black oil pouring back over the wing. Ford quickly shut the engine down, and wheeled the Clipper over into a 180 degree turn, heading back to Trincomalee Less than an hour after takeoff the Pacific Clipper was back on the waters of Trincomalee harbour. The repairs to the engine took the rest of Christmas Eve and all Christmas Day. One of the engine's eighteen cylinders had failed, wrenching itself loose from its mount, and while the repair was not particularly complex, it was tedious and time-consuming. Finally early in the morning of December 26th, they took off from Ceylon for the second time. All day passed as they crossed the lush carpet of the Indian sub continent, and then cut across the northeastern corner of the Arabian Sea to their landing in Karachi, touching down in mid-afternoon.
(We will continue the story in another NetLetter - eds)
(To be continued - eds)

This weeks postcard - The Pitcher Plant, Newfoundland's provincial flower.
Sent by Bob Kieley YQX retired.
Postcard 1013

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 News
Air CanadaAir Canada Expands Calgary Transborder Service with Daily Non-Stop Flights To Newark - Air Canada announced it is further expanding service from Calgary to the New York/New Jersey area with the launch of the only daily, non-stop service to Newark on June 16, complementing the carrier's daily, non-stop flights to New York's JFK Airport. Air Canada will launch its newest transborder flights to Newark with 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft, offering a choice of Executive or Economy class service.
Air Canada - our first 70 years

  • Sept 20th - Air Canada flew the Pope John Paul II from Ottawa to Rome, concluding the first ever visit to Canada by a reigning Pontiff.

January - Air Canada in conjunction with P.Lawson Travel, circled the globe in 18 days with a B747.carrying 224 passengers visiting Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Capetown and Rio de Janiero under the command of Capt. Don Stinson. We have these photos from "Horizons" issued March 1985 of the front end crew, back end crew and the crew who waved them off from YYZ.

Back End CrewFront End Crew

Send off Crew

Jun 15th
- Direct service inaugurated with L1011 equipment YOW-LHR until Sept 7th. Helicopter service from Halifax International Airport to downtown Halifax. This the first airport to city service in Canada.

Pictured are the front covers of early timestables -

1939 Time TableIssued April 1939

1940 Time TableIssued December 1940

Musings from "Horizons" -  Issue dated April 1985
Hanger 1929The Vancouver Airport hanger in 1929
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustFor all of those that wrote to say I screwed up last week and labeled the Airbus A380 cockpit as a B777, you're right! I screwed up! I guess I need to proof read a little bit better I guess. Anyhow, as Terry says, "it's nice to know that all of you are paying attention".

Most aircraft use about two-thirds of the runway to take off. This is an Ilyushin IL76 (I hope, see error above) freight aircraft taking off fully laden for an 11 hour flight, warm day, no wind, oh and look, no runway left either.

Ilyushin IL76Vodka Burner - Turn up your speakers, watch the whole video and listen to the "controllers" in the tower who are Australian, Ya gotta love it!

They use EVERY INCH of the runway!


Alan Rust

TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

Reunion LHR 2003In NetLetter nr 989, we had this picture, but no identification of people. A reunion at LHR in 2003.

Peter Baldry & Stephanie Webber both worked in Terminal 3 at LHR in the 1960's. They combined their efforts to contact as many co-workers, some who had retired and spread across the globe as far as USA, France, Canada, Ireland and Scotland. At the end of May, some three dozen turned up at the Hillingdon Golf Club .

After nagging Peter Baldry for some names, he has come up with some of them.

This was the response we got from Peter - OK so here we go "that" picture of those who gathered for a re-union of those who worked at Heathrow's Passenger Office in the 1960's. It took about 8 months to organize and find people and regrettably we did overlook some as well. They came from Victoria (BC), Toronto, Eire, France, Scotland and the Isle of Wight!!

From the front and left to right (those Brian & I cannot recall I have merely used a question mark)

Front row: Heather Dawson, Brian Wright, ?, Milly Milledge, Erica Frost, Helen Hutton
2nd row: Ken Anderson, ? , Frankie Abbott, Judy Fleet, Sandra Deschamps, Jenny Taylor, Jean Campbell
3rd row: Drusilla Greenwood, Angela Flanagan, ? , Trish Grace, Steph Grayson, ? , Joan Lovegrove, Sue Woodcock, Paddy Young, Wanda Sinclair
4th row: Brian Forrester, Brian Hall, Maria Mottram, Peter Broad, Graham Hopkins, Rob Grayson, Tony Dunn, Roger Goom, Peter Baldry, Ian Williamson, Jimmy Edwards

These photos were sent to Vesta by Beryl (Dawe) Allan
- Beryl This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Just wondering if you worked in YUL teletype, I started there in Dec. 1962. PS, worked with Sashi (Karisatsumari), Lorna(Howie) Grossman, Margaret Muldoon, Connie Medynski, etc.

Teletype OperatorsYULX Radio operators

Counting ChadCounting chad!

Joan Mary FranJoan, Mary and Fran at Teletypes YULXX May 1964

Pat Mary GretePat, Mary and Grete at Teletypes YULXX

Two Tele GirlsTwo teletype operators at YULX May 1964

Musings from "Horizons"

Windsor BannerIssue October 1984 -
Windsor passenger agents display their bicentennial banner.

Miami GoodbyeMiami friends say goodbye as MIA, ORD and LAX consolidate reservations offices.

