2008 NetLetter #1017 - April 4, 2008

#1017 - April 4, 2008
Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson
Ross Smyth
I just received this email and thought you may want to know that Ross Smyth's health is declining rapidly, just in case you know of anyone who might want to say their farewells as Ross knew many other staff members.

Ross Smyth
From Pamela Smyth - My father was one of the first employees with Air Canada/TCA and eventually become the Public Relations Manager. I believe he often attended the Pionairs annual conventions. On Good Friday, I received a call from St. Mary's Hospital (Montreal). His health is declining rapidly and if you know him and wish to contact him, he is on the 5th floor in the Palliative Oncology Ward.  He experiencing some memory loss, but still has his sense of humour and knows who I am. Yesterday, he told me that he's lived a good life but is scared.

Currently, I am trying to arrange a flight and accommodations to see him before he passes and thought that anyone who knew him in your organization might like to say their farewells. His room is 5312. There is a phone beside his bed (514-345-3511 extension 3087). You can also ask to speak with the nursing station (Shannon or Brie) as they are very nice. I live on Vancouver Island and my phone number is 250-757-9559. If you get my voice mail it will say 'Biostrat' which is my company name, so please leave your number so I may return your call.  My email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Pamela Smyth

This weeks postcard - SOUTHEAST ALASKA
Postcard 1017
Primary stops for the cruise ships and ferries include KETCHIKAN, JUNEAU the state  Capital of Alaska, SKAGWAY gateway to the Klondike and SITKA Old Russian capital.

Women in Aviation conference
The historic and continuing contributions of women to aviation will be front and center at EAA  AirVenture this July. Women in Aviation International (WAI) announced at its annual conference  in San Diego that WomenVenture will culminate in the largest gathering of female pilots ever assembled on Aeroshell Square, the centerpiece exhibits area of AirVenture.

The gathering will follow a week of seminars, speakers, business and social events in Oshkosh. "This is a dynamic time for Women in Aviation, International, as we continue in our mission to spread the word about the passion, excitement and career opportunities aviation offers to more and more women," WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said as the conference closed on Sunday.

A total of 3,320 people registered for the weekend conference, including 250 active military personnel, and there were 151 companies and organizations in the commercial exhibit. WAI handed out $710,855 in scholarships to WAI members for training and the permanent endowment fund used for some of those scholarships swelled by $28,000 to $563,000 thanks to a well-received silent auction.

Next year's conference, the 20th, will be held in Atlanta from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28.2009.

Website: Woman in Aviation International - www.wai.org

ClipperAnother installment of the "Clipper" story continued from NetLetter nr 1016

The engines had been at take-off power for nearly five minutes and  their temperatures were rapidly climbing above the red line; how much more abuse could they take?

With agonizing slowness the big Boeing began to climb, foot by perilous foot. At  last they were clear of the walls of the gorge, and Ford felt he could pull the throttles back to climb power. He turned the airplane toward the west and the Atlantic.

The crew, silent, listened intently to the beat of the engines. They roared without a miss, and as the airplane finally settled down at their cruising altitude Ford decided they could safely head for Brazil, over three thousand miles to the west. The crew felt revived with new energy, and in spite of their fatigue, they were excitedly optimistic. Against all odds they had crossed southern Asia and breasted the African continent. Their airplane was performing better than they had any right to expect, and after their next long ocean leg they would be back in the hemisphere from which they had begun their journey nearly a month before.

The interior of the airplane that had been home to them for so many days was beginning to wear rather thin. They were sick of the endless hours spent droning westward, tired of the apprehension of the unknown and frustrated by the lack of any real meaningful news about what was happening in a world besieged by war.

They just wanted to get Home.

After being airborne over twenty hours, they landed in the harbor at Natal just before noon. While they were waiting for the necessary immigration formalities to be completed, the Brazilian authorities insisted that the crew disembark while the interior of the airplane was sprayed for yellow fever. Two men in rubber suits and masks boarded and fumigated the airplane.

Late that same afternoon they took off for Trinidad, following the Brazilian coast as it curved around to the northwest. It wasn't until after they had departed that the crew made an unpleasant discovery. Most of their personal papers and money were missing, along with a military chart that had been entrusted to Navigator Rod Brown by the US military attaché in Leopoldville, obviously stolen
by the Brazilian "fumigators."

The sun set as they crossed the mouth of the Amazon, nearly a hundred miles wide where it joins the sea. Across the Guineas in the dark they droned, and finally at 3 AM the following morning they landed at Trinidad.

There was a Pan Am station at Port of Spain, and they happily delivered themselves and their weary charge into friendly hands.

The final leg to New York was almost anti-climactic. Just before six on the bitter morning of January 6th, the control officer in the Marine Terminal at La Guardia was startled to hear his radio crackle into life with the message, "Pacific Clipper, inbound from Auckland, New Zealand, Captain Ford reporting. Overhead in five minutes."

