Quesnel Flying Club soars high in tribute to fallen Snowbirds’ Captain

Members of the Quesnel Flying Club pose for a photo after taking part in a tribute flight to fallen Snowbirds’ Captain Jennifer Casey on May 23. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
QFC Vice President Dan McKeith and member John Radysh. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Dave Edwards. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
QFC President Fred Taylor. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
QFC President Fred Taylor. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
(Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The Quesnel Flying Club (QFC) took to the skies, flying over Quesnel to pay tribute to Canadian Forces Snowbirds Captain Jennifer Casey on Saturday, May 23 at 11 a.m.

Seven aircraft soared over Quesnel in line astern formation while maintaining proper spacing for the exercise.

President of the Quesnel Flying Club Fred Taylor said they fly-over was meant to honour Capt. Casey, as well as Capt. Richard MacDougall and the tradition of the Canadian Forced Snowbirds.

“We wanted to pay tribute to Captain Casey who was killed and the other pilot who was injured quite badly in Kamloops — and maybe it will start a wave around the country of other flying clubs in other cities to do the same thing.” Said Taylor.

Captain Jennifer Casey died in a plane crash on May 17, while taking part in the Snowbirds’ Operation Inspiration, a series of flights across the country meant to boost the morale of Canadians who have spent the last few months in social isolation due to COVID-19. Capt. MacDougall was the pilot of the plane that crashed and suffered serious injuries when he ejected from the aircraft. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

QFC Vice President Dan McKeith has a deep connection to the aviatition community, a pilot himself, he assisted the Snowbirds during Skyfest in Quesnel last year and his son served 22 years in the Canadian Air Force. McKeith says when he learned of the crash that claimed the life of Capt. Casey he was devastated.

“The Snowbirds are real close to my heart — it was hard to swallow,” said McKeith. “We wanted to show our support for everybody associated with the accident, you know the aviation industry it really is a close community so we all feel it.”

READ MORE: UPDATE: One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crash in Kamloops

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