Technical issue will temporarily prevent the Snowbirds from flying in upcoming performances

June 24, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be unable to fly in planned airshows and fly pasts, until a technical issue is resolved that relates to a device that sets the timing for the deployment of the parachute during the ejection sequence.

During routine maintenance on the parachutes at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on June 19, aviation technicians discovered that the tool may not be calibrated accurately. Out of an abundance of caution, the parachutes currently being used by aircrew flying in CT-114 Tutor aircraft will now be re-tested and re-packed, as necessary, to ensure proper timing is set for their activation in the event of an emergency.

It is not known how long it will take to resolve this issue, but the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is working diligently with subject matter experts and a third-party aviation contractor to get the team back in the air as soon as it is safe to do so. It is anticipated that upcoming performances in the Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview areas in New Brunswick on Wednesday, June 29, will need to be cancelled. The Snowbirds and the CAF teams are working hard to get the team back in the air for Canada Day, July 1, in Ottawa, ON. 

Quotes

While it is certainly disappointing the Snowbirds anticipate they will need to cancel upcoming performances until this technical issue is resolved, I applaud our aviation technicians for discovering this issue. This speaks to our flight safety culture in the RCAF, and the professionalism of our maintainers. We have full confidence that this issue will be resolved in a safe manner, working with a third-party aviation contractor and our own technical and maintenance experts.” 

Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division, Royal Canadian Air Force

Quick facts

  • The RCAF takes flight safety very seriously. No RCAF aircraft will be flown unless it is determined to be airworthy and safe to fly. The RCAF maintenance crew, including those of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron are well trained and qualified aviation maintenance professionals who are dedicated to ensuring safe and airworthy aircraft, and associated aviation life support equipment.
  • A review of the Directorate of Flight Safety report by RCAF Airworthiness Authority experts has determined that there is no link between the CT-114 Tutor accident on May 17, 2020 in Kamloops and the current issue concerning the Mk10B device and associated testing tool. 
  • An operational pause has not been invoked for the CT-114 fleet. This issue affects a component of aviation life support equipment associated with the aircraft, not the aircraft itself. 
  • The team will not fly until the parachutes have been verified as being within specifications for their safe operation in an emergency.
  • The RCAF will communicate through social media when we have further updates, including confirmation of next performances.

Associated links

CF Snowbirds First stop Borden June 18-19

Web News • 13 June 2022 • Snowbirds take flight Father’s Day weekendClick to View 🔗 a new window (or tab) will open to an external site reporting on Canadian aviation news.


14 June – From CF Snowbirds’ Facebook and Twitter pages

Snowbirds mark 2 years since crash that claimed Capt. Jenn Casey’s life in Kamloops

Web News • 18 May 2022

Click to View 🔗 a new window (or tab) will open to an external site reporting aviation news in Canada.

Snowbirds, Capt Logan Reid prepped for takeoff

From CFB Esquimalt Lookout Navy News/Lookout Production 🔗 link to source story

By Peter Mallett, Staff Writer, Lookout Production on April 13, 2022

Snowbird pilot Capt Logan Reid.

A Victoria-born pilot will be at the controls of one of nine CT-114 Tutor jets, when the Canadian Forces Snowbirds aerobatic display squadron takes to the skies over Canadian cities this summer.

Tucked in the cockpit of Snowbird 8 will be Capt Logan Reid, donning the familiar red pilot flight suit.

However, before he and his fellow pilots can delight air show fans across Canada with their signature manoeuvres, which include the Canada Burst, formation heart, and solo head-on crosses, they must first complete training camp. From April 19 to May 11 the 24 member show team will relocate from 15 Wing Moose Jaw to CFB Comox. 19 Wing has been the site of the Snowbirds’ annual spring training camp since the mid-1970s.

“Getting to Comox is an exciting time for us because the flying tempo steps up considerably and it’s a significant milestone as we get our manoeuvres put together,” says Capt Reid. “It’s also the first time you get the feeling of really taking up the mantle for the new pilots and technicians who have joined the team.”

After spending his Easter weekend with wife Nicole and their four-year-old son Mackenzie in Moose Jaw, Capt Reid and his teammates will hop in their jets and fly west.

Under normal circumstances, he and the team would head to Comox to refine their routine for airshows in May. But some exceptional issues including bad weather, COVID-19 restrictions on personnel, and maintenance factors have put them behind schedule. Their first airshow will be June 18 and 19 over Borden, ON. After that, they will zigzag across the country performing into September before crossing the border for a few shows in California.

During training, they plan to make two flights a day, six days a week with their flight paths very close to the Courtenay-Comox region.

The practice is all for a good reason, says Capt Reid. When performing in formation the pilots have no room for error. They can reach speeds of up to 600 km/h with a separation of just 1.8 metres, the height of an average man.

Feeling the rumble

Logan, 33, grew up in Brentwood Bay. He first caught the aviation bug after attending numerous air shows with his father in Comox and Abbotsford, B.C.

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a fast jet pilot,” he says. “At the air shows, I distinctly remember feeling the rumble of the fighter jets as they screamed by and then being wowed by the awesomeness of seeing the Snowbirds in the sky.”

He also likes older planes that predate the Cold-War era flying the air show circuit. He calls them “inspiration machines” while noting the advances in aviation technology of the last century are truly “mind boggling.”

His interest in aviation led him to join Royal Canadian Air Cadets 676 Kittyhawk Squadron based at Victoria International Airport.

