Canadian Forces Snowbirds planes are seen in the background as people place hearts and signs on the fence surrounding the airport in Kamloops, B.C., Sunday, May 17, 2020. One member of the Canadian Armed Forces has died and another is injured after a Snowbird plane crashed in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday while on a cross-country tour meant to impart hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. pilots organize memorial flight to honour Snowbirds after fatal crash

Flight will honour Capt. Jennifer Casey who was killed in the crash

A memorial flight is scheduled to take off from Abbotsford International Airport on Monday night in honour of the Snowbirds.

The flight, dubbed Operation Backup Inspiration is a memorial to Capt. Jennifer Casey, a Royal Canadian Airforce public affairs officer who was killed in a crash in Kamloops Sunday. The Snowbirds had been flying across Canada to raise morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic in a mission called Operation Inspiration when the plane carrying Casey appeared to sudden veer away before plummeting to the ground just before noon.

Capt. Richard MacDougall was the other service member on board. He survived with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The RCAF said it is investigating the cause of the crash.

READ MORE: One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crash in Kamloops

Monday’s memorial flight was organized by the BC General Aviation Association. Organizers said that the response to the idea was “overwhelming” but that for safety, the flight was limited to 35 pilots.

“We are paying tribute to the Snowbirds,” the association said in a statement. “In doing so we must act with the same level of professionalism and care they do every day.”

Planes will take off from Abbotsford’s airport at 6:30 p.m, and fly over Langley, White Rock, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, the North Shore, Vancouver and Burnaby before dispersing to their home airports.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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