Just before tonight’s iconic 7 p.m. cheer, a memorial flight is scheduled to take off from Abbotsford International Airport in honour of the Snowbirds and their fallen comrade.
Dubbed Operation Backup Inspiration, the memorial flight is dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey, a Royal Canadian Airforce public affairs officer who was killed in a crash in Kamloops Sunday.
The Canadian Armed Forces’ Snowbirds aerobatics team embarked on a cross-country flyover tour which started last weekend in Nova Scotia, in an effort to boost morale across the nation.
On Sunday, one jet was involved in a fatal crash in a neighbourhood in Kamloops at around 11:40 a.m.
Video shows the jet rise, then circle, before crashing in the area of Glenview Drive in Kamloops.
Both Capt. Casey and the other service member on board, Capt. Richard MacDougall, ejected from the flight, but Casey did not survive while MacDougall made it out with some serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is currently investigating the cause of the crash, and stated on Monday that all Snowbirds flights are postponed until further notice.
Monday’s memorial flight was organized by the BC General Aviation Association, and the mass flyover will begin at 6:30 pm at Abbotsford International Airport this evening.
Organizers said that the response to the idea was “overwhelming” but that for safety reasons, 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.”