…jus' get into LIFE more than others~
THIS is a TI-CAT FAN. This IS NOT a BLUE JAYS fan—
Will Hamilton still have the Ti-Cats in 2012????
Is 2011, the VERY LAST YEAR at IVOR WYNNE and the very last year of the HAMILTON TIGER-CATS?
Will a 150 year (almost - 1873) football tradition really end?
Will Head Coach of the Ti-Cats cheerleaders LESLIE STEWART save the day?? Again???
Thursday, December 30, 2010
…jus' get into LIFE more than others~
Saturday, December 25, 2010
MARLENE STEWART STREIT, Order of Canada, was born on the farm, in Cereal, Alberta on March 9, 1934. Two years later her family abandoned the family farm because of the unrelenting locust hordes of the past two years. These locust storms had consumed all their crops. The Stewarts resettled in Ranier Alberta, in the irrigation district, where crops were bountiful with fruits (like melons) and vegetables they had never even seen before.
So far, so good.
Eventually, horrendous sand storms killed crop production in Ranier, so the Stewart family in 1941 again pulled up stakes, and moved to Fonthill near to the US border at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Marlene's father, Harold, had tried to join the RCAF but because her dad was a skilled electrician he was immediately dispatched to work for Fleet Aircraft of Canada, there in Fonthill.
Starting off as a golf caddy for a friend of hers, Marlene learned how to play…and really win at the game…from golfing master and pro Gordon McInnis Sr. at Fonthill's Lookout Point Golf Club. Putting spikes into her street shoes, and rewrapping her golf club's because Marlene's hands were so small…McInnis taught Marlene the techniques showcased in Ben Hogan's book, Power Golf.
Tiny Marlene, she stood only five feet tall, was so persistent and so damn determined. She got golf right, and right from the start immersed herself in the game, practising golf day and night. Soon she started winning tourneys. After she won the Ontario provincial championship, before financially committing to take Marlene to the Amateur level, Harold Stewart asked McInnis to fairly assess his daughter's potential future success.
Marlene's dad asked the seasoned McInnis, "How far can she go?"
McInnis thought about the father's searching question, and honestly responded, 'She can go the limit. She can be the best.'
And that's exactly what she started to do…
By December, 1954, at a mere 20 years old, and standing only five feet tall with tiny hands, Miss Stewart had garnered some pretty spectacular golfing achievements for a young Canadian lass.
Have a looky for yourself:
▪Ontario Junior Girls (2-time winner)
▪Ontario Ladies' Amateur - 1951
▪Canadian Women's Amateur - 1951, 1954
▪CLGA Close Amateurs - 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
EXCELLENT!! Way to go Marlene!
But on December 17, 1954 Canada's brightest golfing star boarded a triple-tail TCA Super Constellation in Tampa, Florida with…Canada's worst pilot, Captain Norman Ramsay, at the helm.
Marlene, not good~
I can't look. Quick, take another afternoon flight!!
Too late folks, airborne now…
Trans-Canada-Airlines newest type airliner took flight on a route straight north from Tampa to Malton airport, now known as Pearson International or YYZ.
At 9:32pm, Mount Pleasant - Brampton, Ontario time, Captain Ramsay vectored his large and brand-new 1.5 million dollar Constellation to line-up with Malton airport's northwest runway. He coaxes the graceful bird into position, drops his wheels, drops his flaps, throws his canteen out the window, and brings her in to land.
Trouble is…Norman and his TCA Constellation…are 12 miles from the airport.
Very soon, Norman's Super Constellation's fuselage and delicate underbelly is being ripped up by the very rough, and very frozen, unforgiving farmland fields of Mount Pleasant in Brampton.
All 27 passengers aboard the TransCanada Airlines flight had only just been told, and had only begun to prepare, moments before, for landing at Malton…when their unexpected disaster struck.
On the descent, the Super Constellation struck several trees which sheared off one of the wings of the ill-fated airliner. Good grief. The speeding airliner stared sliding along the frozen Brampton tundra for nigh of a 1000 feet. When the botched-landing airplane came to rest, it was on the farmland of Clure Archdekin. And fortunately, for the passengers and crew, Clure was right on hand to give help.
Some of the passengers were able to escape through the large fuselage hole created when the Connies' wing was torn away. Other dazed survivors just jumped to the ground unassisted from the former aircraft, while Clure got the rest of the passengers, and all three crew members, out from the other end of the burning wreck. Everyone survived, and as they ran from the fire engulfed airplane, it proceeded to explode sending a huge ball of orange flame that went a hundred feet into the air.
At the time, 1954, it was the most miraculous escape in Canadian aviation history.
Marlene Stewart, herself, sustained only slight injuries from the accident. Not only did everyone survive, but miraculously…no one was even seriously injured!
These TCAL air crash survivors were cautiously sent to Brampton and Weston hospitals. Brampton firefighters who had rushed to the scene mostly assisted the crash survivors by getting them into arriving ambulances, as they were not able to save the burning airplane. TCA's pride of the fleet, the Lougheed Super Constellation, was stuck 1000 feet from the nearest road, on frozen, rough farmland…and remember Brampton at the time did not have the elaborate fire hydrant system that it has today. In short, the firefighters were not able to get any significant amount of water out to the airplane, in order to save her.
Very shortly after this crash, Malton Airport's flight approach route was altered, so that descending airliners would no longer take this approach…and fly over the centre of Brampton.
This Trans-Canada-Air-Lines crash, and Hurricane Hazel's terrible October flooding of Brampton two months earlier, convinced Brampton politicians that the city needed full-time firefighters, modern equipment, and a disaster plan for this growing community of British and Portuguese immigrants.
Only 16 short years later that very disaster plan would have to be put into effect for another large airplane that would crash in Brampton, this time, at the other end of the city.
That would be Air Canada Flight 621 on July 5, 1970.
Only this time there would be no miracles, because there would be no survivors.
Marlene Stewart Streit as we know survived the forgotten Trans-Canada-Air-Lines crash of 1954, and went forth to become the most accomplished Canadian amateur golfer…in Canadian history, male or female. Marlene also became the only golfer in world history to have won the Australian, British, Canadian and United States Women's Amateur Golf Championships.
In total career wins Marlene won 11 Canadian Ladies’ Open Amateurs, nine Canadian Ladies’ Close titles and four Canadian Ladies’ Senior Women’s Amateur tournaments. She won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1956, and again in 2003.
When Marlene was 69 years young she became the oldest person to win a USGA championship.
She claimed her third US Senior Women's Amateur Championship at this time.
Today, she is 76 years old.
In 2004, Marlene Stewart Streit was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame becoming the first Canadian to be so honoured.
Marlene resides in Florida, but was not able to be reached for comment related to this post. I hope to do a follow-up piece interviewing Marlene about herself, and her TCA experience.
A special thanks to Carolyn Crawford who helped me find the location of the accident, and provided me with some background details about the community at the time of the accident. Carolyn's father resided on the farm beside, and south of Clure Archdekin's. Both her aunt and her father boarded their tractor that fateful evening, and drove out to the accident to see if they could lend a hand, only to find the passengers rescued, and the airplane burning out of control.
An additional special thanks to former Brampton firefighters who helped me identify the "famous" golfer who was aboard this flight, and to Rhonda Glenn, for additional details about Marlene's career.
The TOP photo is a TCA Super Constellation
LEFT photo is part of the crash in Mount Pleasant
CENTRE is Marlene at 20
RIGHT is the location of the crash arena in Mount Pleasant, Brampton
FAMOUS QUOTES from Marlene:
"Don’t be a spoiled brat; get out there and do it. Beat everybody. Don’t go around with a chip on your shoulder. Just beat ‘em."
