Air Canada Pilots Association
Tribute to Captain Doug Anderson (Retired),
CAHS Life Member

The following announcement from the Air Canada Pilots Association on the passing of Doug Anderson was released shortly after the March edition of the Newsletter and we are pleased to publish it.


Passing of Captain Douglas (Doug) E. Anderson (Retired)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of retired Captain Douglas (Doug) E. Anderson on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the age of 90.

Doug's love for aviation began as a young child seeing Hurricanes and Hampdens flying over Vancouver while he was in school. He was an avid model builder using any limited resources available during the war years. Doug learned to fly at the Aero Club of BC before attaining his aeronautical degree at Cal-Aero Tech in California. After graduation, he accepted a job with Queen Charlotte Airlines in the engineering department. He also worked as a cleaner for TCA, and on Electras and DC-3s at night. Doug’s first flying job was as a First Officer on the “3” before he was promoted to Captain about five years later. He flew the usual “iron” up to the B-747, serving as an instructor and later check-pilot on L1011. Doug was a dedicated and proud employee of TCA/Air Canada, cherishing his time with his colleagues.

In 1956, Doug married flight attendant, Thelma Bjarnason, who had been with TCA since 1950, and who was previously a nurse at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. Thelma's passion as a nurse was cut short by an allergy to Penicillin and, as TCA was hiring nurses, she applied. Sadly, her airline career ended by marriage, which was company policy at the time. Doug became interested in Thelma when he heard stories of her stopping the crew cab on a layover to render roadside aid to the victims of a car accident in 1955.

An early and lifelong member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, Doug contributed many highly detailed aircraft drawings and other information of significant Canadian bush planes. He also commemorated the restoration of Air Canada's Lockheed 10. Doug’s passion for flying extended to flying his favourite aircraft, a 1937 Stinson Reliant, which he flew to fly-ins and in airshows up and down the West Coast. The plane is now in the BC Aviation Museum in Victoria.

Doug is predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Thelma, in 2019, at age 93 of dementia and stroke, and his daughter Kathryn who passed away in August 2019. Doug is survived by two sons who were at his side as he declined from Alzheimer's. He has four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

There will be a private family service and a scattering of ashes by air.

On behalf of the Air Canada Pilots Association, our sincere sympathies are extended to Captain Anderson's family, friends and colleagues.