The Canadian SkyHawks twirled in the skies above Chilliwack as they prepared for the Abbotsford Air Show. (Photo by Clint Clauson)

Canada’s SkyHawks soar through the Fraser Valley’s smoky skies

Ahead of the Abbotsford Air Show, the Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team practised in Chilliwack

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Canadian SkyHawks!

As the Abbotsford Air Show approaches, the Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, the SkyHawks, took to the skies above Chilliwack to practise jumping.

Acting as the nation’s only military parachute demonstration team, the SkyHawks represent the Canadian Armed Forces with pride, performing in front of over 75 million spectators world-wide.

Known as Canopy Relative Work, the SkyHawks’ performance of daring manoeuvres brings their parachutes in close proximity to each other and requires a high level of skill and physical fitness.

Training alongside Canadian soldiers and comprised of both Regular and Reserve Forces, team members are from various occupations of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, which brings a wide range of experience to their performances.

To showcase the skill and excitement involved in parachuting, the SkyHawks made tandem jumps with members of the community.

Strapped into their parachutes with full-body harnesses, the SkyHawks soar to an altitude of at least 12,500 ft. before jumping into the sky and pulling the the rip cord to their signature Canadian Flag parachutes.

With arms and feet fully extended into the wind, the parachuters free-fall towards the earth at an astounding 60 m/s until their chute opens, which slows them down to about 28 km/h.

The SkyHawks will be showing off the full extent of their aerobatics at the Abbotsford Air Show this weekend. For more information about the Air Show, please visit AbbotsfordAirShow.com, and for more information about the SkyHawks, please visit Army-Armee.Forces.gc.ca/en/skyhawks/index.page.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

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