Aerobatic flying team spends two weeks in the Comox Valley every spring.
The Canadian aerobatic flying team the “Snowbirds” has been coming to Comox to practice every spring for 46 years, which means every day for two weeks people in the Comox Valley get to take in two free shows a day.
“I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid” said one man before he was cut off by the low-flying planes screaming past his spot at Airforce Beach.
“It’s just the noise and the smell and it just gets the blood flowing” he finished after the noise had died down.
“It’s fabulous” said Sharon Edwards who lives in Courtenay and makes a point of watching the Snowbirds practice every year, adding she never gets tired of it.
“No, no, because they’re always trying new things and it’s an amazing thing. I mean how often do you get a chance to be this close to something that spectacular” said Edwards.
The planes spin and rise and fall, all in formations so tight you wonder how the the pilots do it, especially on a windy day like it was Wednesday.
“Today was very challenging. You feel like you’re fighting the aircraft the entire time, the bumps are there, you’ve trimmed the aircraft out to make it as heavy as possible to make it stable and it’s the sort of day when you come down and everything went well you’re smiling” said Victoria’s own Captain Ave Pyne who flies the number 2 plane and is in his second year with the Snowbirds.
Parksville’s Matthew Hart, in the number 5 plane is a Ballenas Secondary School graduate.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s the best flying in the airforce, meeting new people, people that are really into airplanes, airshow enthusiasts, that’s pretty neat as well and they’re always very grateful for the performance we put on,” Hart told CHEK News.
The Snowbirds will fly in 55 shows this summer from Florida to Yellowknife.
The only show on Vancouver Island is in Nanaimo in August.