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Snowbirds set to arrive in the Comox Valley today for annual training

Snowbirds are planning to fly two or three times a day depending on the operational requirements
The Snowbirds are returning to train in Comox in May. File photo

The countdown is officially on for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team spring training, as the team officially arrives in the Comox Valley today.

Capt. Gabriel Ferris, the team’s public affairs officer said the team is excited about the upcoming air show season because they managed to fit in all 10 provinces in the schedule.

“From B.C. to Newfoundland, we’ll perform in every province at different times of the summer, reaching our Canadian audience from coast to coast. We also have plans to reach north to the territories but only next year.”

The air demonstration squadron will be in the Valley training until May 12 - a place Ferris calls the team’s second home.

This year, the Snowbirds are planning to fly two or three times a day depending on the operational requirements, he noted.

“The first wave is expected to be at approximately 8:30 a.m., the second at 12:30 p.m. and at 3:10 p.m., although the last one is usually just for the solos (pilots). Residents can expect our signature formations, loops and rolls, splits and smoke in the air.”

This year, Ferris explained residents will be able to see a lot more seven-nine ship formations and not just four-five such as last year, as training is going well so far this year. He added spring training is still a training deployment and the team is not show-ready quite yet, which means some practices may just have a few airplanes in the sky at a time.

There are two new pilots joining the team this year - Snowbird 2, with Capt. Caitie Clapp and Snowbird 3, with Capt. Steve Timm.

While there is no particular theme for this year, Ferris said the team will be celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force next year.

The Snowbirds will train in the Valley until May 12.

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Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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