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Before taking flight with the Royal Canadian Air Force Aerobatics Team, the Snowbirds get ready for hours.

There's preparation, seat and security checks, and a briefing period.

It's an exhaustive process.

"Before every flight, we brief the flight and go through everything on the ground so that there are no surprises [when we're] airborne and that everyone is in the right mindset," said Scott Boyd of Snowbird 4.

CTV Montreal's Matt Grillo got to experience it firsthand.

They flew from St. Hubert Airport to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Mont Tremblant.

It was a scenic journey, one that was spent hovering above the Montreal skyline.

"You're surfing around the clouds," Boyd said. "It's like the craziest motorcycle ride you've ever been on in your entire life and you're doing it with nine other airplanes around you all the time."

It takes chemistry.

"We trust each other to the fullest," Boyd said. 

 

Becoming a snowbird

Being a snowbird requires lots of training and qualifications.

"To apply, the snowbirds require 750 hours minimum," said Ari Mahajan, a Snowbird himself. "Generally, over a thousand hours is what we prefer."

"There's a tryout process that we have to go through," said Boyd. "After we make the team, there's a full year of training before we actually reach this point and hit the road."

The team spends its summers touring North America, putting on air shows for thousands to see.

Boyd knows he's lucky to be one of them.