COUNTDOWN TO TAKE OFF
The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron are a Canadian icon comprised of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and National Defence Public Service employees. The CF Snowbirds proudly and eagerly uphold the legacy of military aviation excellence as Canada’s Air Demonstration Team.
Serving as ambassadors of the CAF, the CF Snowbirds demonstrate the high level of skill, professionalism, teamwork, discipline and dedication inherent in the men and women of the CAF and they inspire the pursuit of excellence wherever they go in North America.
Your 2019 Canadian Forces Snowbirds reflect the diversity and opportunities available equally to men and women in the Canadian military. Each member of the Snowbirds’ team is a full-time serving member who demonstrates the skill, professionalism, and teamwork essential to achieving aviation excellence.
In their 49th season, the Snowbirds continue to inspire with thrilling aerobatic performances and breathtaking fly-bys over cities and towns across Canada and the United States.
Read more about the Canadian Forces Snowbirds – http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/index.page
Brent Handy is an unrestricted, surface-rated aerobatic performer. Born in small town Wyevale, Ontario, Brent knew from a young age that he wanted to spend his time in the air. His air show journey began in 2012 when he flew in the opposing solo position for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Expect an adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping series of tumbles, torque rolls, and loops. The Pitts Special is THE air show airplane to inspire young and old to pursue their passions!
When a child dreams and wants something so deeply in their soul, anything is possible. Every detail of their life becomes aligned with achieving their goal. Family gathers in support. True friends are separated from the rest. And when born in a nation so rich with opportunity, the impossible becomes reality!
Read more about Brent’s journey and his team – http://brenthandy.com/
Every year, the Air Force selects a special group of people to make up the CF-18 Demonstration Team. The CF-18 Demonstration Team is a truly national team; all members come from Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) units across the country, and each one is selected for his or her superior performance, dedication to excellence, and the desire to represent Canada’s operational air force. Without the hard work of each and every team member, the CF-18 Demo Hornet would never get off the ground.
The team is comprised of thirteen members including the Demo pilot, eight technicians, three safety pilots and a public affairs officer/narrator. Captain Brian Kilroy is the pilot for the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team.
Captain Kilroy will wow audiences around Canada during the 2019 air show season, flying his specially-painted CF-18 Hornet commemorating the RCAF’s pathway to the stars and the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The supersonic CF-188 Hornet, popularly known as the CF-18, is a multipurpose, high performance twin-engine fighter. This impressive jet generates enough thrust to lift 24 full-sized pick-up trucks off the ground!
Read more about the CF-18 Demonstration Team – http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/cf-18-demo-team/index.page
Airshow spectators around the world have been treated to the unique variety of acts performed by veteran pilot and consummate entertainer Kent Pietsch and his Jelly Belly airplanes.
His shows, which include specialty acts designed to thrill audiences of all ages, showcase aerobatic stunts featuring airplanes that lose parts, engines that quit in mid-flight, and landings onto runways mounted on moving vehicles. Kent has enjoyed presenting the fun of flight to air show audiences for 40 years.
Kent’s enthusiasm for flying started in 1967 when, at age 16, he completed his first solo flight. His passion turned into a full-time career just three years later when he began flying commercially. In 2007, Kent took early retirement from a major airline to pursue his real passion of performing in the air show circuit. As a premier air show performer Kent strives to show the freedom of flight. While his acts push the limits of what he and his airplane can do, Kent adheres to strict safety standards making him a true professional in the air show field.
Read more about Kent Pietsch and his colourful Jelly Belly airplanes – http://www.kentpietschairshows.com/
Gord Price sponsored by The Dam Pub has been performing airshows since 1976. He has been a RCAF fighter pilot, an airline captain and represented Canada at 3 FAI World Aerobatic Championships. Not only is Gord an incredibly experienced pilot, he also designed, built and flew the ‘Ultimate ‘series of biplanes. Today, Gord flies the prototype YAK 50 with a newly installed 435 hp engine. This is the only YAK 50 registered in Canada.
Read more about Gord Price and his YAK 50 – http://gordpriceairshows.com/
The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team at Shaw AFB, S.C., performs precision aerial manoeuvres to demonstrate the unique capabilities of one of the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The team also flies in Air Force Heritage Flight formations, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.
The team’s F-16CM Fighting Falcon, affectionately known as the ‘Viper,” is a single-seat, multi-role fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to air-to-air role at the touch of a button. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.
Read more about the F-16 Viper Demo Team – https://www.shaw.af.mil/Viper-Demo-Team/
Yellow Thunder is a two ship aerial demonstration team flying ex-Canadian military aircraft, the Harvard. Pilots Dave Watson and Drew Watson skillfully demonstrate aerobatic manoeuvers based on RCAF pilot training. Airshow spectators will see manoeuvers that were taught to advance the pilot’s hand and foot coordination with the airplane. These manoeuvers were also the foundation for dogfighting, which would be used in the next airplane the student would move onto after the Harvard; usually the P-15 Mustang, the Spitfire, or the Hurricane.
The formation content in the Yellow Thunder display is used in pilot training, both pre and post war. Formation tactics that are taught to this day. Their formation demonstration moves past what most military students are taught and include aerobatics such as:
Read more about Yellow Thunder – www.yellowthunder.ca
Kyle Fowler began following his father’s footsteps at a very young age. Looking to his father, Ken Fowler of Team Rocket, as his role model, Kyle moved forward with his dreams of becoming an Aerobatic Pilot by the age of 12, announcing his father’s performance at several airshows. Then at the age of 21, his dreams began to manifest. Kyle obtained his Private Pilot’s License, with Eric Hansen of Team Rocket, as his flight instructor, and began his journey toward his airshow career.
Kyle’s new plane, the Long EZ, is the perfect combination of comfort and style. Though not capable of aggressive aerobatics the Long EZ makes up for it with its unique look in the delta wing canard design. This small tandem seating airplane has an impressive range of 1000nm and cruising at speeds of 160 knots.
Read more about Kyle and the Long Ez – http://longez.ca/
Rob Mitchell, affectionately known as Scratch to his friends, is a third generation military pilot. Originally from Victoria, BC, he wears many hats, balancing flying, acting and producing films and TV. Rob’s guiding principles, “passion, focus and action” have led to more than 6,500 hours in jet aircraft including the CF-18 as a fighter pilot, F-86 for Vintage Wings of Canada, CT-114 Tutor as a Snowbird and more recently the T-33 Shooting Star as an airshow pilot with Ace Maker Airshows.
Rob will be demonstrating his skills at the Saskatchewan Airshow in the T-33 Shooting Star. As America’s first operational jet fighter and trainer, these aircraft represent a piece of American history that ushered us into a new generation, and have helped pave the way for the lives and freedom we enjoy today.