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‘It’s exciting knowing I’m going to be flying over them’: CF-18 pilot on Winnipeg Jets flyby

Click to play video: '‘It’s exciting knowing I’m going to be flying over them’: CF-18 pilot on Winnipeg Jets flyby' ‘It’s exciting knowing I’m going to be flying over them’: CF-18 pilot on Winnipeg Jets flyby
WATCH: Two CF-18 Hornet fighter jets from Cold Lake, Alta. flew over head to signal the start of Game 3 of the Jets vs. Predators playoff series – May 1, 2018

It’s a trip timed right down to the second.

7:09:20 p.m. to be exact.

That’s when two CF-18 Hornet fighter jets will aim to fly over a crowd of thousands gathered outside Bell MTS place, timing the flyby to the moment the anthems are over.

READ: Winnipeg Whiteout street party to soar to new heights

“We have to be over a certain point, at a certain time, so that’s very much like some of the missions we practice here in our weapons range,” Capt. Patrick Shaver said.
“But it’s a different context.  The Jets are in the playoffs so it is neat and fun to do.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg Whiteout street party to soar to new heights

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The two CF-18’s will take off from Cold Lake, Alta. at 5:20 p.m.  While the fighter  jets can reach speeds of 2,200 km/hour, that quickly uses up a lot of fuel.  He expects the slightly slower trip to Winnipeg to take about 90 minutes.

Once they get to Winnipeg they will fly in an oval, south of the arena, waiting for the cue to go.

“We’re just kind of holding a race track pattern, conserving fuel, waiting for that radio call from the person on the ground to start our fly past,” Shaver said.

While the RCAF pilot has done flybys before, this is his first for a sporting event.

And not just because of the size of the crowd below.  His wife Vanessa, and their two young kids, just happen to be in Winnipeg visiting her parents.  The entire family will be at the Whiteout party Tuesday night.

WATCH: submitted video footage shows the Shaver family celebration as the jets fly overhead

Click to play video: 'CF-18 pilot in Jets flyby had family in the crowd below' CF-18 pilot in Jets flyby had family in the crowd below
CF-18 pilot in Jets flyby had family in the crowd below – May 2, 2018

“My wife and kids are going to be down in the crowd so it’s pretty exciting knowing I’m going to be flying over them,” Shaver said.

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“I spent a few years in Winnipeg, so after the Ottawa Senators, the Winnipeg Jets are my second favourite team.”

VIEW: photos of the Shaver family at the Winnipeg Whiteout street party May 1

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Vanessa Shaver, the wife of one of the CF-18 pilot in the flyby before Tuesday's Jet game, was at the street party with their two kids. Vanessa Shaver / submitted
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The family of CF-18 pilot Capt. Patrick Shaver was in the crowd outside Bell MTS Place as he conducted the flyby Tuesday. Vanessa Shaver / submitted

 

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