May 17

Published by Victor Barr on

Sunday morning again, I think its nine now, but who’s counting? We had a pancake breakfast on a rainy morning. It started out very pleasantly. Then I turned on my computer and the tragic news was everywhere. A Snowbird had crashed!

The RCAF CT-114 Tutor took off from the Kamloops airport this morning. Moments later it crashed into a house and erupted in flames. Lately the only thing that can drive Covid19 from the headlines is more tragedy. First a mass murder in Nova Scotia, then a helicopter crash in Greece and now the Snowbirds. My heart breaks for the loss of Capt. Jenn Casey and her family. The Snowbirds were on their cross country tour to cheer up Canadians. They met with disaster this morning in the skies above Kamloops. I have always loved the Snowbirds and what they stood for: a proudly Canadian icon. I first saw them at the Calgary Stampede when I was a kid. I have been a fan ever since.

I remember the thrill and excitement I felt watching the precision flying the acrobatic planes achieved In the sky above Calgary. That is one of my memories I hold dear to this day. As a kid the awe-inspiring rolls and death-defying maneuvers took my breath away. It’s amazing they continue to perform to this day. They were an exciting new show back in the seventies. That Stampede I first bore witness to the skill and bravery of the men and women flying the eleven planes from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I would be wowed by them many more times over the ensuing years.

The last time I saw them was with my little daughter. They were performing over the Okanagan Lake. The scenic beauty was an amazing back-drop for the stunning maneuvers that impressed us. Even as a forty-something-year-old man I thought their performance was incredible. My little girl shrieked with excitement. We stood on the Bluff overlooking Kelowna and watched the planes perform their acrobatic magic. I had hoped to go see them today. Unfortunately that was not to be. I wonder if we will ever get to see them again.

This is a sad day in Canadian aviation and an even sadder day for those directly affected. A terrible day for the pilots and families of the Snowbirds. I feel sorry for the unfortunate people that witnessed the tragic event unfold live. There are many unfortunate souls that will be impacted for life.

As a country we are united in our grief and sorrow. As a country I am proud that we care so much. As a country we need to find a way to remain united. To unite in hope. Hope for a better new normal, hope for better days.

Categories: Daily Journal

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