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 iconic Snowbirds have a special place in the hearts of many Canadians. We hope that their presence over Canadian cities and towns to acknowledge the hard work being done by Canadians in our grocery stores, our pharmacies, our hospitals and long-term care facilities lift up Canadians during these difficult times,” commentss Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
“Every year, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds travel the country putting smiles on the faces of Canadians. 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,” states Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force.
“We’ve been asked to do what we do best… inspire Canadians. 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,” adds Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
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.
The team will be practicing 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 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.
- 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.