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Pilots eager to perform for Armed Forces Day

'We will get up to speeds of mach .95 which ends up being about 600 miles per hour but the plane can do quite a bit more than that'

For Major Bassam Mnaymneh, landing at Jack Garland Airport is a bit of a homecoming.

In fact, Snowbird 6 Outer Right Wing pilot has ties to the area as his wife is from nearby Temiskaming Shores.  

“We do a lot of great traveling and go to a lot of nice places,” said Mnaymneh.

“My wife is from Northern Ontario near this area so it is always great to visit.”  

The Snowbirds, one of the featured events at Armed Forces Day, flew into the Gateway City on Tuesday afternoon.  North Bay is familiar with the Snowbirds. He says mission first and safety always is their number one.

“They are going to see a nine-ship formation aerobatic performance by the Snowbirds,” he said.

“The show will start with nine planes flying together and doing some loops and rolls. Then we will be splitting up and doing what is called the integrated where you will see different maneuvers three planes, four planes, the solos and you will see their crosses and then we join up together to do our closer for a final split.”

The Snowbirds will take to the skies this morning scheduled for 11:45 a.m. for the show along the North Bay waterfront.  

While aerial acrobatics will be the highlight of the Snowbirds show, the twilight event will be about speed as the CF-18 demonstration team headed by Captain Brian Kilroy will do their thing at 7:45 tonight, weather permitting.  

“My show is going to be an evening show so hopefully we can get our full routine in if we have some really nice weather because if we do, when it gets a little bit darker we get some really nice afterburner views and hopefully everyone can get out and see a great show,” Kilroy told Rogers Radio’s Bob Coles Tuesday afternoon.  

And yes, speed limits will definitely be broken over North Bay skies tonight, 

“We will get up to speeds of mach .95 which ends up being about 600 miles per hour but the plane can do quite a bit more than that,” Kilroy explained.    

“It can go up to mach 1.8 which is twice as fast as we would be doing in the show.”

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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