A memorial flight is scheduled to take off from Abbotsford International Airport on Monday night in honour of the Snowbirds.
The flight, dubbed Operation Backup Inspiration is a memorial to Capt. Jennifer Casey, a Royal Canadian Airforce public affairs officer who was killed in a crash in Kamloops Sunday. The Snowbirds had been flying across Canada to raise morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic in a mission called Operation Inspiration when the plane carrying Casey appeared to sudden veer away before plummeting to the ground just before noon.
Capt. Richard MacDougall was the other service member on board. He survived with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The RCAF said it is investigating the cause of the crash.
Monday’s memorial flight was organized by the BC General Aviation Association. Organizers said that the response to the idea was “overwhelming” but that for safety, the flight was limited to 35 pilots.
“We are paying tribute to the Snowbirds,” the association said in a statement. “In doing so we must act with the same level of professionalism and care they do every day.”
The RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We are deeply saddened and grieve alongside Jenn’s family and friends. Our thoughts are also with the loved ones of Captain MacDougall. We hope for a swift recovery from his injuries. – Comd RCAF pic.twitter.com/UZKJa6OT3S
— CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) May 18, 2020
Planes will take off from Abbotsford’s airport at 6:30 p.m, and fly over Langley, White Rock, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, the North Shore, Vancouver and Burnaby before dispersing to their home airports.
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