The Canadian Forces Snowbirds flew over the Edmonton area on Friday afternoon as part of the national Operation Inspiration tour.
“We decided to go out and fly over the country to bring some thank-yous to front-line workers, and some thank-yous to everyone else who are doing their job in trying to reduce the propagation of COVID-19,” said the Snowbirds’ team leader, Maj. Jean-Francois Dupont, on Wednesday.
The tour began May 1 in Nova Scotia and has been moving west across Canada since it began.
On Wednesday, the Snowbirds were resting at home base in Moose Jaw, Sask., and took the northern route to the west coast— flying through Cold Lake Thursday night.
“Our plan is to leave tomorrow (Thursday) from Moose Jaw and make our way to Cold Lake on the Thursday, then planning to go to Edmonton on the second day,” Dupont said from Moose Jaw on Wednesday.
The public affairs officer for the Snowbirds confirmed Fort McMurray was also on the list of northern planned flyovers.
Weather plays a major factor in the group’s flight pattern.
“It depends on a lot of things,” Dupont said. “The best thing to do is go on social media, our Facebook page, we’ll put maps. If there’s any delays, then people aren’t there sitting waiting for us.”
The Snowbirds will fly west following Edmonton but are set to return to Moose Jaw via a southern route — including a planned flyover in Calgary early next week.
In order to conserve fuel, the Snowbirds won’t be doing any tricks, but Dupont said people can still expect to be impressed.
“We have two different formations we can fly over with, depending on conditions,” he said.
The Snowbirds had paused shows and operations on March 20 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Snowbirds took off from Fort McMurray around 1:30 p.m. Friday and then flew over St. Albert and Edmonton before landing south of the city.