Papal BedIssue dated November 1984 -
The Papal bed is designed with care, the mattress is tried out by the following -

SingaporeSingapore staff get reading for the inaugural flight next January, we have this picture -

Retirement SeminarA retirement seminar, one of many over the years, this one was in 1984 -
Participating in the Halifax seminar are shown, back row, from the left: Dick and Mary Gormley, Fredericton; Adolphe Cormier, Stephenville; Neta and Alfred Grono, Joyce and Arnold Burris, and Jim Turner, all of Halifax, Everett Kenny, Gander; Ford Himmelman and Hedley Smith, Halifax; Stu Day, Yarmouth; Eldon Richardson, Saint John; Evelyn and Vic Ward, Moncton and Shirley and Irv Mackie, Halifax.

Middle row, from the left
, are: Virginia Dowling, Sydney;
Shirley Lugrin, Saint John; Adrianne and George Landry, Moncton; Ray and Edith Head, Gander; Brenda Himmelman, Shirley Smith, Christina Kenny, Theresa and Bob Anderson, all of Saint John; Gerald and Pat Keily, Gander and Bride and Ron Thomey, Gander.

Front row, from the left, are: Carl and Kathleen Nelson, and Maxine and Ed Sheppard, Halifax.

Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
VegaFrom the "Canadian Flyer" issue October 2000 we have this picture.

Last Arrival YMXThe last international arrival into Mirabel (YMX) on Sept 14, 1997 was CP45. Working the flight were Capt. M Weismuller, F/O S.Graham, CSD M.Lachapelle, F/A's E.Martens, M.Spence, M.Desaulniers, K.Trainos, M.Chindamo and R.Del Gaudio. Posing with a few members of the crew are airport agents (l to r) Uli Opalka and Danny Rigo.

From the "Canadi>n Flyer" issued February 1998 we have these two pictures

The first flight of Canadi>n North was October 31, 1989

Canadian CargoCanadian North
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker Convenient One-way "Family Affair" fares now available. Further changes have been made to the Family Affair program, and a new fare structure offering convenient, one-way fares under Family Affair are now available for all North America destinations including Alaska and Hawaii (HNL, OGG and KOA). The Family Affair fare class is now "A" for all North America and International destinations and Family Affair bookings can now be made at anytime providing "A" inventory is available. Remember, the Family Affair program offers the benefits of confirmed travel at a reduced rate for eligible family members.

Interline Specials -
Great resort picks in St. Martin and St. Thomas plus
a terrific new Greek Land packages exploring Athens, Crete and Rhodes.

You will find some exciting new Panama Canal offerings from Holland America for next fall. The selection of river cruise, ocean cruise and resort and land packages has never been better. Now is the time to plan your next Interline vacation.

Check out our great selection of Mexican and Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. We also introduce great land tour packages exploring the wonders of China. You can select a short Beijing holiday or a more extensive land tour and cruise on the Yangtze which starts in Beijing and ends in Shanghai. We have plenty of great options for cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii and through the Panama Canal. Now is the time to plan your next interline vacation.

For information and reservations, please call INTERLINE WORLD VACATIONS AT 1-866-279-8480 toll free or (604) 279-8482 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Reprinted from the monthly newsletter issued by LHR Pionairs -
A visit to Thailand by Jack and Aureen Morath.

Last month Aureen and I visited Thailand - our second visit in l4 months. We had two sets of tickets - one using Thai Airlines to Bangkok on standby which was around £l00 return including taxes, and another set of tickets which we could use on other airlines on the same route, eg Eva Air, (handled by Air Canada), BA and Qantas which is around £l0 or so more. You can get a refund on any tickets not used. We actually travelled on Eva Air one way and Thai the other. Between Bangkok and Chiang Mai we obtained a 5O% confirmed seat on Thai for the one hour and ten minutes flight which worked out around £5O each return.

In Chiang Mai we met up with Frank Shettlesworth and his 'lovely girls' in their Travel shop. Also there at the same time as us were Phil Corbett, Geoff Beckett and Andy Burgess. We had a meal out together while we were there. Frank can advise on any tours in the Northern area from an hour or so to a few days. He can also advise on hotels and can make bookings for you. On this trip we arranged a river cruise in the city through Frank, and also a one full day to the Northern tip with a car and driver to ourselves. We could then stop wherever we wanted and we visited a few places of interest and also spent an hour or so in Burma - now known as Myanmar..

Back in Bangkok we took a local train to the River Kwai area and stayed two nights there which we would recommend. The local train took three hours and cost all of £l.50 each way. Although it was third class, it was comfortable and most interesting. You can take a train ride over the river Kwai on the local train for about twenty pence, and there is also an interesting museum. We also visited the military cemetery there which was in excellent condition. You don't need a visa to visit Thailand and it's very cheap there. The people are so friendly and they call it the Land of Smiles because they all smile there! Well worth a visit.

This former Air Canada employee runs a local travel agency

From Frank Shettlesworth - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Should anyone be considering a visit to Thailand, my Girls and I will endeavour to get you the best possible deal - be it Tours, Accommodation, Car Hire or Travel in Thailand

Or just plain advice and information.

Website at www.wanderingstartour.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Telephone Frank, Dau or Tack on 66 (0) 53 273602 or FAX 66 (0) 53 27370

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice: When you put the two words 'The' and 'IRS' together, it spells 'THEIRS'?