The Poppy Flight, based out of Langley, will be flying across the Lower Mainland on Remembrance Day this year.
The flight is a group of five civilian planes based at the Langley Airport, that have been flown in formation over the cenotaph ceremonies at communities across the Lower Mainland each Nov. 11 for the past two decades.
On the ground in Maple Ridge, the veterans parade will leave the Royal Canadian Legion (12101-224th Street) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, marching to the cenotaph in Memorial Peace Park.
The Poppy Flight flyby will be overhead at approximately 10:45 a.m.
Team leader Glen Hoffman said his grandfather was a Second World War veteran, and other members of the team have military connections. Such flypasts, an aviator’s salute, are traditionally part of military or state events and celebrations, including funerals and memorials.
“We recognize the sacrifices that were made, and it’s a little bit that we can give back,” said Hoffman.
“We get positive feedback from veterans who are on the ground looking up, and it can bring a tear to the eye.”
So they will fly their planes – including a Cessna Cardinal, Piper Cherokee, Super Cyclone, and RV 6 – on Nov. 11.
Their big, looping flight path will take them from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to cenotaphs in White Rock, New Westminster, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Surrey, Newton, and they will fly over Vancouver’s Victory Square cenotaph at 11:06 a.m.
The total flight will take about an hour and eight minutes, Hoffman plans.
In past years, the Fraser Blues would conduct a flyby that included Maple Ridge, but they have retired. George Miller, the team leader, is now in his late 80s, and last year he decided to hang up his wings. He flew his Navion to the New Brunswick Aviation Museum last year, to donate the aircraft.
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