Have you heard a Snowbird lately? How about a whole fleet of them?
Rutland and Lake Country residents heard the telltale “whoosh” Wednesday, when the Royal Canadian Airforce’s iconic Snowbirds flew overhead.
They take leave of their home-base in Moose Jaw, Sask, for two weeks each year and travel to Comox in order to practice their skills in different terrain.
A Capt. Thomas Edelson spoke with the Capital News during the lead up to a performance in recent years and explained that local geography can be particularly challenging.
“There are a lot of unique things about Kelowna,” Edelson said. “Besides the fact it’s an awesome place to come in the summer…the number of locations we fly over water is five or less.”
Looping around above the lake means fewer reference points for the pilots to keep on target.
“It’s also very warm here and it’s a little higher up,” he said. “The jet has a little less performance because the air is a bit thinner, so you need to anticipate where you will need power to stay in the formation.”
Where land meets water, a speed bump of sorts is created in the air.
Lastly, the hills around the lake create a few more challenges.
“You can’t fly straight and level when you come out of the maneuvers,” he said, referring to the space as a “compressed show box.”
Despite those challenges, the Snowbird team has pulled off many Okanagan shows without a hitch.
Were they doing it where you were?
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