Keep boaters out of the way of Snowbirds

The Snowbirds could not perform any solo manoeuvres because of the safety issue of hundreds of boats directly below them.

To the editor:

The appearance of Canada’s Snowbirds in Kelowna skies is always a highly anticipated event, well attended by thousands of Kelowna residents and tourists.

However, last year’s show was somewhat of a disappointment for many and I hope that this year is not a repeat.

The 2011 performance by The Snowbirds Air Demonstration Team in Kelowna was substantially abbreviated in its content, as well as suffering significant gaps in the show.

This was the result of the insistence by organizers to encourage boat traffic on the lake directly below the show flight path, which for safety reasons dictated that The Snowbirds were restricted to performing only a very limited number of formation manoeuvres.

These manoeuvres were performed in what is called a “high show,” meaning at a higher altitude.

As well, The Snowbirds could not perform any solo manoeuvres because of the safety issue of hundreds of boats directly below them.

I am very sure that many people who viewed last year’s performance came away disappointed because basically all they saw were a series of “bottom-side-passes” separated by several long gaps of nothing.

Most Canadians appreciate our Armed Forces and their ambassadors, The Snowbirds, and would like to see what they can really do.

Is it such a problem for organizers to encourage boaters to stay out from under the flight path for about 30 minutes while the show is taking place?

And to those boaters who feel it’s important you be seen on the lake during the show by those on land, no one will be looking at you.

We will all be looking up—expecting to see The Snowbirds at their best.

Organizers, show some fortitude and allow the Snowbirds to perform a complete show without the gong show on the water.

I am sure that the charity they are flying for this year will appreciate it and will hopefully experience greater financial benefit, as well.

Robert Hawkshaw,

Kelowna

Kelowna Capital News