Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Formation Camp Keeps Everyone In Line

Air show season is nearly upon us. Pilots and crews are tweaking their machines and honing their skills. So what better time to hold a 3-day, round-table airborne discussion about formation flying in Canada?

This past weekend, Vintage Wings  hosted the Second Annual Canadian Air Demonstration Formation Camp. Over 23 air show performers and their vintage aircraft, from across Canada and the US,  gathered in Gatineau to share expertise and fly together. The US has FAST, but in our country there are currently no common rules or guidelines that pilots follow when flying in formation.  Vintage Wings took up the initiative to harness the vast amount of skill out there and come together to agree and standardize things such as hand signals, break timing and station change names.

For the grand finale, the entire camp did a mass parade fly-past over downtown Ottawa and The Tulip Festival at Dow’s Lake. With a time-on-target only seconds off, the fly-past was a resounding success, both from the ground and in the air. The skies filled with the sound of piston engines on Mother’s Day (ok, plus two jet aircraft) in honour of those who served and all the mothers out there – what more could a mother want on her special day?


First briefing, then flying. Remember, plan the flight, then fly the plan.












The P40, Mustang and a T28 lie in wait.




Steph Ouellet demonstrates expert marshalling.


The men behind the lenses: Peter Handley (L) and Eric Dumigan.






Mass parade planning; Formation Camp Leads Marc Ouellette (L) and Rob Fleck (second from Right) map out the mission.

For outstanding photos of the Formation Camp, please visit:



All photos HF.

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