(Above image: 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron and 450 Squadron conducting a flyby of the Pembroke and Deep River Hospital as a show of appreciation to front line during the COVID-19 pandemic, 19 May, 2020. Photo: Master Corporal Steve Wilson.)
This past week residents in the Petawawa area received a flyby courtesy of Garrison Petawawa aircrew and helicopters.
“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 frontline workers in the local area. It is important that we all recognize the sacrifices that you and your families are bearing,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Fountain, Commanding Officer 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron.
To express their appreciation to medical staff, first responders, and essential workers and to recognize Canadians for their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic aircrews conducted the flyby on May 19, 2020.
“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. It has not been easy for many people but we have always been in this together,” said Colonel Louis Lapointe, 4th Canadian Division Support Group Commander (Garrison Petawawa).
A Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron and a CH-147 Chinook helicopter from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron flew along the Ottawa River with a special flypast at the Pembroke Regional Hospital and the Deep River & District Hospital.
“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,” stated Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Coakwell, Commanding Officer, 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.
The flight path was selected and was a pre-approved flight training route that brought the aircraft and crews close to a number of healthcare facilities.
The flybys were conducted no lower than 500 feet above any obstacles.