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.