Celebrated Snowbird commander to fly vintage jet
Golden Hawk returns to skies above Prince Albert 50 years after last show
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 7:59 PM CST
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2012 9:03 PM CST
Dan Dempsey, a former commander of the Snowbirds air demonstration squadron, returns to Saskatchewan to fly a restored F-86 Sabre jet in the colours of legendary air demonstration team, the Golden Hawks.
Dempsey, a retired military pilot, will fly the vintage plane during the Prince Albert Centennial of Flight Air Show, set for Sunday, Aug. 5.
"The Discovery Air Hawk One is a beautifully restored F-86 Sabre jet fighter which holds an honoured place in Canadian aviation history," promoters of the event said in a news release about the show, which is set to take place at the Prince Albert airport.
The jet plane has been painted in the colours of the RCAF Golden Hawks aerobatic team, the air squadron that preceded the Snowbirds.
The Golden Hawks last performed in Prince Albert 50 years ago, on June 13, 1962.
Ottawa businessman Michael Potter founded a charitable organization, Vintage Wings of Canada, to support the restoration and display of historic aircraft.
According to Dempsey's book, A Tradition of Excellence, which chronicles Canada's airshow teams, the Golden Hawks -- established in 1959 -- were the first full-time aerobatic team put together to showcase the RCAF.
The aircraft and pilots performed for five seasons before being cut as part of military defence budget reductions.
The Snowbirds era began in 1972.
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