'It's the right thing to do:' Kelowna pilot organizing flyover honouring Snowbirds after member dies in crash | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'It's the right thing to do:' Kelowna pilot organizing flyover honouring Snowbirds after member dies in crash

Trevor Jones is organizing a Kelowna flyover to show support for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds after a member died in a plane crash in Kamloops, May 17.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Trevor Jones
May 18, 2020 - 8:30 AM

A Kelowna pilot is continuing the Canadian Forces Snowbirds’ journey by rallying pilots to finish an Okanagan loop.

The snowbirds were originally going to fly over the Okanagan yesterday, but the rainy weather dampened their efforts. Instead, they rerouted from Kamloops to Comox, but during take-off, one of the snowbird planes crashed in a Kamloops neighbourhood, killing one member and seriously injuring another.

Captain Jennifer Casey, the team’s public affairs officer, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was killed in the crash and Captain Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured and is currently in the hospital, according to the Canadian Forces in an emailed statement.

The Canadian Forces is currently investigating the cause of the crash.

READ MORE: Drumming memorial organized to support snowbirds after member dies in Kamloops plane crash

A group of roughly 15 planes will fly in a line formation around Kelowna’s downtown and the Kelowna International Airport at roughly 1:30 p.m., said Kelowna pilot Trevor Jones, who will be leading the pack.

They were going to make two passes and then a low pass at YLW so honestly we’re just trying to finish what they started because they made it out this far and due to the fatal crash they couldn’t finish what they set out, and… not only are we honouring them, and the pilot and Captain Casey, but we’re really trying to finish what they started,” he said.

READ MORE: Snowbird crash: Video shows ejections from plane before crash in Kamloops neighbourhood

A similar event is happening tonight in the Vancouver area, he said. About 40 airplanes will take off in Abbotsford at roughly 6:30 p.m., May 18 and they’ll cover the Interior Mainland, he said.

“It’s just something I want to do as I’ve grown up watching the snowbirds and I think it’s the right thing to do,” Jones said.


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