Sunday, July 5, 2009

Toronto’s LARGEST AIR DISASTER… Flight 621 "Galaxy" Promotional Items

39 YEARS AGO TODAY… Flight 621 crashed in Castlemore, on July 5, 1970.

As the inside cover of the matches state, "The Galaxy" was Air Canada's unique jet service between Eastern Canada and California. The airplane itself, a DC-8 Stretch, and promotional material carried the theme.

IF YOU WERE one of Flight 621 passengers… these are some of the "Galaxy" promo items on board the ill-fated Stretch DC-8 you would likely have seen.

If you didn't seen the Air Canada Air Route scheduler on board, you would certainly have seen them at the check-in counter. And the Air Canada Galaxy themed matches would have been given out with ashtrays, or would have been on coffee tables, in the small lounge areas that were on the DC-8 itself.

The "Galaxy" theme was spread throughout the aircraft. It was incorporated into the molded ceiling plastic of the Galaxy DC-8s so that when passengers looked up they would almost think they were looking at the stars, the very heavens above. The blue ceiling actually had sparkler bits crafted in, which would "dance" creating a mild optical illusion for the viewer. Silly now, when you think about it. But hey, this was 1970, and the pervasive cultural theme was "anything goes".

To be fair, this similar "galaxy motif" can be found on some of the new Super Jumbo A380s. I mean, I saw some examples that Airbus was considering for the interior design on their new gigantic airplano. These evolved Airbus interior motifs were a little more polished and elaborate, but the idea of "touching the stars" in flight and in the cabin remains a strong one. One, that aircraft producers return to.

One of the very last things that the passengers would have seen, most, if not all, would have been the Second Officer Don Rowland leaving the cockpit and coming into the passenger cabin.

Did he look at the terrified passengers, as he briskly made his way to the one of the passenger's windows? Did he shake his head, or sigh, or swear, when he saw that the starboard wing was now… mostly gone? On his way back to the cockpit, what was he thinking? He knew then, that it was over, that there wasn't any hope.

We do know that when Don got back into the cockpit, he announced that they'd lost a wing.

And almost as if fate was waiting for that announcement, once it was made, and had registered with the airplane's pilot, and navigator… the DC-8 lastly lunged downward. Spiraling now, it could no longer pretend to be an an airplane.

It went straight into the ground at over 400 mph.

Sadly, but indeed mercifully, all 109 passengers and crew died instantly leaving family and friends to mourn their loss from that moment on.

And Flight 621's First Officer, Don Rowland…never made it back to his seat.

Flight 621 In Memorium

Adams, Celine Fradette
Adams, Pierre J
Beaudin, Gaetan
Belanger, Mrs.
Belanger, Jacques
Belanger, Jean
Belanger, Roland
Belanger, Rosanne
Benson, Helen
Benson, Leonard
Benson, Mary
Benson, Richard
Bertrand, Ginette
Boosamra, Lynn
Boulanger, Guy
Bradshaw, Dollie
Cedilot, Robert J
Chapdeleine, Jeannine
Chapdeleine, Joanne
Chapdeleine, Mario
Charent, Jean Maurice
Clarke, Devona Olivia
Cote, Francine
Daoust, Yolande
Desmarais, Brigitte
Desmarais, G
Dicaire, Alice (Marie)
Dicaire, Gilles
Dicaire, Linda
Dicaire, Luke
Dicaire, Mark
Dion, Suzanne
Dore, Jacqueline
Earle, Lewella
Earle, Linda
Filippone, Francesco
Filippone, Linda
Filippone, Marie
Gee, Bernard
Goulet, Denise M
Grenier, Madeleine

Growse, Jane
Growse, Roger
Hamilton, Karen E
Hamilton, Peter Cameron
Herrmann, Ronald Alvin
Hill, Harry Gordon
Holiday, Claude
Houston, Irene Margaret
Houston, Wesley
Jakobsen, Vagn Aage
Labont, Gilles
Leclaire, Marie Rose
Leclaire, Oscar
Leduc, Henri W
Lepage, Claudette
Mailhiot, Claire Gagnon
Mailhiot, Gerald Bernard
Maitz, Gustave
Maitz, Karoline
McKettrick, Winnifred
McTague, John
Medizza, Carla
Mohammed, Dolly
Molino, Antonio
Molino, Michael (Michel)
Moore, Frederick T
Partridge, Andrea
Partridge, Carnie (Carnis) Ann
Partridge, Cyril Wayne
Phillips, Kenneth William
Poirier, Rita
Raymond, Gilles
Raymond, Martial
Robert, Aline
Robert, Georges E
Robidoux, Lionel
Rowland, Donald
Silverberg, Marci
Silverberg, Merle
Silverberg, Steven
Simon, Istvan
Simon, Mark
Smith, Dwight Lee
St. Laurent, Blanche
Stepping, Glenn Thomas
Sultan, Celia
Sultan, Jerald. M
Sultan, Robert. L
Szpakowicz, Borys
Szpakowicz, Serge
Tielens, Carmen
Tielens, Frederick
Tournovits, George
Tournovits, Soula (Athanasia)
Weinberg, Carla
Weinberg, S
Weinberg, Wendy
Whittingham, Jennifer
Whittingham, John
Whittingham, Reginald
Whybro, Mary Baker
Wieczorek, Hildegund
Witmer, Edgar
Wong, Ngar-Quon
Wong, Suzie
Wong, Wong (Mansing)
Woodward, Dallas J

FOR MORE on this UNBELIEVABLE STORY in our day, and age, see:

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