Today we were up early for a 06:30 departure from Abbotsford to RCAF Base Comox to see the Snowbirds and the CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Aircraft training for the 2018 airshow season.
We were a small group from Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows that had been invited to see the training and tour the base. A big thanks to our escort, Capt. Evan Southern, for taking us around the base, touring 407 Squadron-Long Range Patrol and their long-range Lockheed CP-140 patrol aircraft, seeing the Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet practice their 2018 airshow routines and then touring 442 Squadron-Search and Rescue and their Cormorant and Buffalo aircraft.
This CP-140 aircraft regularly flies surveillance operations of 10 to 12 hours out over the Pacific Ocean.
Captain Evan Southern is a pilot on the Cormorant and eagerly explained its many features.
The Buffalo has been providing Search and Rescue duties across Canada for decades.
The CF-18 Demonstration aircraft for this year is painted to celebrate 60 years of NORAD, “Keeping the Watch” of North American airspace , a duty shared with the United States military.
The Seven Aircraft Cloverleaf looks like a real tight formation.
The Snowbirds fly twice a day under the watchful eye of their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mike French. We had met the Lt Col last September at Boundary Bay Airport when he was the Reviewing Officer for the graduation ceremony for the Air Cadets Flying Scholarship program. He and I had a photograph taken with our Canada 150 Flag with the graduating cadets.
One special picture today was with Lt. Co. Mike French, the Commanding Officer of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (Snowbirds) in front of Snowbird 1 with our Canada Flag. That’s the flag that was carried across the country on our Canada 150 journey last summer. For me, this photo is a keeper.
We look forward to seeing the Snowbirds and CF-18 at a couple of airshows this summer.
I had the pleasure of being invited to deliver the Canada 150 Presentation at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #4 in Chilliwack, BC. Captain (Retired) Ted Bowman had contacted me regarding the possibility of joining them to help celebrate the 94th BIRTHDAY of the Royal Canadian Air Force. We arrived early to meet some of the members and guests, about 50 or so. After the equipment was set up it was time to enjoy a nice luncheon, then on to the presentation .
A lot of the members had been in the Canadian military, many of them in the RCAF, and had been based across the country. During the presentation it was nice to hear their comments and stories of their adventures in places that we had visited last summer. After the presentation several spoke with me personally embellishing items that I had spoken about and sharing more in-depth stories of their own time in the military and their time in the RCAF. One of the most senior gentleman had been in the Canadian Army and had been in the wave of soldiers landing on the beaches on D-Day.
On Wednesday evening, January 17, 2018, I am delivering a presentation at the Langley Aero Club, Hangar #5, at 19:00 on our Canada 150 Anniversary Flight across the country. Highlights include visits to all ten Provincial Capitals, visits with Air Cadets training for their Private Pilot Licence, a stop in Ottawa and visits to a few aviation museums. I will also share some very interesting weather issues and flight planning on our journey. All are welcome.
On Wednesday evening, January 13, 2018, I am delivering a presentation at the Abbotsford Flying Club at 19:30 on our Canada 150 Anniversary Flight across the country. Highlights include visits to all ten Provincial Capitals, visits with Air Cadets training for their Private Pilot Licence, a stop in Ottawa and visits to a few aviation museums. I will also share some very interesting weather issues and flight planning on our journey. All are welcome.
On Wednesday evening, December 13, 2017, I am delivering a presentation at the Abbotsford Flying Club at 19:30 on our Canada 150 Anniversary Flight across the country. Highlights include visits to all ten Provincial Capitals, visits with Air Cadets training for their Private Pilot Licence, a stop in Ottawa and visits to a few aviation museums. I will also share some very interesting weather issues and flight planning on our journey. All are welcome.
Today was to be a special day to meet up with the Vimy Flight at their final stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Their replica World War I aircraft have had a very interesting year, from flying over Vimy Ridge, France for the 100 year celebration of the battle at Vimy Ridge, flying across Canada including Parliament Hill in Ottawa, us meeting up with them in Brandon, Manitoba at the Commonwealth Training Plan Museum, and now at their final event in Victoria.
