After a plane crash in B.C., the RCAF Snowbirds sadly lost a member. A local aviation group will take to the skies to honour that loss and to pick up where they left off. The skies over the Lower Mainland will be filled with planes for a Snowbirds Memorial showing love and support. The May 18 tribute will be called "Operation Backup Inspiration."

Narcity reached Ryan Van Haren, President of the BC General Aviation Association (BCGAA,) who said that the Canadian Snowbirds are the truest form of Canadian Pride. 

"Aviation is a small community and the snowbirds are the pride of Canada," he said.
"We wanted to do our part to honour them because they were supposed to fly over Vancouver today and after the accident, that's not going to happen."
The mass fly-over on Monday, May 18 will have planes leave from Abbotsford and then fly across Metro Vancouver and departing at 6:30 p.m.
At first, he hoped that 20 planes would join. After the call went out, over 70 planes wanted to sign up but they ended up capping the group at 35 for safety.
He was up all night preparing, organizing, and coordinating the event with air traffic control. "With these things, planning is the key to safe execution so I was up until 2:30 this morning," he said.


In a map as part of the release, you can see that their path will take them all around the Lower Mainland.

From Abbotsford, they'll go to Langley, White Rock, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Burnaby, the North Shore, Downtown Vancouver and New Westminster.

However, they won't be in a tight formation like you'd see with the Snowbirds. They'll be flying almost in a single-file and once the first plane passes over it will take about 14 minutes for them all to pass.

They're welcoming British Columbians to have a moment of silence as they fly overhead.

The Snowbirds crash was captured on video and National Defence has since shared that there were two people on the aircraft.

Captain Jennifer Casey was, sadly, killed. She was originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia and was the group's Public Affairs Officer.

Captain Richard MacDougall was piloting the aircraft and is now being treated for his injuries.

Aviation is a small community and they all look out for each other, said the president of the non-profit group.

Van Haren says that planes are "such an important part of Canadian history and linking Canadian communities together... we like to use them for doing good, for helping people, and for paying our respects."

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