Canadian Jet Team Booked For Next Year’s OC Air Show

Canadian Jet Team Booked For Next Year’s OC Air Show
The Snowbirds demonstration team performed in May in Ocean City. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — After performing a rare early matinee last spring, the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds Jet Demonstration Team will be a featured element of the O.C. Air Show in June, air show officials announced this week.

Last year, the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, arrived in the skies over Ocean City in mid-May for a rare mid-week matinee in advance of the larger O.C. Air Show last June. The traveling Snowbirds had a gap in their schedule between a performance in South Carolina in early May and a Memorial Day weekend performance in New York and made arrangements with the town of Ocean City to perform.

For 2019, however, the CAF Snowbirds have signed to be a regular feature during the O.C. Air Show, set for June 15-16. While the Snowbirds did hold a featurette performance over Ocean City last May, this will mark the first time ever the Canadian jet demonstration team will be a featured performer at the O.C. Air Show.

“We’re excited the Snowbirds will be at the O.C. Air Show for the first time ever,” O.C. Air Show president Bryan Lilley said this week. “Show attendees can definitely expect a great performance.”

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be the highlight of the 2019 O.C. Air Show this year after skipping last year’s event. The addition of the CAF Snowbirds will only add to the litany of great performers already on the 2019 roster. Also known as the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the team is comprised of active-duty members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The CAF Snowbirds fly the Canadair CT-144 Tutor, a Canadian-built jet used as a basic training aircraft from 1963 to 2000. The team consists of roughly 80 Canadian Forces personnel, about 24 of whom comprise the show team that travels during the show season. The Snowbirds leave their home base in Saskatchewan in April each year and travel to British Columbia for about two weeks of training over different terrain.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.