We had another easy flight from Abbotsford to Victoria and as usual parked at the Victoria Flying Club. The Club has been around since before World War II and has conducted flight training since then.
After parking at the Victoria Flying Club it was a short walk to the BC Aviation Museum. There is no taxiway access to the museum so you have to park your aircraft nearby on the apron and walk to the museum.
Vimy Flight aircraft on display
BeBe Bilic giving the final presentation to the group at the museum.
Larry Ricker Pre-flight inspection
Bob and Larry Ricker met the crew that we met in Brandon
On the final flight Larry carried our Canada Flag that has been across the country this past summer
The final flight for the aircraft – will be sent to a museum
Today we flew from Abbotsford to Tofino, Long Beach Airport, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
We had tried on June 29 and were unable to get here for our Canada 150 Kick-Off because there was fog all along the west coast of Vancouver Island. When that fog settles in sometimes it lasts for days. We might have missed getting here for the “Kick-Off” but I guess you can say we made it to our “Touchdown”.
Approaching Long Beach Airport
Long Beach Airport
We parked at the terminal for Long Beach Airport, small but very nice for the island community.
We had made arrangements with Orca Airways for transportation to the beach for pictures with our Canada Flag. Thanks to Charles Champenhet we had a short ride to the beach and he was also our photographer, what a nice young man.
Here we are at Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Pacific Ocean gently rolling in. The sand here is so fine and clean and packs real hard. Some beaches near here are occassionally used for mini-flyins. The guys with tail draggers meet up and have a beach BBQ. Sounds like fun but not the kind of operation suitable for the Turbo Arrow.
On departure from Tofino we climbed out over the Pacific Ocean then headed east toward Port Alberni.
On our way to Port Ablerni. Here is where the situational awareness is enhanced with the amazing display of terrain.
flew to Port Albernie (CBS8)
Garmin GNS 530 enhances situational awareness with terrain feature
Port Albernie had a lot of construction recently with a new runway extension fully paved mainly to accommodate a Boeing 737. The company at the airport is modifying older B737 aircraft from Southwest Airlines, to be water bombers, the first such modification in the world. Quite an accomplishment for a little airport on Vancouver Island.
This summer the Air Cadets on the Flying Scholarship Program were training at three airports in the Vancouver area; Boundary Bay, Langley and Abbotsford. Their graduation ceremony was together held in the big hangar at Boundary Bay Airport with all three groups combined. The reviewing officer was Lt. Col Mike French, Commander of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron – Snowbirds!
Two Canada 150 aircraft prior to the graduating ceremony.
Matching tail decals.
Bob and Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French with the Canada Flag at Boundary Bay Airport.
The Colour Guard marches past during the graduation ceremony.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French had the honour of cutting the cake with the graduating pilots.
Bob and Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French with the Canada Flag and the graduating class of new pilots at Boundary Bay Airport.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French was very helpful folding the Canada Flag.
A warm sincere handshake from the Air Cadet top brass.
P-51 Mustang, F-86 Saber, F-16 Viper, F-22 Raptor
CF-188 standing on the tail with the Canada Flag
CF-188 Canada 150 Jet with RCMP officers holding the Canada Flag
Bob in the cockpit
Snowbirds walk-off at the end of the show
Today was our family day at the Abbotsford Airshow.
My son, Chris, and his family attended the airshow for the first time. Brodie was getting around OK but Hudson still needs the comfort of his mother’s loving arms.
Valerie walked a mile or two keeping track of Brodie.
Brodie was watching to make sure that no one was getting past security.
Valerie and Brittney at the airshow. Little Hudson saw airplanes for the first time. Next year he will be walking around.
I thanked Brodie for a job well done and invited him to be my wingman.
Staff Sergeant Major John A. Buis from the Burnaby Detachment of the RCMP helped me with the Canada Flag. This good officer has flying experience on the Piper Arrow from years past at flying school at Langley. His watchful eyes were on our technique as we folded the flag and everything must have been OK since he gave us his approval.
The Snowbirds gave another amazing performance. Nine training aircraft performing together right in front of the crowd.