“When you write about me, don’t forget Canada. Canada (fist clenched, tapping it on her heart) is right here!”
THIS CRASH Part 1: www.flickr.com/photos/78215847@N00/4066337145/
THIS CRASH Part 2: www.flickr.com/photos/78215847@N00/4066337145/
+++++MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL in 2010!+++++
(As with all my articles…this is a first post that will be revised several times over time.)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
'COURSE CHRISTMAS wouldn't have been right if I didn't get a coupla' Haunted Tank comics for Christmas.
Yup, there in my bedroom reading comics (or building models)…safe away from that whip-snap cold of our Canadian winters just outside my window.
Good times, for sure…
And remember, they DON'T come up with creative story-lines (a Civil War ghost general aiding an American tank crew during WW II) like this anymore~
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
THIS ANCIENT CLASSIC hand game played by two, or more people, has, not surprisingly, evolved into a modern easy to play, aeronautical, version.
It's the new Airbus version.
Here's how it goes.
PAPER covers rock.
ROCK beats scissors.
SCISSORS cuts giant Airbus A380 wing root.
Rock-Paper-Scissors - the Airbus Version…has the same ole' 5 count, and is still used as a selection method.
If you win, your Airbus flies.
If you lose, well, like the giant Emirates A380 airliner did on December 7, 2010 at Toronto's YYZ…a catering truck's scissor lift collapses, and drops it's heavy load on the leading edge of your Airbus, slicing through precious wing as only falling scissors can…right into the very wing-root of your mega-big super Jumbo!
Then your Airbus gets to sit around indefinitely, right out there, in the harsh Canadian winter (as seen, yesterday), losing a half million in revenue daily, while local air techs build silly treehouse structures around your airliner, supposedly, to more effectively work on your Airbus…even though these guys haven't ever worked on anything larger than a Dash 7.
Good luck with that—
What will happen in the end, when all this "playing" is done…is this A380 will be written off as a complete hull loss.
Then this fatally wounded Emirates A380 will re-appear next summer as a fully taxiing, flashing lights extravaganza "700 seat kiddies airplane ride", complete with with a jazzy new ride name, and its own newly built 3000 foot mini-runway at Vaughn's Canada's Wonderland. Cool, eh?
Kids, you can start screaming right away…
Buy those Wonderland Season Passes early.
You've been warned.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
FOR 3 YEARS. In WW II. In the RCAF.
He beat the odds.
Now a free man…in a free world. A freedom he helped win for generations of Canadians to come after the war.
THEN, aboard Halifaxes and Lancs.
The average lifespan of a rear-gunner, or tail-gunner, was about 10 missions. Being generous here.
I talked to him about the Halifax heavy bomber vs. the Lancaster heavy bomber…you know, which did he like better?
Hands down the Mighty, Mighty Lanc.
Seems it boiled down to the shape of the Lanc's wings which meant the Lanc was highly manoeuvrable in tense situations, compared to the lumbering Hally.
Caught in a Nazi spotlight?
The captain of his Lanc would dip the Lanc's wings to a 90 degree angle (to the ground) and proceed to drop, slicing downwards through the air…for hundreds of feet…effectively losing the lifetaking spotlight.
And then complete the bombing run.
I was so immeshed in our conversation (which had gathered a small crowd), I forgot to ask our homegrown hero what his name was!
AND, I wasn't the only curious one! As I left, another guy appeared and was rifling questions at this guy like there was no tomorrow.
So…what do we know about him?
Our tail-gunner was assigned to Bomber Command, of the illustrious All-Canadian Group 6: RCAF 428 Squadron, Ghost Squadron. The "Ghost" moniker was earned through its many night bombing ops. And through the death and destruction which the Canadian squadron meted out to the Nazis, and to their incessant efforts at war production. The squadron badge depicted a skull in a shroud…a chilling death head.
Squadron 428 flew in night and tail-gunner was responsible for being on the lookout for any approaching enemy fighter-planes.
RCAF Lancaster bombers flew as solo aircraft, while American bombers flew in formation.
Therefore when the tail-gunner, rear-gunner, or "Tail-end Charlie" as they were interchangeably called, spotted an enemy night-fighter he radioed his captain who would then engage in radical flying maneuvers like a corkscrew roll, etc. to escape. When all else failed…the tail-gunner would cock his machine-guns and open fire on any pursuing enemy aircraft!
This gentle warrior comes out to CWH every year for Remembrance Day. To remember his fallen buddies.
Wouldn't be anywhere else.
What do we know about the 428 of the RCAF?
Hailfaxes of 428 Squadron, flying at 15,000 feet carried out the first highlevel bombing of Brest with mines!
In June 1944, the squadron struck their Handley-Page Halifaxes off charge… and were re-equipped with Canadian-built Mark X Lancasters…which were made in Malton.
After the war 428 was stationed in Yarmouth Nova Scotia, until the 5th of December when the squadron was disbanded.
RCAF 428 Squadron re-formed mid-June 1954 as a night-fighter squadron flying CF-100 Canucks and was scheduled to be the first Canadian squadron to receive, and put into operational status, the never-to-be Arrow.
In 1961, specifically May 31…the squadron was again disbanded, for a final time.
STOP. THE. PRESSES.…just in…
THAT'S an ORIGINAL CANSO. The one in tatters…
The white one just behind this bare-metal beastie is how most Cansos and Catalinas look today! But not during WW II, folks! They had a gun turret in front! And here's the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE SECRET…CWH's flying Hornell Canso will have that turret mounted onto her airframe and be flying anew by summer!
Is there anything these CWH guys can't do?!
Methinks that this is quite an amphibious, no, sorry…quite AMBITIOUS winter project.
PLUS…Transport Canada has demanded an additional mod…a new door on the side of the Canso…see the green tape outline!
If I was Prime Minister of Canada, I would put CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM in charge of getting things done, especially the improbable. Just when you think they've done all they could…they come up with this!
MADE IN MALTON. Made in Toronto. Now residing at the old, former, RCAF Station: Mount Hope in Hamilton, Ontario.
One of the best Allied tools for ensuring our freedom, used by free men, to maintain a free world…a world that we inherited…and are to maintain.
Remember, need I say it again…"A new war is coming…"
Posted by Never Was An Arrow II at 2:23 PM
Thursday, November 18, 2010
FOR A BRIEF WHILE, the CF-100 was the only all-weather fighter jet stationed in Europe for NATO.
About a year and a half.
Everyone else's fighter was a FAIR WEATHER fighter only.
Now, you know.
(The LARGE SIZE of this photo is…well…REALLY LARGE!!)
Posted by Never Was An Arrow II at 12:56 PM
Friday, November 12, 2010
IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY at the women in this photo you'll see them saluting using Churchill's V for Victory sign. So the sign has double meaning for staff atop the Lanc!
OUR FREEDOM today in Canada was purchased with Canadian blood spilled all over the world in the two great wars, the War of 1812, UN peacekeeping, the Korean War, and Canadian NATO or participation all over the globe, during the Cold War years right up to the present.
Lest we forget.
But freedom is a joint effort between the airman, the seaman, the soldier…and the factory worker.
The ABOVE pictures an Avro Lancaster Mark X being rolled out of the Victory factory in Malton, Ontario, Canada that was ONCE located at the northeast tip of the YYZ property. Pictured here is a Lancaster being rolled out sometime in late1944.
By war's end a Lancaster a day was being turned out of the Victory Aircraft factory.
Today, the former Victory Aircraft of Canada Limited manufacturing facility spread across land that is partly in Toronto, AND partly in Mississauga. The Mississauga land portion is now barren.
Victory Aircraft, a federal government venture was closed down after the war.
The factory soon thereafter was purchased by A.V. Roe and became Avro Aircraft of Canada Limited.
