It’s airshow season, FighterSweep Fans! That being said, from time to time you can expect to see videos from our friends on the various demo teams–both foreign and here at home. That includes our friends to the north, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
I have had the privilege of working with the team as their project officer at a show site here in North America, and I cannot speak well enough of this group. While there are some airshow-goers who aren’t interested in anything not equipped with afterburners, those that appreciate precision and aerial artistry will be delighted by the Snowbirds and their Canadair CT-114 Tutors.
Technically known as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the team is comprised of active-duty members from all facets of Canadian military aviation. In other others, they’re not all Hornet pilots! Some have background in trainers, even patrol aircraft like the Aurora. The team’s pilots and technicians work closely together, serving as Canadian ambassadors at every show site where they perform.
The theme for the 2016 Snowbirds season is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), which is the joint air crew training program launched by Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand during World War Two. The plan’s contribution to the allied air effort and ultimate allied victory was a very important hallmark in Canada’s military aviation history.
The Snowbirds’ home station is in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and the facility played an important role in training aircrew during World War II. The Moose Jaw Flying Club initially provided pilot training to the RCAF, but the Canadian government took over the operation in 1940, completely rebuilt the base, and then stood up No. 32 Service Flying Training School.
Once aircrew graduated from their training cycle, they went overseas to serve with Commonwealth Air Force squadrons. Some of them even went on to join 431 Squadron when it was created in 1942.
So take a few minutes, crank your volume, and enjoy the Snowbirds demonstration from a very unique perspective. You’ll enjoy it!!
(Featured Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Force)