(The next episode in a later NetLetter - eds)
Star Alliance News
Star AllianceTurkish Airlines became the 20th member of Star Alliance in ceremonies  in Istanbul on April 1st, culminating a 16-month process that began in  December 2006 when the airline signed a protocol agreement to join  the grouping.

Star Alliance expects to make an announcement regarding a new Latin American partner this year, CEO Jaan Albrecht announced on the occasion of Turkish Airlines' joining in Istanbul.

He acknowledged that it is "no secret" Star is talking to TAM and that a number of members  already have bilateral partnerships with the Brazilian carrier. Star has had no presence in the region since the collapse and dismissal of Varig and Mexicana withdrew in 2004.

Air Canada - our first 70 years

  • May - Lockheed L1011-500 seized at LHR falsely accused of being used for the smuggling of drugs from Singapore. GBP50,000 fine levied..
  • Air Canada Pionairs celebrate their 10th anniversary with a gathering of 700 at Anaheim for the AGM and festivities.
  • Air Canada became the first Canadian user of the Honeywell DPS90 computer system located at Dorval.
  • Helicopter service from Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto, which started August 1986, has been discontinued due to lack of public interest.
  • Regina staff handled a visit by the Air France Concorde when President of France Francois Mitterand visited Western Canada.
  • Aug 1st - Air Canada service discontinued at Yarmouth, taken over by Air Nova.
  • Nov 1st - Air Toronto became an Air Canada Connector carrier.
  • Nov - The third "Around the world" flight in conjunction with P. Lawson Travel
    Around the WorldThe B747 fin 303 CF-TOC under the command of Capt.Jim Chivers.(


  • Decision made to move a C&SS group involving 45 positions from Toronto to Dorval.
  • June - Announced plans to inaugurate B767 service to Lisbon and Madrid from Toronto via Mirabel effective October 1988.
  • Aug - The in-house magazine "Horizons" changes its layout from that adapted with the demise of the name "Between Ourselves" on May 1972 when, after a major overhaul, the name was changed to "Horizons"
New YorkDuring a recent visit, Pierre Jeanniot performed a ribbon cutting ceremony in New York to officially open the new City Sales Office. Since Air Canada has been serving New York in 1941 the midtown ticket office has moved its location nine times!

1989 - Mar 12 - Inaugural service to Nice, France  from YYZ via LHR..

From "Horizons" issued October 1987 was this story entitled "The Viscount years and the Winnipeg spirit"

Written by Ray Sarrinen who had retired to the west coast, was an Aircraft inspector and did other related jobs at Winnipeg during the Viscount years.

A trip back to Winnipeg to attend a funeral and a visit to the Legion there brought him in touch with many friends and retirees, mostly from the old maintenance base. This brought the memories flooding back and sparked this article.

I think Winnipeg is unique in the way good times and good fellowships are organized. There's a real "Winnipeg spirit".

Maybe it's because of the multi-cultural workforce, or the "cool" winters, but YWG Maintenance has always been a good place to work because of this attitude.

I joined Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) in the Fall of 1951.
Worldwide airline growth was just starting and TCA ran a defense contract for the Air Force. Those were the days of piston engines and 200 mph was fast for a passenger airplane. Economy class had just been invented on the North Stars, but more important, a crossover  exhaust system on the RR Merlin engines meant you could  now talk in flight.

Many new employees started about this time. True enough, the work was different, but the recreational activities became a surprise to us all. Be it sport, social, educational, etc., the Recreation Association was there as an organizer and leader.

Remember the 25c "Mayday" draws?

The Airline Credit Union was certainly a grass roots organization and it served us well. Remember I% on the unpaid balance?

Then there was the Rod and Gun Club, and the Lodge. Was it on White Lake? Certainly in the early 50s, there was nothing to match the variety of activities of the Winnipeg Base.

It was late in 1954 when the first Vickers Viscount was delivered to Winnipeg from the 'old sod". This revolutionary new aircraft with its Rolls Royce Turbo Prop engines started a whole new world for all of us.
(More next time - eds)
TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

YYC 1986For the 50th anniversary of Air Canada, Calgary staff dreamed up their version of the B767 for the city's Stampede parade in 1986.

YWG 1986And this is the effort of the Winnipeg staff for the 50th anniversary.

Musings from "Horizons"
Bonny HigneyIssued June 1987 - Bonny Higney was the first female Cargo Station Attendant in Atlantic Canada employed at Halifax International Airport.

MiamiMiami staff celebrate the companies 50th

Fred Weidlich and daughterThis unique team is composed of Fred Weidlich, Lead Mechanic in the Power Plant at YUL and his daughter Alkison, Cat II Mechanic in the same section.