But, back to the war.
World War II was a different sort of war for the nations involved. It was the first time superior technological power (Germany, Italy, Japan) would lose to superior industrial (the Allies) might! For instance, German tanks were way better than the lowly Sherman and Stuart tanks the Allies had in number, but we overwhelmed the Axis powers by producing so many of them.
Same with the jet fighters and V-1 rockets the Nazis produced.
They had better.
We had more.
As I was in a motorbike accident almost a month ago, getting around has not been easy with my leg in a leg brace.
Especially, on my motorbike!
Still, I went to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on Remembrance Day as any true Canadian would. As I was walking through the museum's displays, after the ceremonies, I came across this famous VICTORY AIRCRAFT of CANADA Limited photo that I had only ever seen in very low-rez.
I always hoped I'd see the large version one day, and today was that day.
The historic photo was stuck in a display case, encased at an angle…and it was large…about 3 feet long. There, dream come true. WOW!
So, as I was flopping about the floor, screaming in agony from knee pain, while contorting my body ridiculously trying to beat the reflected light that was blowing out parts of the photo…an alarmed woman approached me, and said first in French, then, in English,
"Before you hurt yourself further, why don't you ask someone if they'll just remove it from the display for you, so you can take a better pic?"
Somehow, that felt like I was being scolded by my mom…even at my age…but soon enough I was being assisted by Caillin Kowalczyk, the Interim Curator of the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM, who allowed me to photograph their original photo, with the museum's kind permission, of course! Out of the display case. Did I mention Caillin's dutifully going through several key rings, to find the "one" that held the missing key?
While this retouched photo will suffice for now, I intend to redo the photo to get an even better, and more detailed result.
AND REMEMBER, the original photo, and much other historical warplane related stuff can be found at the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM in Hamilton. CWH is home of North America's only flying Lancaster and Lysander!
Posted by Never Was An Arrow II at 8:33 PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Lt. Col. Allen West (US Army, Ret.) who I hope will be US Prez one day…is taking about Canadian Armed Forces Lieut. Trevor Greene.
Greene is still recovering from the Afghan insanity of that day.
Greene's STORY can be found here:
Note the intended attack upon the Canadians through this collaborated move,
"A few minutes before the attack, someone moved all the children about 20 metres away – but none of the Canadian troops noticed anything unusual, Schamuhn said."
Best West quote, sad but true, "This is the level of people that we're dealing with over there…"
Friday, November 5, 2010
Lt. Col. Allen West (US Army, Ret.) who I hope will be US Prez one day…tells it to us, Canadians, quite plainly.
The CANADIAN ARMY (Canadian Armed Forces-ground troops) has the will…but the Canadian Government hasn't provided the equipment. Don't blame Harper though, blame the Commie left…active in Canada through the Bloc, the Liberals, and the wacko NDP for the gutting of our Canadian military.
Blame that idiot Trudeau in the 60s and 70s. That's where it started. If we had St Laurent, a true liberal instead, through those two critical decades, our military wouldn't be in the poorly equipped shape it is in, today!
As West noted—CANADA could have gotten the job done in Kandahar province, Afghanistan…BUT we don't have fixed wing aircraft or rotary wing aircraft.
In other words Canada, we don't have A-10 tank busters, or helicopter gunships to smash the Taliban with. And finish the job.
The Lt. Col. recognizes the Canadians have the will…to fight (unlike some other countries)…but are without the necessary equipment to actually WIN the ground battle!
LIFE IS chock full of ridiculous ironies.
If you're a Canadian…here's one you should never forget.
This WW II CANADIAN ARMY VET from the documentary "D-Day - Canada's 24 Hours of Destiny" is complaining about Canada sending him off to war, with inferior equipment. He wished the Canadian Army had been outfitted with American rifles which were semi-automatics…not single shooters.
Do you think a Canadian soldier running into the heat of the battle, toward a slew of Nazis, has time to cock his gun before… EVERY. SINGLE. SHOT. HE. TAKES?
Seems kinda' crazy, right?!
Well, then you might be surprised to learn the Canadian government of WW II, expected, exactly that.
Are you sitting down Canada?
Are you sitting down America?
Is everyone, in the United Kingdom, also sitting down?
The American guns our Canadian vet is talking about…the ones he wished he'd had on D-Day in Juno, France instead of the inferior British designed Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles…weren't even American guns at all!
He's talking about the M-1 Garand, here, folks.
And the M-1 Garand was designed for the American Army, by a French-Canadian, from St. Rémi, Quebec, named John Garand!!!
How do you like them McIntosh apples?
A incredible, groundbreaking, general issue gun designed by a Canadian, certified for use in 1936, acquired and used by the entire U.S. Army that same year…but a gun…unavailable to enlisted Canadians during WW II.
Don't ever ask if your Canadian government knows how to wage a war. They don't.
The Lee-Enfields the Canadian Army used (No. 1MK-IVs) were made in Long Branch, at the Long Branch Arsenal in Toronto. Millions were made there!
WHY? Why…we weren't making M-1 Garands there, instead…I'll never know?!?!
The M-1 GARAND, lauded by General Patton as the "greatest battle implement ever devised" was historically the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued, as the standard service rifle, to the infantry of any nation, specifically the U.S. Army.
The M-1 replaced the immediately outdated bolt-action M1903 Springfield in 1936.
REGARDLESS of Canadian soldiers being ill-equipped for D-Day, how'd Canadians do on D-Day?
"Before dawn on D-Day, 230 heavy bombers from RCAF No.6 Group pounded German shore batteries with 860 tons of bombs. And in the daylight hours, RCAF fighter squadrons flew top cover for the invasion beaches. Fifty Canadian destroyers, frigates and corvettes assisted in covering the invasion, providing anti-submarine escort and bombarding shore targets.
14,000 CANADIANS STORMED ASHORE on Juno Beach and were the only force to capture all their initial objectives that day, at a cost of 1000 casualties, of which 350 were fatal." (© WWII.CA-CANADA AT WAR)
Friday, October 8, 2010
BORN IN Vancouver, BC.
Attended high school in Sarnia, Ontario…at Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School (SCITS).
Was a Canadian Army cadet.
Became known and loved worldwide as Scotty, the Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise, from the blockbuster, science fiction TV show hit, Star Trek.
Remember, "I am giving it all she has got, Captain!"?
"Beam me up, Scotty!"
What so many Canadians don't know is…long before Scotty arrived to command the Engineering section of the USS Enterprise, he had almost died after landing on JUNO BEACH to fight for CANADA on D-Day!
Scotty, rather JAMES DOOHAN was a lieutenant in the 13th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.
When the war started for Canada, in 1939, Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery. In 1940 he was sent for supplemental training to the United Kingdom. He didn't actually see any action though until four years later! That was on D-Day ( June 6, 1944) when James was among the Canadian landing forces that stormed Juno Beach in Normandy, France.
After taking out two German snipers, James led his regiment right through a sea of anti-tank mines, up to higher ground where they took up their first-day defensive positions against the Nazis. At day's end, just before midnight, James left his command post after wrapping up a planning session with other regiment leaders—when he was intercepted there in the dark, by a Canadian sentry.
The Canadian kid was extremely nervous, hot on the trigger, and subscribed to the personal philosophy of machine gun first…check credentials later.
James Doohan, Scotty, was hit by six bullets. Down, he went.
Four in the leg.
One to the chest that was miraculously stopped cold—by a silver cigarette lighter that had been a parting gift from James's brother. It saved Scotty's life.
The final bullet went through his middle, right, finger…which had to be amputated.
And James Doohan who was more worried about his potential for drowning, when the landing crafts were bringing the Canadians ashore, than about being shot by the Nazis, was now in the fight for his life.
