Kelowna pilot hopes May long weekend flyover will cheer pandemic-fatigued | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna pilot hopes May long weekend flyover will cheer pandemic-fatigued

Trevor Jones beside his Mooney Ovation, Goldfinger. The Kelowna-based pilot is planning a flyover in the Okanagan on the May long weekend in an effort to lift spirits during the pandemic.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Trevor Jones
April 08, 2021 - 5:30 PM

Kelowna-based pilot Trevor Jones is hoping a flyover will bring some joy to a pandemic fatigued Okanagan over the May long weekend.

Last year, Jones organized a flyover in Kelowna to commemorate the fatal crash of a Canadian Forces Snowbird in Kamloops, but this year he's hoping with more time to organize and gather fellow pilots to join, they can have a comparable or better turnout.

"I just figured we should do it again to bring a smile to someone's face," Jones said. "There's people who are reaching the last straw through COVID, so I hope this will motivate them."

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

He has between 20 and 30 aircraft committed to the event, which is scheduled to take place Sunday, May 23 at noon, but Jones expects more to join the flight.

The plan is to have two groups of aircraft take off from Kelowna airport separately. Faster planes will take off first and fly up to Vernon, then to back to Kelowna to figure-eight over the city's downtown, then return to the airport. The second, slower, group will follow that path afterwards.

"It's not a rush job this time, and I'm putting a lot of thought into it. A lot of my friends are pilots, local flight instructors will be coming out too, and we'll have a variety including helicopters and float planes," Jones said. "We got lots of positive feedback last year from both pilots and the public."

Jones is excited to include his new plane, a Mooney Ovation, in the group. It's nicknamed Goldfinger because of its paint job. Jones will be with the faster planes in the first group, but his father will be leading the pack in his Lancair, the fastest aircraft in the fleet.

People will be able watch the planes from the fence near the Kelowna Flight Club as they take off, or watch figure-eight patterns during the flyover anywhere along Okanagan Lake from Knox Mountain down to Mission Creek in Kelowna.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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