Saturday, May 09, 2020

Snowbirds are coming to Toronto #OpInspiration

Mothers Day 2020 will be the new date of the planned flyover of Toronto. The planned date of the Ontario flight was Saturday, May 9th but Mother Nature wanted it on mom's special day. The Canadian Forces aerobatic team was to take to the skies in three legs: from Trenton to Pearson, then Pearson to London and finally London to Barrie at various times throughout the day. Instead snow and hail around the city proved too formidable and the birds are holding at 8 Wing Trenton for 24 hours.

If the weather is good hopefully they will hold to their scheduled flyovers on Sunday, May 10, 2020 as part of Operation Inspiration. The first leg will be CFB Trenton (9:30am takeoff) to Pearson Airport (landing at 10:30am) - flying along the shores of Lake Ontario and over towns like Colborne, Bowmanville and Oshawa before doing some maneuvers over Toronto.
The second leg is from Pearson Airport (12:45pm takeoff) and flying over the Golden Horseshoe to Niagara Falls and heading west towards London (landing at 1:45pm). From Mississauga, over Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Grimsby, St. Catherines, Niagara Falls then to Brantford, Woodstock, Ingersol and then to London.
The day's finale is the London (takeoff 4:15pm) to Barrie (5:15pm landing). From London to Stratford, Kitchener, over Guelph, up to Collingwood and then east to Barrie.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds launch cross-Canada tour
From the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, April 30, 2020:

"The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will cross the country to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19. This unique mission is being aptly dubbed Operation Inspiration.

The team’s signature nine-jet formation, with trailing white smoke, will fly over cities across the country starting in Nova Scotia this weekend and working west throughout the week. The team will release anticipated locations, routes, and times on their social media platforms each day. Flyovers will occur at an elevation no lower than 500 feet above all obstacles.

“Every year, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds travel the country putting smiles on the faces of Canadians,” said Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force. “While Canadians may not be able to gather at air shows for now, we’re honoured to bring the Snowbirds team to Canadians and to pay special tribute to them.”

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds paused operations on March 20, 2020, to preserve the team’s health. The members have been at home physically distancing since that time. The team will spend two days at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan flying refresher and proficiency training missions, which is standard Royal Canadian Air Force practice after an extended pause from flying operations, before starting their cross-Canada tour, during which they will be practising recommended hand-washing and wearing recommended personal protective equipment while travelling. Team members will also be minimizing any interactions with people outside of the team.

“We’ve been asked to do what we do best… inspire Canadians,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds. “Through Operation INSPIRATION, we not only want to salute the front-line health-care workers, first responders, and essential workers, but also all Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We want Canadians to know we’re in this with you.”

We encourage Canadians to observe the flyovers from the safety of their home and refrain from travelling to see the flyovers. Please maintain physical distancing practices that are keeping us all safe."

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