When the Canadian Forces Snowbirds take to the skies to fly across Canada this summer, they will once again do it under the banner of Operation Inspiration.
The Snowbirds are scheduled to begin their cross-country tour in June, starting in Ontario before flying to the west coast of B.C. and back again. This will the the team’s first tour since Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops exactly one year ago. Pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall was injured in the crash.
“Jenn Casey embodied the very best of what it means to be a Snowbird,” said Snowbirds’ Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet in a statement released Monday (May 17). “Enthusiastic, warm, witty, a true team player, a leader and an innovative powerhouse. The trust that we had in her to connect with the public was absolute.”
Casey was the Snowbirds’ public affairs officer, spreading the news of the team’s flights. A report released in March concluded a lengthy investigation into the cause of the crash that claimed her life, revealing that a bird strike and power failure led to the subsequent crash.
This year, the Snowbirds will once again fly under the banner of Operation Inspiration to honour Casey’s legacy. The Snowbirds will this year be joined by the 2021 CF-18 Demonstration Team; Casey had previously worked as the team’s public affairs officer.