It took a while, but James did recover from his injuries. At that point, he was received his new orders and was trained as a pilot in 666 (wtfd?) AOP Squadron, RCAF.
Doohan retained his status as a Royal Canadian Artillery officer in support of Number 1 Canadian AGRA (Army Groups Royal Artillery). All three of the Canadian AOP-RCAF squadrons were manned by Artillery Officer-Pilots, of which Doohan was one. Canadian Army, and RCAF personnel, flew with these special artillery pilots, while only serving as observers.
And one day came the crazy…
Doohan, in the late spring of 1945, north of RAF Andover, on the Salisbury Plain slalomed his Taylorcraft Auster Mark IV—between mountainside telegraph poles and the mountain…to the utter amazement of numerous witnesses in attedance.
Nobody had thought the b** s*** crazy aerial feat could be done.
Doohan was true to his word. He did it…just like he had told everyone, he could.
Finally, when he landed, James would have to endure a serious dressing down.
As news spread of his flying stunt, Officer Doohan was thereafter appropriately saddled with the moniker, "the craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Forces."
But, most didn't realize that James Doohan had remained an officer in the Royal Canadian Artillery, even as a pilot. Doohan served many times alongside the RCAF, but was never in it.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Captain Norman Ramsay.
THERE YOU HAVE IT…the only known photograph of TRANS-CANADA-AIR-LINES L-1049 Super Constellation (call letters, CF-TGG, as seen in the RARE photo) that crashed in Brampton 56 years ago in 1954, at Norman's hands. Norm was attempting to land in Toronto!
No one was hurt, but there was a famous golfer on board the TCA flight. The Connie, however, burned to the ground!
Location of photo is approximate crash location.
FULL STORY, here: www.flickr.com/photos/78215847@N00/4066337145/
Only 3 YEARS LATER, August 4, 1957…Norman, now working for another airline, flying another airplane, a DC-4 for Maritime Central Airways, authored the worst crash in Canadian history (at the time) that would leave 79 passengers and crew dead in a remote spot near Issoudun, Quebec.
Norm flew his airplane INTO an active cumulonimbus cloud, that included heavy rain and strong gusty winds. Most pilots fly around severe weather conditions.
I DID significant post-production work on this photo.
© 2010 Special Projects In Research, © 2010 Paul Cardin
Monday, September 27, 2010
…and stuff that wouldn't fly now!
To the LEFT…a snow-melter powered by Avro's Orenda 10 jet engine for the Germans.
To the RIGHT…husband's and wives's duties at breakfast time. I have no comment, here.
The original state of the magazine is coloured with age, is a little beat up, and readily observed in the centre.
THE ORENDA Magazine published for the Orenda Engine Division of Avro Aircraft of Canada Limited…is sadly dated January 30, 1959. Three weeks, exactly, from the cancellation of Avro's main projects, the Arrow and Iroquois programmes, by the treacherous Diefenbaker government.
None of these folk saw it comin'.
Everyone, all 14,500 workers, were let go.
Must view LARGE to read floating articles…
Friday, September 24, 2010
YOU KNOW, when its all said and done, I do.
You know its true.
I LOVE CANADIAN AIRCRAFT!
When I first saw the "I love Canadian Beef" ads put out by the Beef Producers of Canada, I knew their message was good. Oprah had slammed beef on national TV, and her worldwide zombies hang on every word.
But others slammed beef too. Mad Cow, you know.
SO the Beef Producers of Canada did the one thing I like best about Canadians, they fought back at the disinformation. Right away.
I knew THEN…the "I love Canadian" concept had be taken to higher ground.
So I designed MY OWN bumper sticker. The Arrow illustration is fantastic, but not my own.
Now, in case there was any doubt, everybody, past, present or future…knows where I stand.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
…and don't let anyone EVER tell you otherwise.
And ALTHOUGH these men gave us the C-102 Jetliner, the CF-100 Canuck, the Avrocar, the CF-105 Arrow and the Orenda jet engine line-up including the mythological Iroquois…although these men gave us their all, their everything…one man would throw it all away!
Hey, these folks could take the hint.
When the, then Prime Minister of Canada, John G. Diefenbaker (I can't even bear to repeat his name), cancelled the Avro Arrow Interceptor and Orenda Iroquois engine programmes only four years later in 1959, these guys took it all in stride.
They knew it. They weren't wanted.
And what did these aeronautical engineers do? Where would they go?
Fall back into obscurity?
Flip burgers somewhere?
Lie down, and die?
Are? You? KIDDING? Me?
The Brits and the Americans knew what these ex-Avro guys were capable of!
And British and American aviation firms came right to the parking lots at Avro Aircraft Ltd. in Toronto, and hired these guys on the spot…as they wrapped up their last few days of employment at Avro. Jim Floyd, Vice-President of Avro Aircraft of Canada Ltd. even placed some of these designers, his own team, himself… with the explicit intention to woo them back when the Diefenbaker nightmare finally ended.
It didn't end.
But justice is always sweet. So we threw away these guys in 1959…but by 1969, they had their ominous revenge.
In 1969, the Concorde flew with well-documented contributions towards that Anglo-French SST achievement coming from Mr. Jim Floyd, himself.
And again in 1969, Ex-Avro engineers, in only a few months after the 10th anniversary of the demise of the Arrow and the Iroquois…were watching deep within the confines of NASA, from their command posts, as their newest creation, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Then for the very first time in world history a man descended down a ladder on the lunar module, and proceeded to walk on the moon.
These extraordinary aviation and aerospace feats, made possible, because of SIGNIFICANT contributions from our ex-Avroites (ex-Avro employees)!
Just 10 years previous these guys were at Avro in Toronto!
Arrows to the moon, baby…Arrows…to the moon!
If you don't understand that last quip, back to sleep, Canada.
And I, am, outta', here!
Good night, Canada!
TORONTO! You'll NEVER…have a finer hour~
(This version of the photo: © Paul Cardin - Special Projects in Research)
Friday, September 10, 2010
MY NEIGHBOUR called up the other day asking,
" Do you by chance have any diagrams of the C-102 Avro Jetliner's Pilot's and Co-Pilot's side panels?"
"Do you just need diagrams, or the actual side panels?"
"YOU HAVE THE ACTUAL SIDE PANELS!?!?!?"
(kidding)…but it would be nice.
My buddy goes on…"Hey, did you see what that hammerhead Toronto Star columnist said the other day about cancelling the air show (Toronto-CIAS)?
"Yeah, I read Joe…who? (we laugh, *inside Canadian joke*).
Just another zero unCanadian whose mouth is a yawning grave.
It's sad really. Canada used to hang Communists, now we allow them to write for the city newspaper.
CIAS (Canadian International Air Show) has been held for the final three days of the C.N.E. since, I dunno, 1949…a mere 60 years! A proud Canadian tradition. An actual Toronto tradition. The Avro Canada C-102 (seen in the photos above) flew in one of the first air shows, although the ever famous Arrow almost…but, never did. The Jetliner's spectacular (and loud) air show appearance is one of the few memories we still have of the illustrious Canadian airliner, that was once the heartthrob of millionaire Howard Hughes.
That very proud beginning beckons to us today to continue the irrepressible air show tradition.
But it must be a real air show.
And air shows are never polite.
Doubtful, if Joe even knows what the C-102 was, or about its chief designer and still Toronto resident, 96 year old Jim Floyd—nope, not even on Joe's radar…but if two parking lot attendants are scrapping it out…he'll will be right there with the complete story!
Saints preserve us!
Fiorito's reasons for wanting to end the air show are as asinine, and incredulous, as they come.
