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Soaring the skies in 2016

Late last year the Royal Canadian Air Force announced its pilot for the 2016 CF-18 Demonstration Team, Capt. Ryan Kean. A member of the CAF since 2003, Kean has over 1,600 flying hours on high-performance military aircraft, including 1,300 hours on the CF-18 Hornet.

“This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the skill and professionalism of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the CF-18 all over Canada and the United States. Being selected as the CF-18 Demonstration Pilot allows me to fly the aircraft in a way that few pilots get to do. In addition to sharing this experience with the audiences at the shows throughout the season, I’ll have a team of highly motivated and professional technicians supporting me and sharing in the experience,” said Capt. Ryan Kean.

Kean began his flying career in the spring of 2006 and became a fighter pilot in 2010 after completing his CF-18 training. He was posted to 409 Tactical Fighter “Nighthawk” Squadron based at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. He was then posted to his current unit, 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron, in 2013.

Kean serves at the Squadron as an instructor pilot on the CF-18 and is the Squadron’s Deputy Operations Officer. Kean has taken part in multiple training sessions and conducted operational missions at home and overseas in NORAD and NATO missions.

Kean will kick off the 2016 season when he takes to the skies in Comox, BC, the team’s annual training sites.

Kean will perform for audiences across North America in his specially painted CF-18 Hornet. Uniquely designed by veteran design director, Jim Belliveau, the CF-18 will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Canadian efforts to train aircrew for the Second World War through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the theme for the 2016 fly season.

The Air Training Plan was successful in producing 131,553 aircrew, including pilots, wireless operators, air gunners and navigators. This aircrew played a crucial role in the Second World War and prompted the creation of Canadian fighter Squadrons. In order for the plan to be successful, the RCAF recruited thousands of civilians as maintainers and support staff.

“During the Second World War, Canadians and communities across Canada came together to train aircrew from across the Commonwealth, with civilians operating aerodromes, serving as instructors, and fulfilling critical roles from repairing aircraft to packing parachutes.

“Importantly, Canadians also welcomed and made trainees from around the world feel a part of their communities. Now, 75 years later, we’re pleased that Captain Kean, a natural selection for the 2016 CF-18 Demonstration Team with his proven abilities and experience, will commemorate those contributions with communities across the country and all over North America,” said Major-General David Wheeler, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region.

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MIshall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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