He graduated from the University of Victoria in 2008 with a Diploma in Business Administration – Aviation. During this time, he also obtained his private pilot license through the Victoria Flying Club. Capt Reid then attended the Royal Military College of Canada and earned his Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering in 2012. He was posted to Moose Jaw to earn his pilot wings where he flew the CT-156 Harvard II and the CT-155 Hawk. He continued to follow his dream and applied to join the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and was selected in 2018.

Tight Bond

His role in the team’s No. 8 plane, positioned two aircraft away from the lead plane’s right wing, is a spot he has maintained since joining the team.

His other role with the team is the Lead Solo. This occurs when the planes fly away in groups of two and then proceed head-on against each other.

“It’s a fast-paced game of chicken with closing speeds of 1,100 kilometres an hour, missing each other by 30 feet,” he says. “My job as the lead is to command the head on crosses and make sure they are staged appropriately at show centre.”

To perform at this level requires skill, professionalism, and teamwork and its paramount each individual brings that attitude to work every day, says Capt Reid. It’s also these same requirements that make the Snowbirds such a close-knit family.

“We put our lives in each other’s hands every mission, so the bond is tight and the trust runs deep.”

Being a Snowbird pilot is a “collection of surreal” experiences, he explains. “It’s one that involves being so finely in tune with your jet that it makes the wings feel like an extension of your body and seeing the world rotate around your formation. It’s almost indescribable. Every time I put on the red suit I still get a little giddy.”

This will be Capt Reid’s final year with the Snowbirds team, as most pilots serve in the demonstration squadron for a maximum of five years.

“I have had no greater honour of flying for this team. It’s hard to imagine a better job and there have been so many special moments.”

When the airshow season wraps up this October, Capt Reid hopes to begin Fighter Lead In Training. The goal is to eventually pilot Canada’s CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft.

To learn more on the Snowbird’s 2022 schedule go to  http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/schedule.page

Snowbirds

Snowbirds set to arrive in the Comox Valley

From Comox Valley Record 🔗 link to source story • thanks to CW

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are set to be back in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are set to be back in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Residents can expect to see and hear the iconic Tutor jets as the pilots in the sky

Black Press Submitted • April 14, 2022

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be at 19 Wing Comox this year for their annual spring training between April 19 and May 10.

Residents can expect to see and hear the iconic Tutor jets as the pilots of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron practice their formations and aerobatics in the vicinity of Comox Valley and over the Georgia Strait.

This year will be different than prior training sessions. Exceptional issues this past winter, including bad weather, and COVID-19 restrictions on personnel, have put them behind schedule. Therefore, the squadron will be conducting exercises at an earlier phase in their training and pilots may not be flying some of the more complicated maneuvers.

Residents are asked to enjoy the Snowbirds practice from their homes or to follow them online through social media.

Air Force Beach will have limited access for non-pass holders for the weekends of April 23 to 24, April 30 to May 1 and May 7 to 8. Access will be controlled by members of 19 Wing Comox. All visitors on DND property are asked to maintain physical distancing; in the event that distancing cannot be maintained, 19 Wing Comox requests masks be worn for everyone’s safety.

– 19 Wing Comox

2022 Canadian Forces Snowbirds schedule

DateLocation
June 
18 – 19Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario
25 – 26Brantford, Ontario
29Dieppe-Moncton-Riverview, New Brunswick
July 
1Ottawa, Ontario**
16 – 17Cold Lake, Alberta
20Terrace, British Columbia
23 – 24Calgary-Springbank, Alberta
30 – 31Fort St. John, British Columbia
August 
3Penticton, British Columbia
5 ‑ 7Abbotsford, British Columbia
13 ‑ 14Edmonton-Villeneuve, Alberta
27 ‑ 28Debert, Nova Scotia
September 
3 ‑ 5Toronto, Ontario
9 ‑ 11London, Ontario
14Tillsonburg, Ontario
17 ‑ 18Gatineau, Quebec
24 ‑ 25Mirabel, Quebec
October 
1 ‑ 2Huntington Beach, California, USA
8 ‑ 9San Francisco, California, USA
15 ‑ 16Santa Maria, California, USA

 ** Denotes a non-aerobatic display

Have you ever wondered what our pilots see during our shows?👀 This video gives you a simultaneous view of the cockpit and the ground during one of our 2021 air show!

Thank you AirshowAddict

Operation INSPIRATION: Demonstration Flights over the Lower Mainland (July 15-18)

July 12, 2021 · YVR

On July 15-18, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demonstration team will perform inspirational flights over the Lower Mainland. The activities will include flybys and a practice show. For further information on Operation INSPIRATION, please view the news release from the Department of National Defence.

16 July 2021 starting at 3:00 pm flight path

1/2
Here’s our approximate plan for today’s flight over the Greater #Vancouver Area to show our support to Healthcare workers for their work in the last year.😁 Take Off YVR: 3:00pm

BC Children’s Hospital
UBC Hospital
Stanley Park
St. Paul’s Hospital
Vancouver General Hospital

Originally tweeted by CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) on 16 July 2021.

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Lions Gate Hospital
Burnaby Hospital
Sunny Hill Health Center
Ridge Meadows Hospital
Royal Columbian Hospital
Surrey Memorial Hospital
Langley Memorial Hospital
White Rock Pier
Peace Arch Hospital
Delta Hospital
Back to YVR airport

The flyby will be done at 1000 feet. 😁

#opinspiration

Originally tweeted by CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) on 16 July 2021.