It’s a bit of a homecoming for Capt. Scott Boyd of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds when the team returns to the Comox Valley later this month to practise for its upcoming airshow season.
Originally from Burnaby, Boyd - who flies Snowbird 4 - learned to fly gliders at 19 Wing with the air cadets 13 years ago, and received his private pilot’s licence at the Courtenay Airpark one year later.
“…Coming back to Comox is a special experience for me personally as I’m coming home to my aviation beginnings,” he said in an interview with The Record.
His family recently moved to Sidney and said they are “very excited” to visit and watch some of the upcoming training.
He said Comox is a great location for spring training as the team can simulate different types of show environments, such as over-water shows, which they can’t do in their home base of Moose Jaw, SK.
“Training at 19 Wing has some challenges such as co-ordinating our practices with other activities on base to have minimal impact on existing military and civilian flights.”
After obtaining his licence in the Comox Valley, Boyd attended Royal Military College and graduated in 2012. He was posted to Moose Jaw where he completed Phase II and Phase III training on the CT-156 Harvard II and earned his wings in Dec. 2013.
After completing Phase IV on the CT-155 Hawk, he stayed in Moose Jaw to instruct on the CT-156 Harvard II, and taught from 2015 until he joined 431(AD) Squadron last summer.
“(It) was an incredibly rewarding experience influencing the next generation of RCAF pilots,” he noted.
As Snowbird 4, Boyd is in the centre of most formations and he said being surrounded by nine other aircraft is an incredibly thrilling experience.
He added specifically he looks forward to flying the Double Take, a manoeuvre where he flies inverted - something he truly enjoys doing.
The military aerobatics team is set to practise in the Valley from April 17 to May 7.
Below is the scheduled practice times for the team. The Snowbirds may not use each slot, as the times are scheduled around commercial air traffic in and out of Comox. The times are also weather-dependent.
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Saturday (April 20 and 27): 10:05 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4: 11:40 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Sunday (April 21 and 28): 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.