RCAF air demonstration season concludes

News Article / October 17, 2016

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) air demonstration teams concluded their programs for 2016 this past weekend after collectively appearing at more than 70 venues in Canada and the United States over the summer.  

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds performed their year-end show for military families on Friday, October 14, at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, noting the Canadian Armed Forces are marking 25 years of service provided by the Military Family Services Program. The CF-18 Demonstration Team returned home this weekend as well.

Throughout the show season, the RCAF has recognized Canada’s leadership of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP, or “The Plan”). The 2016 CF-18 Demo Hornet had unique tail and body art illustrating the theme, and the eleven Snowbird CT-114 Tutor aircraft each displayed a BCATP logo.

Both teams represented Canada as ambassadors across North America, demonstrating the outstanding teamwork, excellence, discipline and dedication inherent in the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces. Airshow demonstrations are an opportunity to show Canadians the professionalism and skill within the RCAF critical to serving important missions in Canada and around the world.

“The RCAF’s air demo teams have done an outstanding job this summer, fulfilling their role to connect with Canadians, by educating and informing them about their Royal Canadian Air Force, said Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division. “By sharing their enthusiasm and excitement for aviation, they have inspired future generations of aviators. Each member of the CF Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demo Team brings to bear a unique skill set in the accomplishment of our mandate. I thank them for their remarkable service and congratulate them for a safe and successful air show season.”

The Military Family Services Program

The Military Family Services Program, created 25 years ago, is built by families for families. It supports military families in person at local Military Family Resource Centres, by phone through the Family Information Line, or online at www.familyforce.ca.

In collaboration with the Military Family Services Program, the RCAF considers support to families a key line of operations, with a particular focus on facilitating affordable daycare, access to medical services and spousal employment.

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Each year the RCAF air demonstration teams highlight significant undertakings or commemorative events; this year teams recognized the great achievements of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP or “The Plan”).

The BCATP played a critical role in Canada's great contributions to Allied victory in the Second World War.

Over a five-year period (1940-1945), “The Plan” was responsible for training more than 131,000 aircrew, including pilots, wireless operators, air gunners and navigators for the air forces of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Many Canadians trained under the BCATP: 25,747 as pilots; 12,855 as navigators; 6,659 as air bombers; 12,744 as wireless operators; 12,917 as air gunners, and 1,913 as flight engineers.

151 BCATP establishments, supported by their communities, were located across Canada in every province and employed 3,540 aircraft, 33,000 air force personnel and 6,000 civilian employees. The Plan was so successful that U.S. President Roosevelt described Canada as, "the aerodrome of democracy".

The BCATP helped create a legacy in Canada that continues to this day, demonstrating that our future is indeed built on our past. The relationships forged between Canadians, their communities and the RCAF by “The Plan” is a cherished part of Canada’s rich aviation history.

Date modified: