Watch the sky this long weekend to see Snowbirds over Vancouver Island

Update: A Canadian Forces Snowbird jet crashed in Kamloops on Sunday. Two jets took off from Kamloops Airport about 11:30 a.m., bound for Comox, when one rose, then circled and crashed. The Royal Canadian Air Force has confirmed that one of its members died and another was seriously injured. Read the full story here.

The family of Capt. Logan Reid has confirmed that he was not the pilot in the jet that crashed. The Snowbirds were scheduled to arrive in Comox on Sunday and fly over the Island on Monday as part of their Operation Inspiration tour.

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Original story

Logan Reid grew up watching the Snowbirds perform in Comox and wanting to join them one day.

The Vancouver Island-raised pilot got his wish a couple of years ago, joining the Royal Canadian Air Force’s air demonstration squadron based in Moose Jaw, Sask.

“It’s pretty cool to be wearing the red suit,” he said, speaking from Kamloops, where his squadron had just landed to fuel up.

Reid, 31, flies the eighth plane in a formation of nine that is making its way from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island in a unique Snowbirds mission dubbed Operation Inspiration.

The operation’s mandate is to give Canadians a sense of unity during the COVID-19 pandemic and salute Canadians from the sky.

“With the coronavirus pandemic being what it is and so many Canadians sacrificing in the fight against it, we wanted to provide tribute to the frontline workers and every Canadian by just conducting something very simple, a very small gesture of a flyby,” Reid said.

The squadron expects to arrive in Comox on Sunday and fly over the Island to Victoria on Monday, weather permitting. Anyone wishing to catch a flyover is encouraged to check the Snowbird’s social media pages, where up-to-date timing will be posted. The squadron is encouraging people to watch from their homes.

While the Snowbirds are known for acrobatic loops and rolls in the sky, the coast-to-coast flyover is keeping it simple.

“People can expect to see our quintessential big diamond formation, which looks like a diamond of aircraft flying overhead and a few other formations,” Reid said.

For Reid, flying over the Island is a special experience — and not just because he thinks it’s the most beautiful flying in the country.

Reid was born in Duncan, raised in Victoria and got his pilot’s licence from the Victoria Flying Club. His parents still live on the Saanich peninsula, and he’s hoping to see them from a safe distance.

“We’re going to try to get some gas at Victoria International [Airport], so when we stop and we’re ready to get going, I’ll hopefully have them there across the fence to wave to,” he said.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

See the Snowbirds

Check the Snowbirds social media accounts for information on when they will be flying over the Island.

• Twitter — twitter.com/CFSnowbirds

• Facebook — facebook.com/CFSnowbirdsFC

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