Snowbirds to fly over Vancouver Island. Here's where to see them

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will fly over Vancouver Island on Monday as part of their ongoing Operation Inspiration.

They’re used to thrilling the crowds that come to see them at airshows, but on Monday the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will take their show remotely to the people.

"It’s a different way to connect with the public because normally it’s through airshows and now it’s really one-on-one on top of everyone’s house, so I think it’s a great way to connect," said Snowbirds team lead Jean-Francois Dupont.

Dupont is a former Flight Commander, flying the Cormorant for 442 Squadron. But on Monday he was able to return to his former base on a refueling stop so the team could continue flying over several island communities.

"A lot of people are asking, 'Can you fly over our city or our town?' And we’re so fuel-limited so we try to create a route that covers as many people as we can," said Dupont.

The flyovers are part of the Snowbirds' Operation Inspiration.

The Operation Inspiration concept was first conceived by former team public relations officer Jennifer Casey, who was killed on May 17, 2020 when the Tudor jet she was a passenger in crashed after being involved in a bird strike in Kamloops.

There are two parts to Monday’s flyover, each about an hour long.

The first part will see the Snowbirds take off from Vancouver International Airport at 10 a.m. and head to Nanaimo where the jets will pass over Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Qualicum Beach, West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni and Tofino General Hospital before landing in Comox.

The jets will depart from Comox at 1 p.m. for the second part of the flyover, which will take them to the following locations before returning to the Vancouver airport:

  • Sooke
  • Victoria General Hospital
  • CFB Esquimalt
  • Downtown Victoria
  • Gorge Road Hospital
  • Glengarry Hospital
  • Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health
  • Saanich Peninsula Hospital
  • Sidney

The Snowbirds are reminding residents that take-off times are dependent on weather conditions and air traffic.

The flyover comes one day after members of the military’s CF-18 Demonstration Team conducted a flyover of Nanaimo, Parksville, Tofino and Greater Victoria.