Dateline: June 25-26, 2016
Organizers at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, Canada were rewarded for their tremendous efforts when approximately 80,000 people attended QIAS2016, the first airshow held at CFB Trenton since 2003. The biannual event had always been popular but military personnel felt that, while Canadian soldiers fought overseas, a celebration would be inappropriate.
The Skyhawks Canadian Military Precision Parachute Team jump-started the show and the high-energy action continued with awe-inspiring maneuvers by the Snowbirds Canadian Military precision aerobatic team, and the supersonic Canadian CF-18 Hornet and the American Stealth F-22 Raptor.
This year’s airshow honoured the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP) established at Canadian Air Force Bases during the Second World War train Commonwealth pilots from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. When WWII ended, this training plan had produced 131,553 aircrew (pilots, wireless operators, air gunners, and navigators) for the Air Forces of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The plan also trained citizens of other nations (Poland, USA, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and France) who joined the British Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force.
With this in mind, star performers included WWII heroes the Avro Lancaster and the B25 Mitchell Bomber both from Hamilton Ontario’s Warplane Heritage Museum; two P51D Mustangs; and the Harvard Aerobatic Formation Team from Tillsonburg, Ontario. Modern workhorses the RCAF SAR Griffon Helicopter, the CC-130 Hercules, and the C-177 Globemaster strutted their stuff.
For a touch of levity, talented Kent Pietsch pirouetted, stalled, and [intentionally] lost parts from his 800-lb vintage Interstate Cadet, single-engine tail-dragger constructed in America 1941-1942.