Final flight of B.C.’s Fraser Blues formation flying team
Remembrance Day 2021 marked the tip of an period for British Columbia’s Fraser Blues precision flying workforce.
The workforce, made up largely of air power veterans, has been a fixture of the province’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, air exhibits and different particular occasions for 21 years.
Founder and workforce chief George Miller — a former Snowbirds workforce chief — mentioned the choice to retire the workforce was bittersweet. At 86, he mentioned he nonetheless looks like a younger man when he climbs behind the stick of his Navion plane.
Fraser Blues air workforce flyover to honour B.C. veterans on Remembrance Day
“It’s a thrill to fly and it’s comfy flying and it has an actual fighter pilot’s really feel to it,” he advised World Information.
“Once I climb on this factor, it’s just like the plane I flew after I was 18.”
In its greater than 20 years, the Fraser Blues have had as many as eight members within the squad and have flown as far afield as Calgary, Lethbridge and the US, typically placing on as many as 30 demonstrations in a yr.
Remembrance Day 2021 – BC Remembers Special
Whereas each journey within the cockpit is particular, Miller mentioned nothing compares to his Nov. 11 flights, which he flies to honour all of the airmen he knew who by no means got here dwelling.
“Remembrance Day is our singular most necessary occasion of the yr, yearly since I began it,” he mentioned, recalling one good pal who died amid an instrument malfunction whereas on a return flight from a coaching operation.
“His spouse was ready for him within the base cafeteria, they’d simply had their first youngster,” he added.
“I keep in mind him, he was my age, and I really feel like he was cheated out of six years or in order that I’ve had since that occurred. I consider him lots. Remembrance Day is a giant factor to me.”
Snowbirds flying over metro Vancouver
Dave Arnold, who has served because the workforce’s coordinator and commentator for shut to twenty years, mentioned the ultimate flight was unhappy however that “it’s been a beautiful run.”
“The suggestions I get from individuals on the bottom is that it’s the spotlight of their day,” he mentioned.
“It’s a solemn and necessary ceremony, however by some means the planes flying over with the noise and the depth pound the sensation of the day into individuals. Many, many, many tears.”
B.C. veteran among the last from unit that fought for Canada before they were allowed to vote
Whereas Miller is retiring the blues, he has no plans to cease flying and will likely be hanging on to his trusty Navion.
“I’m at that age the place I really feel this can be a excellent time for me to do my final formation journey. And I’m doing it in honour of all these individuals, and of my workforce,” he mentioned.
“I really feel prefer it’s time to finish on a excessive notice.”
© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.