Operation INSPIRATION: watch the Snowbirds in Manitoba today

May 12, Manitoba Day the RCAF Snowbirds fly over Winnipeg, Brandon, southern Manitoba and Virden.

Snowbirds in flight will thrill audiences who live along Highway 1


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Look for the Snowbirds today, Tuesday, May 12, on Manitoba’s 150th birthday.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have released the initial schedule for the cross-country flight. They are expected to leave Brandon airport at 1:30 in a one hour flight to their base at Moosejaw.

It's a salute to Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The unique mission dubbed, Operation INSPIRATION will see the team’s signature nine-jet formation, with trailing white smoke, flying over cities across the country.

Flyovers will occur at an elevation no lower than 500 feet above all obstacles.


Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds said, “We’ve been asked to do what we do best… inspire Canadians. Through Operation INSPIRATION, we not only want to salute the front-line health care workers, first responders, and essential workers, but also all Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We want Canadians to know we’re in this with you.”


The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will cross the country to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.  This unique mission is being aptly dubbed Operation INSPIRATION.


Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force stated the purpose of the Snowbirds flight this spring: “Every year, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds travel the country putting smiles on the faces of Canadians. While Canadians may not be able to gather at air shows for now, we’re honoured to bring the Snowbirds team to Canadians and to pay special tribute to them.”


The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron are a Canadian icon comprised of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and National Defence Public Service employees.

Pilots, technicians (aviation, avionics, aircraft structure, supply), mobile support operators, resource management support clerks, an engineering officer, a logistics officer and a public affairs officer representing all three elements (Army, Navy and Air Force), work as a team to bring thrilling performances to the Canadian public. Serving as ambassadors of the CAF, the CF Snowbirds demonstrate the high level of skill, professionalism, teamwork, discipline and dedication inherent in the men and women of the CAF and they inspire the pursuit of excellence wherever they go in North American.


The team will be practicing recommended hand-washing and wearing recommended personal protective equipment while travelling. Team members will also be minimizing any interactions with people outside of the team.


People are expected to continue to physically distance when watching the Snowbirds’ demonstration.


Quick facts

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds paused operations on March 20, 2020 to preserve the team’s health. The members have been at home physically distancing since that time.


The team will spend two days at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan flying refresher and proficiency training missions, which is standard Royal Canadian Air Force practice after an extended pause from flying operations, before starting their cross-Canada tour.


The tour began in Nova Scotia last weekend and is working its way west throughout this week of May 11 - 15.

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