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Fri, Jun 01, 2007

Snowbirds To Take Wing Once Again

Will Dedicate Remainder Of Season To Fallen Pilot

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds returned to Great Falls, MT Thursday, to retrieve their CT-114 Tutor jets and prepare for the 2007 season... in honor of Captain Shawn McCaughey, who lost his life in an accident during an airshow performance May 19.

"While we are still grieving, we remain focused on our mission -- Shawn (below) was a passionate aviator and he would want us to return to the skies," said Major Robert Mitchell, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds. "We will continue to strive for excellence and to represent the skill, professionalism and teamwork of the Canadian Forces in Shawn's honor."

"In consultation with Canadian Forces Flight Safety personnel, aircraft engineers as well as operational specialists, we have confirmed that the aircraft are ready for flight," said Major-General Charles Bouchard, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division. "I am very proud of the team and look forward to seeing them soar, representing the best of the Canadian Forces and Canada."

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are scheduled to resume practices Friday, June 1 in Moose Jaw, Sask. Captain Paul Couillard, a former Snowbird 2 pilot, will rejoin the team, flying in the Snowbird 2 position for the 2007 season.

Pending favorable weather and ample training opportunities, the team intends to resume their 2007 season with the Owen Sound Air Show June 20.

"On behalf of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, I would like to thank all those who have supported our team during this extremely difficult time," said Major Mitchell.

"We appreciate that some communities will be disappointed that we had to cancel, but our priority at this time is to resume training to ensure that our team is ready for the air show season."

FMI: www.snowbirds.forces.gc.ca/site/index_e.asp

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