Issued August 1988 -
YYZ Ramp StaffNew faces appeared on the ramp in YYZ - here's some of them

Found on the Internet
Facing a deadline to meet a target on its route from Norwich, England, to Dublin, local airline Flybe paid 172 temp workers to fill the seats., The airline had to transport at least 15,000 passengers on the route in the 12 months ending on Monday, or it would forfeit a 280,000-pound ($550,000) rebate from the airport. The airline tried to negotiate a partial rebate for coming close, but the airport said it was all or nothing. Flybe also offered free flights to all comers via its Web site, but when it still came up short, the temps were enticed with an open bar. Richard Jenner, managing director of the airport, called the airline's strategy "ludicrous" and said the target had to be met by regular fare-paying passengers.
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustWith the explosion of Online communication that the Internet started with email, chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, forums, etc. there has been a noticeable increase in WWW (World Wide Web) users using various shortcuts to get their point across.

While most of you may know what WWW stands for (no, it's not what came after WW1 and WW2) you may not be "up" on other short forms that have crept in since the late 1980's. Luckily, most of the short forms are used in IM (Instant Messaging) where friends are chatting online.

I know many of you have grandchildren and great grandchildren that may be using these short forms in communicating with you. I regulary use TTYL (talk to you later) and VBG (very big grin) in my emails, but on the whole, with shortforms, not so much.

Here's some samples to try out on your grandchildren...

afaik - as far as I know, asap - as soon as possible, atb - all the best, b4 - before, bbfn -bye bye for now, bbl - be back later
bcnu - be seein' you, bf - boyfriend, bg - big grin, bc - because,
brb - be right back, bs - I don't believe you, btw - by the way
cb - ciao baby, cm - call me, cu - see you, cul8r - see you later, dk - don't know, eod - end of discussion, f2f - face to face, f2t - free to talk, fbi - I'll look into it, fya - for your amusement, fyi - for your information, gf -girlfriend, gr8 -great, h2cus - hope to see you soon, hak - hugs and kisses, idk- I don't know

I have some more for next week.



Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

Canadian Regional Airlines - a history

The roots of Canadian Regional go back to the 1930's when Time Air was formed by Lethbridge Alberta businessman, Walter "Stub" Ross. Time Air acquired Southern Frontier Airlines and North Canada Air. In January 1991,  Canadian Regional Airlines was formed as a holding company to hold and manage  Canadian Airlines Corporation's regional airline interests.

At that time Canadian Airlines Corporation acquired 100% of both of Time Air and Ontario Express as well as 70% of Inter-Canadien.

In April 1993, Canadian Regional Airlines brought the operations of Time Air and  Ontario Express together to operate as Canadian Regional Airlines.

The two carriers were legally amalgamated in July 1998 and by then, Inter-Canadien  had become a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Regional Airlines. Canadian Regional Airlines was then the largest regional carrier in Canada. In September 1998, Canadian Regional sold Inter-Canadien.

Canadian Regional was integrated into the Air Canada family during the year 2000  and legally amalgamated with Air Canada Regional and the other Air Canada  regional carriers on January 1, 2001.
(Source www.flyjazz.ca)
Readers Feedback
Member FeedbackBill Wood sends this information
Subject: Boeing Plant YVR

This should bring back a few memories!
Boeing PlantIn 1939 Boeing of Canada, headquartered at Vancouver, B.C., built a huge manufacturing factory on Sea Island beside the middle arm of the Fraser River to build aircraft for the  war effort. The Boeing Aircraft Company's Sea Island, BC plant was well known during WWll for building PBY Catalina Aircraft for off-shore air patrols and the mid section of the B-29. 

CansoBoeing Aircraft of Canada
built 362 PBY flying boats and amphibians designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego and 16 British-designed Blackburn Shark torpedo aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force. The RCAF called the PBY's Cansos.

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

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerDuty Free Update for U.S.-Bound Travellers - YVR passengers heading to the United States now have the option to purchase duty free items after clearing security. This means you can carry your selections onto the plane as carry-on baggage.

Previously, any duty free liquor or fragrance purchases (liquids) had to be purchased at the pre-security duty free store and packed into your checked baggage before proceeding through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection process. This existing pre-security duty free location will continue to operate. Look for the newly-opened Aldeasa duty free retail shop in the transborder departure gates area near Gate E86, offering a great assortment of duty free products including top-selling liquor, tobacco, fragrance and cosmetics. The store is open from 4a.m. to 8p.m. daily.

Due to current rules and regulations on the carriage of liquids, gels and aerosols, some restrictions on duty free purchases still apply for travellers making certain connections, which Aldeasa retail staff can explain should you wish to pick up a few duty free items.

SmileyIn NetLetter nr 1016 we ran this article, but the gremlins stole our picture, so we are rerunning it -

ConAirRecently, The BC province has committed to return, by air, to the appropriate province those criminals who have been hiding out in BC. The scheme has been dubbed "CON AIR". We thought that this cartoon from a copy of "Horizons" issued March 1988 was in keeping with the news.

Frank GardonEveryone in Dorval will recognize this view of Frank Gardon entering his office, or is that "orifice". Frank is a Tank Sealer, and this picture appeared in "Horizons" issued September 1988.