Hey, he needed fodder for that day's column. His column's air show commentary, quickly descends into a sheer kaleidoscope of intended (and therefore phoney) stupidity, including these gems:
"Canada has no need of American fighter jets…"
Well, Joe exactly one F-16 fighter jet from the USAF participated in CIAS this year, and we really don't need to hear your veiled anti-American slurs.
Most Canadians like Americans…and a lot of us have American relatives. And we do need American fighter-jets Joe, because past do-dos like you cancelled our homegrown Arrow interceptor programme a long, long, time ago. We now no longer make the best, or even make an air defender. We still need to buy the best, the F-35*, to defend our borders which are STILL the largest in the world, last time I checked.
"Unless, of course, you think it is useful and instructive to remind your neighbours, many of whom come from war-torn countries — Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq — that they are lucky to live in Toronto, except when the jet fighters are in town."
Pretty flimsy reason, suggesting, no conjuring CIAS as a PTSD trigger.
I know…but these Politbüro types, well, this is the stuff they try to float…to the masses.
"…the planes turn swift and low over our rooftops, loud enough to rattle windows, wake babies, disturb the elderly, frighten dogs, prevent shift workers from knitting up the ravelled sleeve of care, and cause the sick at St. Joe’s to roll over in their beds of pain."
What, and emergency vehicles disturb no one?
With that line of reasoning…we should also end the disruption of the peace caused ANYTIME 24/7, 365 days of the year by reckless emerg vehicles…because dogs, babies, and some elderly people, somewhere, maybe even in Toronto…could be adversely affected by these screaming mimis.
We know mealy-mouthed sissy types can be offended or even frightened by such loud vehicular displays of assertiveness. At the CNE, or elsewhere, in TO.
Park your ambulances and squad cars boys, someone with early on-set senility doesn't embrace sirens (noise), or progress.
Therefore, ditto, we must also ban the hundreds of daily scheduled airline flights going in and outta Pearson, and similarly, from the same airport, the myriad of daily biz jet flights with their gratuitous displays of raw jet turbine power.
Joe, no likey.
Next, ban all freight and commuter trains that sound the horn of warning, and trigger those pesky, noisy, train-crossing standards.
…and ban citywide construction.
And all industry.
Noise, folks, noise, upsets Fior-io-io-io.
"Because we do not need to bask in the militarism of the past…"
Actually, we do Joey.
Proud Canadians never forget, nor trivialize those who really sacrificed their tomorrows…for our today. You will, of course, but most Canadians remain decent.
There is no way we can repay those true Canadians who literally gave all.
The Canadian International Air Show is one of the few remaining ways we still publicly tip our hat to these patriotic Canadian warriors, whether past or present, and give them their due. Hence, this year's 100th Year Canadian Naval Celebration display at CIAS 2010.
BUT because of femboy ninnies like Fiorito, the HMCS Fredericton's guns couldn't actually celebrate by firing her guns into Toronto harbour…in recognition of the Navy's 100th.
No, them guns remained quieter than worthless fans at a Blue Jays game.
Besides…Joe's Parkdale disconnects would probably have thunk the city was under attack, anyway.
And jammed TO's emergency lines. Or flood texted Joe to help'em.
So, as usual, the eclipse-of-reason minority green freak agenda crowd ruined it for the rest of us, the majority~
And that's why we had a toned down air show this year.
And why I never went.
I support authentic Canadian traditions…not Kyoto makeovers.
SEE the complete stupidity, here:
*The F-22 is better than the F-35, but only the USAF gets to purchase the F-22 Raptor.
Monday, August 30, 2010
WHEREVER, JILL HETHERINGTON is tonight…she still adorns the athletic wall at Streetsville Secondary School in the City of Mississauga. Streetsville was once, the "City within a City", but we'll leave that for another day. And a school that should remember her…doesn't have a clue~
Jill, now head coach of the Washington Huskies tennis team…had an illustrious tennis career (for a Canadian) gathering 14 pro doubles titles. Doubles play was her forte. Jill became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals and finals in Grand-Slam tournaments, the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and the 1988 final of the US Open. These were some of the highlights of her tennis career, certainly not the whole story.
The Huttonville girl's potential gift for tennis was first spotted by a tennis coach at Brampton Tennis Club where Jill's family had gone to play family…badminton.
Extraordinary hand-eye co-ordination. Speed. Enthusiasm. And soon she was attending high school, but was allowed to cut classes to bus it down to Cobblestone Courts for specialized tennis instruction.
There was some loudmouthed guy at Streetsville who once challenged Jill to a tennis match…stating he could beat her. So why wouldn't she prove to everyone that she could beat him, if, she was so good, etc. Blah, blah, blah…
Of course, he could only win in such an arrangement. All the pressure would be on Jill.
However, Jill's coach soon "fixed" that guy.
Her coach told him that Jill would indeed play, but for money. $1000!!
So Jill's coach would put up Jill's $1000, and the challenger would put up a matching grand, with winner taking all!
Suddenly, Captain Tennis wasn't so keen on the arranged tennis match! He backed right down, and out.
My connection to Jill came because I used to weightlift with her brother, Phil.
Jill became the first person any of us knew who actually owned a Sony Walkman at the time. I listened to Phil Collins on that marvel and couldn't believe the excellent sound quality! I had asked Jill to pose as my girlfriend once to save me from the affections of a rogue female who lived next door to me at the time. So we struck a bargain.
I never followed through on my end.
Jill, I'm sorry I didn't take you to the Dominion Dance as promised.
It's been a few years…but I'm going to go out on a limb here…all is forgiven, right?
You know for any business, and certainly for an airline PR is usually a big part of the biz package considering it encompasses how you present yourself to the community, and the rest of the business world at large. Getting public relations right is usually a biggie.
But NOT always.
Certainly NOT with Air Canada.
Air Canada Flight 621 (DC-8-63 registered as CF-TIW) crashes in Castlemore, Ontario on July 5, 1970.
Everyone is killed, all 109 pax (passengers) and crew.
In the most horrendous way possible.
In a 150 tonne missile that went nose first into a Castlemore farmer's field at 400mph. All occupants onboard…absolutely terrified right up to the very end. And then crushed, or worse, atomized.
Three minutes previous these people were safely landing at Toronto International Airport…for the first leg of their long journey…and now they were high in the sky above Castlemore, until finally nosing down toward the ground…when the spent DC-8's structural integrity finally burned away the last secured section of that airliner's starboard wing.
The fatally crippled jet now lurched downward on its final descent. Yes, now these people who were almost safe at Toronto International moments before…had actually touched momentarily on Toronto's 33L runway…just 180 seconds previous…now all these people suddenly, unexpectedly, were going to die.
When I recalled aspects of this tragedy to a friend, I added an unusual question, and the response was venomous.
How could I even say such a thing…even suggest such a thing?
I had asked the seemingly disrespectful question, what if Air Canada's Flight 621 crashes again??
Seemingly being the operative word.
Because my question was a very real question, a very pertinent question…in the world of Air Canada.
It is not common knowledge, but… AIR CANADA, unlike JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER airline in the world (as my friend assumed, incorrectly) does not, I repeat, DOES NOT, retire the affected flight number when one of their own flights crashes…with lives lost.
Say , what?
You heard me.
Well, why would they?
Why treat your customers with the ultimate dignity and respect…and as the irreplaceable human beings that they actually are by solemnly retiring flight numbers? So, silly~
As it turns out, Air Canada no longer uses Flight 621, though!
There is just too much on the internet NOW connected with that flight. None of it good. So I guess that flight number was set aside out of utility, not respect.
But what about other deadly Air Canada flights?
TCA (the precursor to Air Canada) Flight 831(118 lives lost), Air Canada Flight 797 (23 lives lost), and Air Canada Flight 189 (two lives lost) continue to fly again…as a DIRECT INSULT to surviving family members of all the victims, on all these ill-fated flights.
