Air Force pilot says Winnipeg Whiteout flyby a matter of perfect timing

Despite a loss on the scoresheet, Winnipeg Jets fans got a thrill Wednesday night when Four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-155 Hawk training jets from Moose Jaw, Sask. flew over Bell MTS Place and the street party to celebrate the team’s first home game of the playoffs.

RCAF Major Andrew Faith told 680 CJOB that a successful flyover is dependent, in part, on meticulous timing, especially with aircraft that travel more than 800 km/h.

“A lot of the planning that we do is similar to just driving a car,” he said.

“If you wanted to drive from Winnipeg to Regina, you need to calculate how much fuel it would take and what’s the distance to do that. We do the same, coming from Moose Jaw to Winnipeg.”

Faith said the team had a specific target of 7:09 (and 15 seconds) to be over Bell MTS Place just as the anthems were wrapping up.

They made their time, despite a brief delay, and then landed in Winnipeg so they could take part of the festivities from a view a littler closer than 500 feet above downtown.

“Afterwards, we like to land in Winnipeg and head down to see the whiteout,” he said.

“We have the opportunity to go to Calgary next and be there for their first game as well. We really do think we have the best job in the world.”

Faith said flyovers like this offer pilots an opportunity to get more air time for flight training as well, since the aircraft in question are from the RCAF’s Moose Jaw training site.

“Every day, we’re constantly training and updating currency,” he said. “We’re trying to squeeze every little bit out of every mission and still trying to accomplish the objective.”

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