ACPA flies over Vimy

One hundred years after Canadians showed the world their valour at Vimy Ridge, five replica World War I fighter planes will fly in formation against the backdrop of the monument and for an audience of thousands of spectators – including members of the Royal Family, Canadian government and French government.
At the controls will be a group of current and former ACPA members, representing the culmination of many months of hard work. And ACPA was instrumental in helping them pull off this dream mission.
The flypast on April 9, 2017 is part of the 100th anniversary ceremonies of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, to pay tribute to the young Canadians who fought and the memories of those who perished. 
Vimy Flight has been made possible thanks to the support of numerous organizations and friends, including ACPA. In addition to being the first aircraft sponsor for Vimy Flight, ACPA also assisted organizers in their request for funding from the Canadian government, and helped them secure passes for the delegation from Air Canada. In recognition of ACPA’s contribution, one of the aircraft credits ACPA’s contribution, and the Association will have a profile at the Vimy Flight events in France.

“ACPA is very proud to support the Vimy Flight flypast to honour the valour and sacrifice of the Canadians who fought and lost their lives in the war,” said Capt. Kevin Vaillant, ACPA’s Master Elected Council Chair. “The story of the First World War cannot be told without recognizing the contribution of Canadian airmen and troops. We salute our fellow pilots on the Vimy Flight team, and all their partners and volunteers for making the flypast happen.”

The Vimy Flight initiative represents the efforts of dozens of volunteers, including five active Air Canada pilots and two retired members:
  • Capt. Allan Snowie, Vimy Flight Lead and retired ACPA member
  • Capt. Larry Ricker, Deputy lead and ACPA member
  • Capt. Peter Thornton, Operations Officer and ACPA member
  • Capt. Dale Erhart, Flight Safety Officer and formation lead, retired ACPA member
  • Capt. Al French, pilot and retired ACPA member
  • F/O Gord Cooper, pilot and ACPA member
  • Capt. Will McEwan, pilot and ACPA member
The flypast on April 9th will feature a fleet of four Nieuport “Bebe” and one SE5a biplanes. The flying will be done by Capt. Erhart, formation lead; Capt. Thornton, deputy formation lead, Capt. Allan Snowie and Capt. Larry Ricker, along with an invited RCAF pilot.
Representing ACPA at these events are CEO Milt Isaacs, Montreal Base Chair F/O Dan Comeau, Vancouver Base Chair Capt. Blake Murphy, and External Affairs Committee member Capt. Mike Hoff.
This coming summer, Vimy Flight will tour Canada in honour of our nation’s 150th birthday. The team hopes to fly the aircraft to stops at as many towns and cities as possible, and will fly over Parliament on July 1st. There will be more information provided to ACPA members for those who  might be interested in getting a first-hand look at the aircraft.
For more information on Vimy Flight:

Photo Gallery – click image to enlarge

Group of pilots gathered together

Back Row: Left to Right, Capt. Dale Erhart (retired), Capt. Al French (retired), Capt. Peter Thornton, Capt. Larry Ricker.
Front Row: Left to Right, F/O Gord Cooper, Capt. Allan Snowie, Capt. Will McEwan.
Photo courtesy of Vimy Flight

Close up image of plane.

Photo courtesy of Bernada Bilic, Vimy Flight Association

Image of plane.

Photo courtesy of DND/19 Wing Imagery Section

Three planes flying in the sky.

Photo courtesy of DND/19 Wing Imagery Section

Planes shown within hull.

Photo courtesy of Major Holly-Anne Brown, RCAF

Soldiers inspecting plane.\

Photo courtesy of DND/19 Wing Imagery Section

Planes flying in the air.

Photo courtesy of Captain Brent Handy, RCAF


"Rebuilding a WW I biplane" [VIDEO]
April 6, CBC News
Click here to watch video

"Les pilotes du Vimy Flight s'entraƮnent dans les airs"
April 4, La Voix du Nord
Click here to read article

"Biplane replicas ready to fly over Sunday's Vimy commemoration in France"
April 3, CTV News
Click here to read article

"Filmmaker documents Vimy 100 commemoration"
April 3, Victoria Lookout
Click here to read article

"Students cover Ottawa's Vimy Bridge in 3,598 ribbons"
April 1, CTV News
Click here to read article

"Vimy Flight aircraft arrive in France"
March 24, SKIES Magazine
Click here to read article

"Vimy Ridge reenactment ready to take flight"
March 18, CBC News
Click here to read article