The Dryden Observer

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Snowbirds eager for Centennial Airshow

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

“The walleye can wait.” That’s Cpt. Dan Rossi’s advice for anyone thinking about going fishing this May Long Weekend instead of attending the largest airshow Dryden will likely ever see.

Two pilots from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Demonstration Team touched down in a Tudor jet last week to put some faces to names in an ongoing effort to organize a very exciting Centennial Air Show at the Dryden Airport.

“We’re coming,” says Rossi. “And it’s going to be a good show. It’s a kick-off for an entire year of events. We know it’s going to be a long weekend, but that’s also the perfect time to come on out and enjoy an airshow. The fish will be out there every weekend, we’re only here for one.”

The Snowbirds haven’t performed their dazzling displays of aerial maneuvers in the Dryden area since 1990. The group is celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2010.

The 12 aircraft, 24 person Snowbird team are just part of a larger lineup of spectacles and attractions set for an event that organizers hope will draw as many as 15,000 people to Dryden from around the region.

Jason Robinson, sub committee lead for the Centennial Airshow says the weekend will also include a CF-18 tactical fighter demo team, Ministry of Natural Resources Aviation demos with CL415 air tankers and various other members of the fleet.

Robinson adds that discussions with the U.S. Armed Forces have taken place in the interest of securing a A-10 Warthog demo team and numerous flybys from F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, as well as B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, depending on what’s available at the time.

“There will be a gamut of aircraft,” said Robinson. “We’re also looking at a selection of vintage aircraft – including the Harvard, hopefully we can get a P-51 Mustang and some others as things develop.”

Robinson adds that the presence of vintage and historical aircraft will be tied closely to event sponsorship levels. Thus far the event has attracted a few platinum sponsors in DMTS and CKDR and is hoping other local agencies are ready to lend support.

While a website for the event is currently under construction, Facebook users can find out more about the event on the ‘Dryden Centennial Airshow’ page.

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