But Air Canada will AT LEAST change the flight route. The start point, and/or destination.
So Air Canada Flight 831, 797, and 189 keep flying today!
And yes, THEY COULD crash again or have loss of life!
Can you believe it?? Can you actually believe it??
It gets better, folks.
No, I won't tell you here about the Air Canada Flight 621, and the Alfred Hitchcock connection, since that will be saved for the book, but…
AIR CANADA, back in1970, had promised a memorial to the crash victim's families of Flight 621…ON SITE!
Yes, at the crash site in Castlemore!
AIR CANADA later changed the memorial location to adorn the Mount Pleasant FLIGHT 621 cemetery plot in the centre of Toronto. There, a little over 50 of the victim's bodies are buried to this day.
Yes, the promised memorial is there, in Toronto, some 30 kms away.
NOT where, or what, the Flight 621 families were promised at the time regarding said memorial.
But when you aren't even retiring flight numbers when tragic death is involved, can an airline like that really be expected to honour promises of on-site memorials that were to be a token and permanent sign of consolation, made in good faith, to the then-grieving family members?
C'mon, get real.
In fact, from July 5th to October 1970 over a hundred people a day were visiting the crash site. Many indeed were family members.
But there's more…
Eric Weiczorek, who lost his stewardess wife, Gundi, in the Flight 621 crash can be seen in the incomplete heart-wrenching film clip above. Taken at the 40th Anniversary ceremony last month, right at the crash site, Eric relays his grief at being so shabbily treated by Air Canada at the time of the crash.
He wasn't the only one.
A phone call, a limousine, a letter, and (hey!) Air Canada's duty to Eric was done!
Linda Fishman (author - Repairing Rainbows), who lost her mother and two sisters on that flight made a recent overture to Air Canada just before this summer's 40th Anniversary event. An olive branch extended, if you will, to AC a week or so, before the event.
When does the dawdling airline get back to her? Two days before the actual event. And they have conditions you, know. They want to meet with Linda and any other victim's family members only two hours before the start of the event! And whatever the outcome of that meeting…they are to be allowed to attend the 40th ceremony!
Habitually posturing, using pressure tactics with the still grieving, even after all these years, as if AC is still in the driver's seat… still trying to unsuccessfully manage the continuing fallout from Flight 621 without actually doing something new. Something uplifting, something positive.
Well, in short order, because of the disrespect, once again shown to the families…Linda told those AC execs to well…go fly a kite.
Because…we know they can't fly airplanes.
Well, actually they can…they've kept a pretty clean record since…its their public relations that won't fly!
I do want to be fair to Air Canada. They were named best North American airline for 2010.
AC was also capable of doing some good leading up to the Flight 621, 40th Anniversary Ceremony event.
Bruce Sultan, who lost his wife and two kids was given free tickets by Air Canada to fly up to Toronto to attend the 40th Anniversary. Lucie Raymond, who lost her father on the flight was also given tickets to fly to the ceremony. Both parties were thankful for the olive branch offering. There may have been others, as well.
These people, the victim's families, are being quite reasonable in their final demands.
If I was running Air Canada, I could solve this festering PR disaster in one day.
In a single day.
And here's how I'd do it.
1) Pay for the new monument at the crash site, plaque, benches etc.
2) Assess where the deficits are and issue formal apologies to all the victim's families acknowledging those especially wronged. Many wanted a genuine apology at the time. Eric saved the apology he received from the Navigator's Association at the time. It was handwritten, the writer expressed sorrow (likely by placing himself in Eric's shoes*hint*) and thoughtfully and earnestly attempted to reach out to Eric in his time of sorrow with offers of emotional support.
Air Canada sent him…an open, unsigned, letter of condolence!
How important is a current apology from AC, admitting as an airline that maybe we got some of the process wrong, back then? Is it important, even after forty years??
Well, one widower turned down over $200,000 in compensation from Air Canada for the loss of his whole family BECAUSE the financial recompense offer DID NOT COME with a written apology from the airline. He walked away from the table, never to return. Judas kept the money, and Mr. –––––––– kept his dignity.
So yes, a new apology would make a huge difference. Put your teams of lawyers away, no one is looking for money, people want acknowledgment that they were treated shabbily. If you doubt me, meet these people! Stop hiding behind your lawyers, and an unforgivable wall of silence.
3) Give all victim's family members free flights to the official opening of the Flight 621 memorial in 2012. The Castlemore on-site memorial process is going forward regardless. Air Canada has to decide if they want to be a part of the remaining healing process of 621 families, or not. As Air Canada CEO for a day, I would decide that we do want to be a part of that process.
And we, as an airline, don't need to lead the way. We can walk with these people in their sorrow. And not just for PR reasons. Because its the right thing to do. Now.
Remember the present "open" status of Flight 621 is most unusual. It won't be resolved until 2012.
There are still victim's bones being unearthed in the crash field to this day. And that is not Air Canada's fault. One has to look to the Office of the Coroner for that one. But AC could certainly commiserate with the families on this delicate issue. It wasn't only customers who were lost July 5, 1970. It was also some of the Air Canada family that was lost. AC employees.
4) Officially retire Flight 621, and all other Air Canada flights that crashed and/or resulted in loss of life.
That Flight 831, Flight 797, Flight 189 still fly to this day is a horrendous and UNBELIEVABLE lack of respect for the families who suffered untimely loss of their cherished loved ones. Did their untimely deaths not earn them this, at the very least? Is Air Canada run by communists, or Canadians?
Air Canada does a lot of good works in the community, helping aviation museums nationwide with notable donations, which I personally consider quite important.
More importantly though, Air Canada is "involved in a broad range of initiatives to improve the lives of children" through their KID'S HORIZON'S program.
So why leave these crash flight situations, unresolved…a recurrent black mark when it could so easily be resolved!
Air Canada can't bring those family members back…but they can ensure these people are properly acknowledged by additional positive action taken today.
Addendum: CF-TIW crashed and killed all 109 occupants. C-FTIW was reregistered and flown again.
In 2007 C-FTIW crashed killing the sole occupant.
And C-FTIW flies again today as a chopper. Sheer stupidity. Yup, those are call letters I would want!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
HERE IS SAD HISTORY, that you're looking' at. On July 5, 1970 Air Canada FLIGHT 621 crashes in Castlemore. It would become the worst accident in the Toronto region with 109 people killed.
Within the first hour, Mike Quatrale, Emergency Services, was there.
And here is the first roll of pics that he took. This is the contact sheet that was hastily created so that photos could be selected for worldwide publication. Four of Mike's photos were published internationally.
I came across Mike's photos first in the Montreal Gazette. And through further research I was able to find Mike who is now retired and resides with his wife, Audrey, in Brampton. I was welcomed into his home to see the rest of his Flight 621 photos. Mike's photos appear in the Documentary: Disasters of the Century: Out of the Blue episode which covers the story of Flight 621.
Mike's photos have been invaluable to our Flight 621 research, in putting some of the pieces together.
Mike's photos are unique because he was the only media photographer allowed to photograph throughout the entire crash arena. Within the cordoned off crash site, itself. Other local photographers took photos using zoom lenses. Mike was right there amidst the crash, he didn't need to.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
IT'S STILL HARD to believe, what one can find…even now.
With Apple iPhone 3GS in hand I find a nosepiece of Air Canada's "Stretch" DC-8, CF-TIW that was lost on July 5, 1970. A part of the radome, specifically. I photo capture the GPS co-ordinates. At almost 9 pm at night. July 2, 2010, almost 40 years after the crash.
FLIGHT 621 has remained AIR CANADA'S WORST aviation accident with 109 lives lost in Castlemore, Ontario. Seven years previous, TCA lost 118 people, in St. Therese du Blainville, Quebec.
