SkyHawks : Canada’s military parachute demonstration team

Three years after flying with the Snowbirds, I was offered a chance to photograph Canada’s military parachute demonstration team.

I have a love for seeing the world from above. The views from above give a stronger perspective and better appreciation of our surroundings when on the ground. The reason I have an interest in aviation.

I want to thank Air Show Atlantic for another great opportunity — this time, to fly and document our military parachute demonstration team.

And with all things Air Show related, nothing is a guarantee. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was the scheduled platform to jump from but after an emergency call to Canada’s west coast wildfires, we were left with a much smaller Short SC.7 Skyvan aircraft. That meant not everyone could go so I’m incredibly thankful for keeping my seat.

It would have been my second ‘almost’ flight. I had an opportunity to fly with the SkyHawks seven years earlier that was canceled due to high winds.

I knew this was going to be more challenging than flying with the Snowbirds. I suspected the SkyHawks were going to jump and it would be all over in a minute or less. It felt like I had just one chance to get this right. It would be pretty embarrassing to come back down without an image... or a blurry out of focus image.

After a brief Q&A with the team lead and Skyvan pilot, we talked quickly through a ground rehearsal of what I should expect and how I can increase my odds of success, and then we were piled in and ascending to 12,000 feet.

I was on board to document. Those wearing red were on-air radio personal and tv media reporters tandem jumping for the experience.

And as predicted, the moment we reached altitude, everyone stood up, there was a short countdown, and everyone was jumping and out of sight in seconds. It all happened fast and I was managing 3 cameras — one camera was mounted to the hot shoe of the other camera.

And considering how fast they were all plummeting to the ground, it was interesting that those left in the Skyvan with me still had time to circle around and land before the jumpers were packed up and off the field.

These next few images are from a second tandem demonstration jump on the same day that I stayed on the ground for.

And the following images are a few selects from the show performance that happened on the following day.

I rush home to create a few prints to ensure my 2018 experience with Canada’s SkyHawks ends with signatures on what they helped me create. A fantastic and very memorable day.

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