The CF Snowbirds lifted off Monday, July 19, to show support for frontline health workers.
The Royal Canadian Air Force’s 431 Air Demonstration Squadron lifted off from Vancouver International Airport at 10 a.m. and flew toward its first way point, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where the team did a flyover for hospital staff before taking a heading north to Qualicum, Port Alberni, Tofino and other destinations on their way to Comox Air Force Base.
Monday’s flight is a continuation of Operation Inspiration to honour health-care workers. A cross-country tour started in June in Ontario. Maj. Jean-Francois Dupont, Canadian Forces Snowbirds team lead, said in a press release this spring that the Snowbirds were “ecstatic” to be back in the air.
“The team has worked hard on our show and I’m really satisfied with the result, not just for the pilots, but also the technicians and other support personnel. We are proud to continue Op Inspiration and hopefully put some smiles on the faces of Canadians,” he said.
The team is also honouring Capt. Jennifer Casey who died in a crash near Kamloops last year.
“[She] embodied the very best of what it means to be a Snowbird,” said Snowbirds Lt.-Col. Denis Bandet in a separate press release this past spring. “Enthusiastic, warm, witty, a true team player, a leader and an innovative powerhouse. The trust that we had in her to connect with the public was absolute.”
Operation Inspiration is the Snowbirds’ first tour since Casey was killed and Capt. Richard MacDougall was injured in the Kamloops crash, which was caused by a bird going into the aircraft’s engine.
Monday’s flight followed a flyover of the CF-18 air demonstration team Sunday, July 18.
— Alberni Valley News (@AlberniNews) July 19, 2021