Sunday, May 24, 2020

RCAF Snowbirds - Tributes - Kamloops, BC

Captain Jennifer Casey is being laid to rest in her hometown of Halifax, NB as I write this.  My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends as well as her Snowbird family.  

Fulton Field Airport
The City of Kamloops officially adopted the 419 Squadron of the RCAF in 1943 due to John “Moose” Fulton, a resident of Kamloops.  This long lasting connection eventually brought the CF-5 Freedom Fighter to become a monument at Fulton Field, the Kamloops Airport in 1995.

Legion tribute 
The Legion held a ceremony at the base of the CF-5 to honor Captain Jenn Casey and Captain Richard McDougall, both of whom were in the Snowbird accident May 17, 2020.  Captain Richard McDougall remains in hospital recovering from non-threatening injuries.

Fence at Kamloops Airport
The love and support given by the people of Kamloops has been overwhelming.  The local First Nations held a Drumming Circle for Capt. Casey in this location and one for Capt. McDougall at the hospital. Although the crowds were small at ceremonies held due to the Covid 19 pandemic we are now dealing with, our hearts were there and the Snowbirds have shared their appreciation. 

So much support shown
The people of Kamloops have hung flags all over their neighborhoods in recognition of the loss we felt last week, and will feel for a very long time. This fence at the airport shows flags, personal notes and dedications sharing their support that is felt by all. 

Snowbirds at rest
The fleet of Snowbirds sit at the Fulton Field Airport awaiting the time they can be taken home.  Best wishes to Captain Richard McDougall so that he will return home soon, as well.

Forever remembered

The CF-5 was relocated to this location in 2018 and is the sight we see as we enter and exit the Kamloops airport.  Never again will we pass this that we will not think of Captain Jenn Casey. The road presently called Airport Way is being petitioned to be renamed after Captain Casey.

Her legacy will continue and carry the special thoughts that brought her idea, “Operation Inspiration” for all.  A true indication of the special woman that she was.

May Captain Jenn Casey forever Rest In Peace and continue to fly high above.

More Snowbirds and Operation Inspiration can be seen here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Canadian Snowbirds ~ Operation Inspriation ~ Kamloops

Saturday, May 16, 2020 was a day of anticipation for many as the Canadian Snowbirds were giving us a flyover.  Their original plans were cancelled this year due to the CoVid virus and this was later planned as “Operation Inspiration” to honor Canadians who are victims of the virus as well as those fighting on the front lines.  Due to weather conditions there was not an official schedule given and no celebrations planned.

Canadian Snowbirds
We’d heard the Snowbirds would appear today.  They flew right overhead so I was able to run outside when I heard them to take a few quick photos.  With cloud covered skies, their colors aren’t showing but their expertise and placement to each other is amazing to watch and always a thrill.

Kamloops Airport
We are near the airport so a trip out to see the planes after their landing was a necessity for me and my camera.  The traffic was heavy but no crowds were there as nothing had been planned with the Snowbirds at this time, they’d encouraged everyone to not gather and to remain distant.  Their mission was being accomplished only with their flyovers.

Big and small
The size of this plane that accompanied the Snowbirds is an amazing size compared to them.  This photo shows the comparison.  There are two extra Snowbirds that accompany the show should they need a replacement so this covered one may be one of those two.

Overnight stop
This year celebrates their 50th year.  They have evolved over the years to be what they are today with the name Snowbirds being given them in 1971.  In 1975 they were officially authorized to be designated the “Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team”.

The day is done
We drove in closer to the landing strip and I took some photos thru the fencing that surrounds the airfield.  I was not very close to the planes but with a good lens and peeking between the chain links, I was able to get a better photo of the planes.

Snowbird Pilots
The pilots were starting to come into the nearby building and I noticed they were all wearing face masks for protection against the Covid, this was impressive to me.  Although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her, I was very excited to also see a woman standing by the plane as part of the team, learning later it was Capt. Jenn Casey. 

Captain Jennifer Casey
Little did anyone know their Kamloops visit would end as it did on May 17, 2020.  It is with heavy heart that I write this.  Captain Jennifer Casey was the PR for the Snowbirds and aspired to become a pilot herself one day.  The morning following these photos being taken, there was a crash near our home that has shaken the whole country.

May Captain Jennifer Casey RIP as her family, friends, coworkers and all of Canada mourn her death.