Although the Canadian Forces Snowbirds are not able to practise in the Comox Valley due to COVID-19 this year, there is another way to catch the team – virtually.
Thanks to LiveAirShowTV, the Snowbirds, the SkyHawks military parachute demonstration team and many other aviation performers are featured throughout a three-day, live online event through the Socially Distant Airshow.
The virtual airshow is raising funds for ICAS Foundation – the International Council of Air Shows. One hundred per cent of donations will be donated to support airshow industry performers and professionals who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Earlier this month, the Snowbirds team announced they will not be participating in their annual training at 19 Wing Comox, due to ongoing travel restrictions related to COVID-19.
Lt.- Col. Mike French, commanding officer of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron said the team is currently taking a pause from flying at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan in order to maintain social distancing practices.
“This pause in our training season will affect our planned 2020 season, however, at this time the full effect is not clear,” he added.
The virtual show features professional air show announcers Matt Jolley, Ric Peterson and Rob Reider, and airs on the LiveAirShowTV Facebook and YouTube channels from noon to 2 p.m. PST until April 23. The videos are also shared to the Canadian Forces Snowbirds’ Facebook page and are viewable anytime.
Each broadcast features live content mixed with recorded submissions from civilian and military performances across the world. Day two of the broadcast featured both the SkyHawks and the Snowbirds, in what the team described as their “first-ever virtual airshow.”
The Snowbirds appear during day two of the broadcast (April 22) during the last 15 minutes of the show. It features the team in a Zoom call discussing the various maneuvers in past performances side-by-side with video.
In the video, the team dedicates their “socially distant performance” to all of the first responders, health care workers, military members and all other essential and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
To watch the video, visit LiveAirshowTV or the Canadian Forces Snowbirds on Facebook.