It’s no secret that the 120th Island Farms Victoria Day Parade on May 21 is going to be absolutely jam-packed with cool stuff to check out.
But what’s really got people buzzing is the news that this year’s parade will feature a flypast by a 443 Squadron Sea King helicopter and F-18 Hornet fighter jet—a first-ever for the annual event.
The F-18 will be piloted by Major Phil Meikle with Capt. Brian Kilroy as his wingman.
Meikle joined the military in 2000, and started flight training in 2004. He’s been flying F-18s since 2010.
“They’re fun to fly. We can get pretty fast—1.8 times the speed the sound,” Meikle tells Victoria Buzz. “But you don’t notice it much in the air.”
Both the Hornet and the Sea King will be making a flyby at the low, low height of 500 feet (that’s about 152 metres) to kick off the parade.
Meikle and Kilroy will cruise over the Humboldt and Douglas Street intersection at 8:55 a.m. sharp, following the parade route towards Finlayson and Douglas. They’ll then do a quick turnaround and fly again two minutes later.
The flyby will be in support of athletes, coaches, and parents to honour #HumboldtStrong, after 16 people from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team died in a tragic bus crash in April.
It’s something Meikle is proud to be a part of. “I grew up playing hockey, travelling on those types of buses. I worked in Saskatchewan for a number of years. I think the whole thing is quite close to home, so to have the opportunity is a big honour.”
Don’t forget to tune in to Victoria Buzz’s live stream of the parade on Monday, May 21!
- When: Monday, May 21st, 9 AM – 3:30 PM
- Where: Along Douglas Street, from Finlayson to Humboldt