Article: Linda Meckling–In-flight Service in 1966

  • Inspired by a love of travel, Linda Meckling became a flight attendant with Air Canada in 1966. After four weeks of training in Montreal, she was flying coast to coast and, later, overseas. Linda embraced the glamourous lifestyle of a 1960s globetrotter in the era of company-mandated beauty products and girdles. Linda saw many changes in air travel through her 37-year career. She shared her impressions of a flight attendant’s life with the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in March 2014. Since her retirement, Linda Meckling has returned to live in her home town, Winnipeg.

    The Vickers Viscount was initially ordered by Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA, later Air Canada) in November 1952, making TCA the first airline in North America to operate turboprop-powered planes. Vickers eventually sold 147 Viscounts (one-third of its production run) in North America. TCA’s fleet eventually grew to 51 airplanes which were used on short-haul routes. The Viscounts turboprop engines were favoured for their speed, quietness and lack of vibration.

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    The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s Viscount entered service with TCA on scheduled flights between Montreal and Winnipeg in February 1958. It operated from TCA’s Winnipeg hangar (now the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada) until April 1974 and found its permanent home at the Aviation Museum in 1982.

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9 Responses and Counting...

  • Doug Seagrim 10.12.2015

    Great memories from Linda. I experienced that same period, starting as a First Officer on the Viscount in 1965 and retiting off the 747-400 in 2003. Linda may not remember me but we did Frankfurt together in the later years.

  • Najam Jafri

    I saw the story of Linda the flight attendant and photos of Viscounts I remember 50 years back when I came out of my apprenticeship and worked on these aircraft – also on Superconnies and DC3s. Boeing 720 & 707 and by the time I left Air Canada for my retirement it was Boeing 777 – just arrived for AC. It has been 50 years since I had been working in aviation and still doing consulting. I can’t believe it seems like yesterday when my dad asked me: “Do you want to be an apprentice in the air line (PIA)?” I asked him: “What does it mean?” He explained and I said “Yes.” Regards, Najam Jafri

  • Lilly Flather

    Gosh! Linda! We flew together; only briefly; my year in YWG. BUT did we ever have FUN.
    This article sure brought back many Happy Memories! Thank YOU!!
    Lilly Flather

  • John Weston

    I spent many an hour on that same hanger floor, even got stuck in a fuel cell one time, when I was temporarily farmed out from the accessories shop, happy days! …. NOT………
    Cheers
    JW

  • Robert W. Arnold

    CF-THS made its final passenger service flight from Dorval to Winnipeg via Sault St. Marie, Ontario on April 28, 1974. Pilots on board that day were Captain N.J. Beauchamp and First Officer G. Cockburn. I hope this helps fill in a few gaps in your Viscount’s history. Keep up the great work with the live interviews. A job well done.
    Best Regards, Robert

  • Doug Moberg

    I also started in 1966 in the Viscount Overhaul Base. Towards the end of my career I was in Employee Assistance and knew Linda Meckling because she was a rep with the flight attendants. I have been back a few times to the Royal Winnipeg Aviation Museum and must commend the volunteers for a great job.

  • Sharon Russell -Ricciardi

    I, too, began my career in ’66 and I have never looked back… beginning at YUL Res and then shortly after at the airport in Passenger Sales… Thank you, Linda, for taking us down memory lane with the beloved Viscounts and Vanguards… Indeed those were the ‘good ole days’… Great interview. All the best in your continued retirement, Sharon

  • Ron Rhodes

    Very interesting indeed! Thanks and let’s have more!
    The Viscount is, of course, my all-time favourite aircraft and I remember flying on them and watching them at Windsor, Ontario and Toronto for many years. The best was a flight from Edmonton to Toronto via, if I remember properly, Winnipeg, Regina, Thunder Bay (not called that then), and maybe another spot. That was an amazing trip with my mom and sister. By the way, I gained entry a couple of years ago into TCA’s very first Viscount, CF-TGI, which is now located at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ, to take photos. Wow! Lastly, I have a great photo I took of a Viscount interior back then and there are two flight attendants at the back by the galley waiting for me to finish. I would love to have the chance to let Linda see it… Perhaps she is on it or might know the ladies. Please let me know how!!

  • diane mceachern

    Linda, I am reminded of dear layovers in Delhi where we shared afternoon tea and intense sessions of shopping… There is also a wonderful life after retirement and aviation is and was a wonderful way of life. I did not fly much on the Viscount in my early career and jumped to the DC9.
    All the best to you,
    Diane

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