Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence


November 03, 2006 13:47 ET

Snowbirds Announce Newest Team Members

15 WING, MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 3, 2006) - Two Canadian Forces pilots and five technicians were appointed to key show team positions within 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Thursday, November 2 at 15 Wing, Moose Jaw, Sask., after a rigorous selection process.

The newest Snowbirds are Captain Sean Hanson, of Richmond, B.C., and Captain Mark Laverdiere, of Orillia, Ont. Also new to the team is Captain Steve Thompson, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who was selected as Snowbird 11, Team Coordinator.

Congratulations to the following Snowbird technicians who were appointed to key 2007 show team positions, Sergeant Marlene Shillingford, of Newmarket, Ont., crew chief, Master Corporal Tim Collis, of Nanton, Alta., deputy crew chief, Corporal Kevin Spooner, of Winnipeg, Man., lead aviation technician, Master Corporal Tony Forster, of Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., lead avionics technician, and Corporal Tracy Nicholas, of Arnprior, Ont., technical coordinator.

"To successfully complete a Snowbird tryout is a tremendous accomplishment and a dream come true for our pilots and technicians," said Major Ian McLean, Commanding Officer and Team Lead, Canadian Forces Snowbirds. "Our newest team members have proven that they have the skill, dedication and spirit of teamwork required to represent the men and women in the Canadian Forces with the highest degree of professionalism."

Snowbirds bring years of military experience, thousands of flying hours and a wealth of operational experience to the team. Team members come from various military backgrounds, including maritime patrol, maritime helicopter, tactical aviation, tactical fighter, transport as well as search and rescue squadrons.

The team will now begin a rigorous six-month training program, practicing different manoeuvres and formations, in order to prepare for the 2007 air show season. During the 2007 season, the team is expected to participate in about 60 air shows across North America, representing the professionalism, skill and teamwork of the Canadian Forces and inspiring Canadians to consider a career in Canada's military.

Contact Information

  • To coordinate interviews
    Canadian Forces Snowbirds
    Lieutenant (Navy) Petra Smith, public affairs officer