The RCAF’s Canada Day Celebrations

This year’s Canada Day celebration in Ottawa will include a larger than usual display by the Royal Canadian Air Force, not unexpected given this, their 100th anniversary. While the Snowbirds can always be counted on to make an appearance, this year will see additional current and historic RCAF aircraft over Parliament Hill.

A Second World War-era Avro Lancaster bomber belonging to the Canada Warplane Heritage Museum of Mount Hope, Ontario, one of only two in the world still flying, will be one of the more newsworthy of the participating aircraft in the flypast.

A Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter piloted by Captain Drew Turton is one of several RCAF helicopters that will participate. “We are planning on flying with the door open and our crew waving to everyone down below,” Turton told CTV News. Another helicopter, an AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant, which serves as one of Canada’s primary search and rescue aircraft, will also join the aerial parade as will a Bell CH-146 Griffon and a Boeing CC-147 Chinook.

More than 45 aircraft are expected to participate in the flypast, which is programmed to commence at 12:45 ET on Canada Day. Expect to see an Airbus CC-330 Husky, a Beechcraft CT-156 Harvard II, a Boeing CC-177 Globemaster and McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornets as well.

Vintage RCAF aircraft will also be participating, including a 1929 de Havilland DH.60 Moth and a Fleet Finch, both biplanes, the latter being one of over 600 built in Fort Erie, Ontario as trainers for the RCAF during the Second World War.

“I have never seen as many aircraft organized in one big, long line going past one spot in my life. That took a lot of coordination and a lot of organization,” said Turton.

Outside of Ottawa, the RCAF is planning the following flypasts at various times on July 1:

  • Alberta– Bonnyville (two CF-18 Hornets); Cold Lake (two CF-18 Hornets); Elk Point (two CF-18 Hornets); Lloydminster (two CF-18 Hornets); Sherwood Park (two CF-18 Hornets); Spruce Grove (two CF-18 Hornets); Two Hills (two CF-18 Hornets); and Vegreville (two CF-18 Hornets).
  • British Columbia– Courtenay (CP-140 Aurora); Port Hardy (CP-140 Aurora); Qualicum Beach (CP-140 Aurora); Sunshine Coast (CP-140 Aurora); Tofino (CP-140 Aurora); and Vancouver (CP-140 Aurora).
  • Ontario– Belleville (CC-130J Hercules); Cornwall (CC-130J Hercules); Morrisburg (CC-130J Hercules); Quinte West (CC-130J Hercules); and Wellington (CC-130J Hercules).