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Air force aircraft fly-by proposed for Didsbury's Days of Yore

Aviation groups and organizations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RCAF in 2024
Members of the 10th Battalion CEF march in step in Rosebud Park during the 2023 Days of Yore. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Town council has agreed to support a plan to have Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft undertake a fly-by during the 2024 Days of Yore Heritage Festival in August. 

The move came by way of motion at the Feb. 13 council meeting, held in person and online.

“This is amazing,” said Coun. Ethan Williams. “I love this idea.”

The fly-by will take place over the festival’s Rosebud Park location and may include aircraft such as the CF-18 Hornet and the CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

The fly-by plan is being spearheaded by the Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA), a not-for-profit community-based service organization whose main goals include advocating for a well-equipped, well-trained, well-prepared air force for Canada, chief administrative officer Ethan Gorner said in a briefing note to council.

“The association is joining many other aviation groups and organizations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RCAF in 2024,” he said. 

Thomas Sand, lieutenant colonel (retired), chair of the 700 City of Edmonton wing, is planning events and projects that reflect on the RCAF’s history, current work of the RCAF and inspire future aerospace achievements.

“As part of this they would like to have the RCAF do a fly-by over the festival site between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Air force aircrafts requested for the fly-by include the CF-18 Hornet, CH-146 Griffon helicopter, and a CT-155 Hawk,” he said. 

“They are also looking at having privately-owned vintage air force aircraft to possibly perform fly-bys as well. Confirmation of the fly-by aircraft will come seven to 10 days prior to Aug. 3.”

The proposed fly-by route would be southwest to northeast over the park.

Council will receive a delegation update on the proposed fly-by prior to Days of Yore. 

The RCAFA is also active in advocating for veterans’ rights, with community service, and by promoting aviation heritage and youth projects, especially those supporting Royal Canadian Air Cadets, council heard.

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