Snowbirds to Fly May 22
The Sidney-Richland Airport will be hosting an open house which will offer a free air show on May 22. Starting off the 2013 season, the Canadian Snowbirds, an aircraft demonstration team, will be performing their air formations in Sidney as a “mack up” of their their Sunday performance getting cancelled due to high winds at the airshow three years ago.
The Snowbirds began back in 1971, following the ‘Golden Centennaires’ who flew formations for Canada’s centennial year in four years prior. After a few years, they were made an official unit of the Canadian Forces.
The Snowbirds fly basic pilot-training aircrafts, which can reach speeds of 470 miles an hour. All members of the Snowbirds are personnel of the Canadian Forces who have accumulated many years of military experience. They are selected based on their skill and experience and go through a rigorous series of try-outs to check their proficiency in formation flying. With a third of the pilots rotating out through a three year period, the team trains the new members in.
The Snowbirds fly approximately 70 shows a year at 50 different locations across North America. This causes the unit to be traveling for six months out of the year. In those six months, they will return to their home base about four times for a couple days in order to do maintenance.
In order to get the Snowbirds at a venue, applications must be put in two years in advance. This makes this scheduled appearance in Sidney almost unheard of. For more information on the Canadian Snowbirds please go to their website at: http://www.snowbirds.dnd.ca.