When the boss came to me with the opportunity to fly with the Canadian Snowbirds, I jumped at the chance.
The Snowbirds are one of the most well know synchronized jet teams in the world and they perform is shows all over the globe. The team is a fleet of nine jets, flown by specially trained fighter jet pilots out of the Canadian military.
As my “flight day” drew closer, I realized there was a lot more to flying with the team than just showing up and jumping in a plane. My flight was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, but my call to duty started 24 hours earlier. First stop was paperwork, a medical exam, physical testing and the day ended with a quick parachute fitting and an introduction to the airplane.
Needless to say, the Snowbirds cross their T’s and dot their I’s!
Friday morning we met at 8 a.m. to make sure all our gear was in order and then it was off the runway!
The pilot I was assigned to fly with was Major Denis Bandet. Bandet has been with the Snowbirds for two years and has been a military fighter jet pilot for more than 15 years. After a quick review of safety procedure we were off.
The flight lasted about 45 minutes and it was like nothing I have ever experienced before. There were a few points we hit 5 G’s. If you’ve even been on a pretty intense roller coaster ride, multiply that by 20. What a ride!
Apparently back at the station there were bets being made as to when I would lose my breakfast, because we’ve been told that about 80% of riders do exactly that. I’m happy to say everything stayed exactly where it was supposed to be!
Flying with the Snowbirds was one the neatest experiences I’ve had in my life. I thank the entire crew for making us all feel so welcome and safe!
I hope you will go say hello to the Snowbirds crew this weekend at the California Capital Airshow at Mather airport.
FOX40 is a proud sponsor of the airshow this year!