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Snowbirds Include AirVenture 2016 on Schedule

Team’s first appearance at Oshkosh since early 1980s

  • Snowbirds Include AirVenture 2016 on Schedule
    Photo courtesy of The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

December 23, 2015 - The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, one of the most popular military aerial demonstration teams in the world, announced EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 as part of its schedule, which would be the first time the team would be back at Oshkosh in more than 30 years.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the 64th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention known as the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, is July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Snowbirds are currently scheduled to have a public practice over the grounds on Friday, July 29, with full performances as part of the daily afternoon air show on Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31.

The Snowbirds, officially designated as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, were created in 1971 and have a nearly 40-year connection to EAA, as they were the first military team to perform at Oshkosh when they flew over the EAA fly-in in the 1970s. They have not appeared at Oshkosh since 1983, as their primary schedule commitment each year is to Canadian air shows.

“It is truly thrilling to have the Snowbirds schedule an appearance at Oshkosh for the first time in more than 30 years, and we can now begin working through the logistics necessary to support the team,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member services, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “Longtime EAA members and Oshkosh attendees speak fondly of the elegant precision aerobatics that the Snowbirds brought to the EAA fly-in, and have often asked when they would return. We were very happy to discover that EAA AirVenture 2016’s dates and the Snowbirds’ schedule availability aligned and we could welcome them back to aviation’s family reunion at Oshkosh.”

The Snowbirds fly Canadair CT-114 Tutor jets in approximately 60 air shows each year. The nine aircraft used in the performances are piloted by experienced team members from the Royal Canadian Air Force. During the show, the pilots fly at speeds ranging from 110 to 465 mph (180 to 750 km/h) and in formation with distances as close as 4 feet of wing overlap. Comprised of exciting loops, rolls, and solo passes as well as graceful nine-jet formations, the Snowbirds’ show includes more than 50 different formations and maneuvers over each 35-minute performance.

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