Base helicopters to do frontline flyby

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Garrison Petawawa will pay tribute to frontline workers in the area next Tuesday with a flyby of military helicopters.

“In recognition of the incredible resilience displayed by Canadians during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have requested authorization to conduct a military flyby over some communities in Renfrew County to express our heartfelt appreciation for medical staff, first responders, and essential workers,” the base said in a statement Friday afternoon.

The flyby of a Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron and a CH-147 Chinook helicopter from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron will be conducted on Tuesday, May 19th between 6:30 and 7:30 pm, with Wednesday, May 20 as a backup date in case of inclement weather.

The aircraft will depart Garrison Petawawa along the Ottawa River to circle the city of Pembroke before conducting a flyby of the Pembroke Regional Hospital at approximately 6:40 pm.

They will then fly along County Road 51 (Petawawa Boulevard) over Petawawa, then continue on over Laurentian Hills (Chalk River) and then to Deep River, with a flyby of the Deep River & District Hospital at approximately 7 pm.

The flight path selected is a pre-approved flight training route that brings the aircraft and their crews close to a number of healthcare facilities where support can be demonstrated.

The crews will follow all applicable Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flying orders. The flybys will be conducted no lower than 500 feet above any obstacles.

“We encourage residents to respect social distancing practices by observing the flyovers from the safety of their property and refrain from gathering to see the flyovers.”

Snowbirds

“Following the Snowbirds’ Op INSPIRATION and other Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) squadron’s recent flypasts across parts of Canada to support their communities, we wanted to take this opportunity to carry out a similar show of support for front-line workers in the local area,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Fountain, commanding officer of 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron.

“It is important that we all recognize the sacrifices that you and your families are bearing.”

“As we watch the aircraft fly over our homes, let’s remember to respect social distancing practices by observing from the safety of your property and refrain from travelling to gather in identified locations.

“We hope this demonstration of our thanks can in some small way show our sincere appreciation for the work you are doing,” added Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Coakwell, commanding officer of 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

“After over a month of protective measures against the spread of COVID-19 I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the community and our health care workers and essential services,” said Colonel Louis Lapointe, 4th Canadian Division Support Group Commander (Garrison Petawawa).

“It has not been easy for many people but we have always been in this together.”

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