Here's how Canadian Forces prepare for Remembrance Day flyovers
One of the many traditions of Remembrance Day ceremonies held on Vancouver Island are the flyovers performed by the Canadian Armed Forces. From the ground, they may appear to be a simple task, but for the crews in the air, reaching the various ceremonies at pre-set times requires some precise coordination.
“It’s just knowing the position we need to be and what time and moving backward from there and depending on airspeed, we can do the math to hit the time on target,” says Capt. Joseph Jacques, who on Nov. 11 was an Aircraft Commander in one of two Cormorant helicopters being flown out of 19 Wing Comox.
The two aircraft from the base’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron over-flew ceremonies in Comox, Cumberland, Courtenay, Campbell River and Nanaimo.
“The flybys are a great military tradition and just the sound of the aircraft in that community, it’s usually not the happiest day, Nov. 11, so that brings joy I think in the whole event,” Jacques says.
But as much as the symbolism is appreciated on the ground, the tradition is also considered an honour by those working on the flights, according to First Officer Capt. Steve Davies.
“(It’s) definitely not just another day of flying, for us,” Davies says. “Fly-pasts aren’t something we do day-by-day, so it’s slightly different than the normal SAR training that we do.”