Extending use of Tutors by Snowbirds ?
May 8, 2009, Moose Jaw, Sask. - A decision on whether to keep the Snowbirds’ aging Tutors in the air for another 10 years is expected this summer.
May 8, 2009 By The Canadian Press
May 8, 2009, Moose Jaw, Sask. – A decision on whether to keep the Snowbirds’ aging Tutors in the air for another 10 years is expected this summer, says a military spokesman.
Capt. Paul Finnemore said Canadian Armed Forces vice-chief defence staff is examining documents from a panel of Air Force experts that endorses using the CT-114 Tutor jets for Snowbirds until 2020.
A date to retire the Tutors is set for next year. If the jets are grounded, alternatives include fitting current CT-155 Hawk aircrafts, CF-18s or CT-156 Harvard II planes to be the new Snowbird aircrafts, said Finnemore.
Or the military might buy new jets for the aerobatic flying squadron, which would involve a competition between various designs that meet Snowbird qualifications, the captain said.
There have been questions about whether the 1960s-vintage aircraft should be retired. In 2003, National Defence was strongly urged to quickly replace the jets.
As for media reports that the Defence Department may look at cutting the world-famous Snowbirds due to budget constraints, Finnemore said it’s not true.
“There is no plan to disband,” Finnemore said, adding the current study into preserving the Snowbirds shows just how important the military considers the Moose Jaw-based group for promoting the Air Force, building national pride and recruiting.
“They do have a very significant importance.”
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