But that was Trans-Canada-Air-Lines…not Air Canada.
What's a RADOME??
The RADOME is usually found on the nosecone of any aircraft.
FLIGHT 621's Air Canada DC-8, numbered internally 878, it's radome housed the jet airliner's radar antenna and thus protected the aircraft's sensitive radar from the elements, both at 40 below and at 600 mph. The spherical covering also reduces drag so that DC-8 is more aerodynamically streamlined as she hopscotches across the continent.
By the numbers…
1) GPS co-ordinates of the actual radome find.
2) Thin, crushed, painted black metal of 878's radome. Remember, only a very small section of the Air Canada's DC-8 livery was painted semi-gloss black. The upper nose portion, as pictured. The fuselage aluminum just up from the nosecone, or radome area, is about double the thickness of the radome aluminum and is tempered to a harder standard.
3) ORIGIN AREA of the radome artifact, its actual area of location…as highlighted on an Air Canada DC-8.
Monday, August 2, 2010
MY RESEARCH PARTNER out in Quebec, Pierre Tremblay, who has done extensive research on all Flight 621 victims from the province of Quebec, disclosed to me that he had actually known Denise Goulet (pictured above) back in the summer of 1967!
Pierre had spent a good part of his summer at EXPO 67 which was being held in Montreal. He went several times to the Bell Canada Telephone Pavilion, and there chatted with the ever cheerful hostess Denise, as he was then fascinated by telecommunication.
And maybe a little by her, as well.
The crash of Flight 621, of course, was front page news in the Montréal-Matin on July 6th, 1970, the day after the crash.
Pierre saw the Montréal-Matin crash headline, and was immediately riveted by the coverage of this unexpected Air Canada crash that had occurred the previous morning, on the clearest of days, somewhere in the Toronto region. Still in a state of shock and wonder about the horrific DC-8 crash that had claimed all 109 lives, he quickly read through the front page coverage and followed up on page three. There, his eyes fell on those ominous row pictures of the now deceased Air Canada flight crew, and its stewardesses.
One picture stood out.
Pierre was floored!
There was Denise!!
Oh, poor Denise—
While Pierre had met the exotically attractive Denise when she was then working at the EXPO 67 Bell Canada pavilion, she had already applied to, and been accepted to take the stewardess course. Immediate employment for Denise in the fall, at Air Canada, once EXPO 67 had wrapped up in October.
Aviation, not tele-communications, was Denise's first love.
At 17, Denise already had her first parachute jump under her belt.
And while Miss Denise Goulet had been working as a stewardess for Air Canada for almost three years, she had set her sights on being a pilot!
And guess what? Her father, Henri-Paul, was a pilot!
I guess the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, as they say…
When her father was reached for comment on his daughter's premature death, he told the media,
“Denise always dreamt of aviation. Aviation was in her blood.”
Mr. Goulet, himself a pilot for 25 years, was on duty the morning of the crash when he learned about the terrible tragedy. Henri-Paul was a pilot for the Yvon Fournier company from Trois-Rivières, and had to sprinkle insecticide on the transmission lines of Alcan in Lac St. Jean.
Denise, who was to be 23 on July 12, died seven days short of her birthday.
She had made special arrangements to be aboard the Air Canada "California Galaxy" (Montreal-Toronto-Los Angeles) flight, one of the airlines' new connoisseur flights, in order to meet with her brother, Andre. She was looking forward to journeying to Los Angeles to see her brother, who now resided there. She was going to take a few days off.
In August, Denise was quite excited to be travelling to Paris, with her mother, on an already arranged vacation for the pair.
It was not to be.
On July 10th, sadly just two days before she was to have turned 23, a funeral mass was held for Denise at 10.00 A.M. at St. Odilon Catholic Church, in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec. There was a large turn out of family and friends to pay their final respects.
Had Denise not died that day, today she would be 62 years old.
And now she looks back at us from eternity, forever only twenty-two…
Friday, July 30, 2010
FLIGHT 621 | Toronto's Largest Air Disaster *** REVISED ***
ONE OF A FEW book cover mock-ups I'm considering for my book about Flight 621.
This is the only one I'll be showing. For now. I like another mock-up I did… that I feel is much better, more sombre, reflective… but I'm always curious about feedback.
So have your say, below, if you wish.
I was reviewing an OPP police photographer's 40 year old Flight 621 crash photos recently, when I saw something in one of the photos.
So I called Mike and said, "Mike, tell me, tell me, THAT ISN'T what I think it is."
After, both his wife, Audrey and he looked over the photo in question, the sad response came back.
"I think you're right, Paul."
I thought to myself, God… always prepares the way. And you won't see that until you're right in the middle of it. If you see it at all. Whatever He has, later for you… to be right in the middle of.
Only six months ago I was watching the excellent series about World War II, entitled, "The World at War" which, of course, is the definitive documentary about that war. Had I not seen the plentiful war stills of the battleground deceased, I might never have spotted "the clue".
But half a year later, there I was… now "prepared" to make an unsettling discovery.
"Paul, you're right… it is a little girl. I don't know how I didn't see that before!"
Mike had taken the photos forty years ago, yet had somehow missed that sad detail.
Those World at War documentary stills had captured so many soldiers, then at rest, with deceased hands launched in so many distinctive angles and positions that I guess my mind was imprinted with these sad images.
When I chanced upon similar in Mike's photo… I was compelled to look closer.
So, in the Flight 621 photo, I saw her peaceful hand, emerging from a sleeve, and lifelessly draped over an inner tubular structural piece of smashed DC-8.
I followed the hand to its source.
Somebody's little girl was sitting there, right there… in her final resting spot.
Her thick black hair, untossled. A defiant, thick, white hair tie-back-clip could readily be seen, keeping her hair perfectly in place amidst the horror!
The clip, however, could actually be one of those funky 70s style pair of big glasses pulled back over her forehead.
We'll never know.
I sat, in silence, with that photo for quite a while.
The picture was taken in the first hour of the crash. There are police officers and first responders busily walking around in the background, obviously, oblivious, to her.
I bet that didn't last long.
She is right out in the open, but also concealed within a medium sized mangled piece of fuselage wreckage! And somehow, she remained INTACT!
How did that happen?
I imagine that within the second hour, maybe the third, after these first hour photos were taken, she was found.
Likely, someone just walking by who had to do a double-take.
What a horrible, horrible, discovery.
It certainly was, for me. And I was only looking at a photo.
I'll be interviewing an OPP first responder this weekend. John Cooper. He was there the first day of the crash and also the second.
I'll keep you posted.
Finally, THE COVER above…that's how 621 looked seconds before impact. She corkscrewed over onto her back. This remains the primary reason why there are no crash photos of the wrecked Air Canada DC-8-63 with her tail readily seen… as one can see in most airliner disasters these days. The tail is usually spared in every airline disaster.
Nothing was spared when Flight 621 crashed in Castlemore, Ontario on July 5, 1970.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Last Will and Testament of brothers Jacques and Jean Belanger
"IF WE DIE, WE GIVE…"
POUPONNE, MY CAT, I leave to Mionne Mallette.
Sports equipment to Daniel and Benoit Maillette. My typewriter to Evelyne Mallette, and my coin collection from Expo´67 to Jason Gagnon. Jacque's tape recorder to Norman Dupres. Handkerchief to Denis Perrault. Jean's Apollo XI rocket to Pierre Guertin…and so on…until all of his toys and possessions, and those of his younger brother, Jean (12), were given up to his friends and cousins.
Jacques (16) was mesmerized with the progress of aviation at the time.
