Jet engines will be roaring in the sky over Saskatoon this week for one of the finest tribute events to veterans in North America.
The Canada Remembers Our Heroes Air Show is expected to bring about 15,000 people to Auto Clearing Motor Speedway next weekend.
The show was created in 1995 to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the end of WWII. Each year the Royal Canadian Air Force comes up with a theme for showing off its top jets. The theme this year is The True North Strong and Free.
“There’s one jet that’s painted for the year, they select a pilot, it’s quite a process that they go through and this year it’s me,” said Captain Patrick Gobeil, a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force who spent nearly a decade of his career in Saskatchewan.
At the show people can see the painted CF-18 Hornet Fighter Jet, featuring a polar bear on one side of the tail and an Inuit painting on the other. All over the rest of the jet there are 13 snowflakes to represent the provinces and territories.
“If you look carefully at them you’ll see those snowflakes, even though they look like snowflakes from far away, when you look closer … they all represent something cool about the northern culture,” said Gobeil.
Gobeil, or Paco as his colleagues nicknamed him, will demonstrate the capability of the Canadian frontline fighter jet at the show.
An example of just how fast these jets can go, Gobeil said he recently went from Medicine Hat, Alberta, to Saskatoon in about 15 minutes. By car the trip is about five hours or more.
He said in the air show they can push the envelope in terms of how low they are allowed to fly, down to 300 feet.
“So what you’ll see, obviously lots of noise, lots of max afterburner, you’ll see rate of climb. If you see an airliner they usually climb at about 500 to 1,000 feet per minute. When I go up inthe CF-18 after going very fast I go up at about 40,000 feet per minute,” he said.
In the show Gobeil has clearance to go nearly the speed of sound.
The show goes August 4th and 5th. Gates open at 11 a.m.
Preceding the main events there will be smaller demonstration behind the Sherbrook Nursing home on August 3rd. This event is for veterans who are no longer physically capable of going to the air show.
The same day there will be a Dedication Fly-Past over Dieppe Street in the Montgomery area.
It’s in recognition of the 70th Anniversary of Dieppe.
The Montgomery Community Association is preparing to release a Commemorative Plaque listing all the WWII Veterans who settled in Montgomery area after WWII.