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Snowbirds annual migration to Comox Valley

The snowbird team (above and below, right) will return to 19 Wing Comox this spring, ending its visit with an air show scheduled for May 4.  - Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces
The snowbird team (above and below, right) will return to 19 Wing Comox this spring, ending its visit with an air show scheduled for May 4.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces

A sure sign of spring in the Comox Valley is not visible on the ground or in the trees, but higher in the sky — the Snowbirds Demonstration Team.

Making their annual return to the skies of the Valley on April 23, the Tutor jets will once again use the area as their practice ground for two weeks before the team leaves for their six-month air show season.

Lt. Trevor Reid, public affairs officer for 19 Wing Comox, confirmed the team will make their trek to Comox until May 6, with an acceptance air show planned for the public May 4.

A meet and greet with the team is scheduled for May 5 at the Comox Air Force Museum and is open to the public for autographs and photo opportunities.

The 431 Air Demonstration Squadron consists of approximately 80 Canadian Forces personnel, 24 of whom comprise the show team that travels during the show season.

After leaving their base in Moose Jaw and following their practice session in the Valley, the team travels across North America performing at approximately 70 air shows at 50 different locations.

The original 431 Squadron formed Nov. 11, 1942 at Burn, England and were moved to RCAF station Dartmouth, N.S. The were disbanded Oct. 1, 1954, and re-activated April 1, 1978.

On Oct. 15, 1999, the squadron was presented their Squadron Colours for 25 years of service.

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