The teenager knew about aviation, first hand, as his father was currently an Air Canada mechanic. So Jacques was really excited that he, indeed his whole family, would be flying on a brand new DC-8 "Stretch'…the very largest, and most advanced airliner at the time.
And yet, there was something wrong.
Did Jacques have a premonition?
Why did he think he might not return?
What did he feel?
Why did he insist on making a will, and giving it to his cousin, and best friend, Jean Mallette, just before boarding Air Canada Flight 621?
I'm sure Jacques' family made jokes about his insistence on creating a will for both him, and his brother. Their sister, Rosanne (10) did not create a will. I wonder what the Belanger family thought and said to one another…as they sat together on the ill-fated airplane, and events tragically unfolded. The knowing looks; the sad heads shaking.
Did his mother acknowledge, as mothers so often do when their own children amaze them, "Oh Jacques…you were right!"
These preceding paragraphs are only speculation but you can be sure some sort of exchange occurred.
On July 5th, 1970, at 8:10 am in the morning, Air Canada Flight 621 crashed in a farmer's field beside the West Humber, in Castlemore, Ontario nose first, left wing high…killing all 109 passengers and crew. A caged dog also perished.
And the whole Belanger family, all five of them, died together in Castlemore, 40 years ago.
Flight 621 In Memorium
Adams, Celine Fradette
Adams, Pierre J
Cedilot, Robert J
Charent, Jean Maurice
Clarke, Devona Olivia
Dicaire, Alice (Marie)
Goulet, Denise M
Hamilton, Karen E
Hamilton, Peter Cameron
Herrmann, Ronald Alvin
Hill, Harry Gordon
Houston, Irene Margaret
Jakobsen, Vagn Aage
Leclaire, Marie Rose
Leduc, Henri W
Mailhiot, Claire Gagnon
Mailhiot, Gerald Bernard
Molino, Michael (Michel)
Moore, Frederick T
Partridge, Carnie (Carnis) Ann
Partridge, Cyril Wayne
Phillips, Kenneth William
Robert, Georges E
Smith, Dwight Lee
St. Laurent, Blanche
Stepping, Glenn Thomas
Sultan, Jerald. M
Sultan, Robert. L
Tournovits, Soula (Athanasia)
Whybro, Mary Baker
Wong, Wong (Mansing)
Woodward, Dallas J
© 1970 Mike Quatrale (OPP police photographer)
© Pierre Tremblay - Friends of Flight 621
© Paul Cardin - Friends of Flight 621
Monday, July 5, 2010
FLIGHT 621 VICTIM'S FAMILIES lay 109 white roses representing the 109 people who lost their lives on July 5, 1970.
Diarmuid Horgan (CANDEVCON Limited) and the landowners put together this 40th Anniversary Ceremony to bring the victim families together for the first time, to mark this solemn occasion together…and not alone…this year!
I PLANTED the Mayor of Brampton, Susan Fennell's flower, at her request…and everyone followed suit by either planting or laying their white rose down.
The flowers mark the spot where Flight 621 went nose first into the ground.
It was very hard for many of the families to EVEN THINK about coming to Ground Zero.
However, after Eric Weiczorek gave his heart-wrenching speech about the tender love he had for his wife, a wife who was taken from him after only 33 days of marriage, that just brought the house down.
Eric had been waiting 40 years to share his sorrow with those who understood.
He was now in good company.
The Flight 621 families understood.
Left to Right: Chris and Mike Holiday (Claude Holiday), Sikh land-owner, Lucie and Véronique Raymond (Marital Raymond) and the FAMOUS Boris Spremo!
The Weinburgs (Wendy, Carla, and Rita) are in the background.
Persons in brackets are the Flight 621 deceased… and the reason why the 621 families marked the 40th anniversary loss right here… at the former crash site.
See Mike Strobel's excellent Flight 621 article:
Friday, June 11, 2010
LESS THAN 3 WEEKS away.
July 5, 2010 marks the 40th.
LYNDA FISHMAN, nee Weinburg, has emerged with the first book about Flight 621. Lynda lost her mother and two sisters on the ill-fated flight.
REPAIRING RAINBOWS is Lynda's personal account of the devastating effect Toronto's largest air disaster had, both on her, and her father.
You can get it here: repairingrainbows.com/index.php
Well, people ask, what is a DC-8?
Was it a big airplane?
How does it compare in size to a Jumbo…that's an airplane I know?
The Concorde is no longer flying…are any DC-8s still flying?
So many recurring questions…
My pictorial graphic answers MOST of these questions through exact 1/200 Air Canada replicas of a DC-8-63 (the exact type of DC-8 that crashed) and a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.
The JUMBO JET is the airplane that is the bulkier one in the pic, and the one with the hump. The DC-8 Stretch (there were many un-stretched versions) is the skinner one seen in the foreground).
As you can see the DC-8, or Stretch 8 (in air lingo slang), is a very big aircraft.
And on July 5, 1970, CF-TIW, tail number 878, with the exact livery seen in this photo, crashed nose first, left wing high in Castlemore, Ontario, 40 years ago.
All lives lost.
(ABX still flies a former Air Canada Stretch 8 into Toronto. A 71 version of the DC-8. The DC-8-71 is a modified 63 model having, larger, quieter, more fuel-efficient engines.
SEE: www.airliners.net/photo/DHL-(DHL-Airways)/McDonnell-Dougl... )
Monday, May 24, 2010
May 24…Happy Victoria Day, CANADA!
YOU KNOW that if my political party ever ascended to the win, the biggie, we'd be changing loads of things REAL fast.
Can anyone say steamroller?
Victoria Day would be one of them!
Consider that holiday already rewritten.
The fact that Canadians get a day off to celebrate a forgotten queen—and not a day off to remember the hundreds of thousands of Canadians, hailing from our past and present, who spilled their blood—many, MANY, even giving their greatest gift, their very lives…for our PRESENT FREEDOM…is simply unconscionable.
Here's how the rewrite would go down.
November 11, Remembrance Day…becomes a National Canadian Holiday.
November 8-10, whichever falls on the last school day, previous the holiday…would be spent at the classroom level…as an important part in the yearly curriculum in remembrance of Canadians who fought to keep Canada free. There are, of course, challenges in keeping this part of our history relevant to teens who are often distracted with other aspects of life! But we must rise to that challenge, right?
And while we're on a related topic, how 'bout our national anthem, folks?
A NATIONAL LAW would quickly be tabled that O'Canada is to be played every morning, in every school across Canada, whether public or private, without any exceptions. Individuals can abstain, as always has been allowed for religious reasons. Canadian tradition. Abstainers cannot demand, however, that the Canadian national anthem NOT be played…as recent foreigners in Nova Scotia demanded, and who's anti-patriotic concerns WERE ACTUALLY accommodated in a real Canadian school!!
With my political party at the helm, any school official found guilty of a refusal to play the national anthem, O' Canada, this individual or collective, would immediately be (we'd do it faster-if we could) arrested, tried that very week by special extraordinary court session, and subjected to an immediate 5 YEAR imprisonment.
NO LIVING CANADIAN, and certainly no un-Canadian, has the right to challenge the patriotic sacrifices of those Canadians who have gone before us. Our national anthem links present Canadians to those Canadian heroes of our sacrificial past.
And folks…jus' getting warmed up, here—
Sunday, May 16, 2010
WHEN A BRAND NEW 300 TONNE AIR CANADA DC-8 AIRLINER with a 109 people on board…slams nose first into a Castlemore farmer's field in 1970…at 400mph…well, parts of that airplane are going to be driven deep into the ground.
For a very long while.
Sooner, or later, however, those shattered pieces will work their way to the surface.
Whether human or aircraft.
These are some unidentified DC-8 parts from AIR CANADA CF-TIW, tail fin 878.
CAN any airmech ID any of these?