2016 Performers

F18Demo16CF-18 Demo Team

The CF-18 Demonstration Team selects a theme for each year and 2016 will feature the 75th anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

The agreement for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was signed in late 1939 and the program ran from 1940-45.

Article XV of the BCATP agreement indicated that Australian, Canadian and New Zealand air force personnel would be identified with their respective countries, either by organizing their own national units or formations or by other methods. This eventually led to the creation of specifically Australian, Canadian and New Zealand squadrons, rather than having all air personnel of those nations serve in Royal Air Force units (although many Canadians also served in RAF squadrons). The Canadian squadrons that grew out of this article of the agreement – the so-called 400 series of squadrons – continue to form the fabric of the Royal Canadian Air Force to this day.

The first of these squadrons came into existence in 1941, which is why Canada is celebrating the BCATP’s 75th anniversary in 2016.

By the end of the Second World War, the Plan had produced 131,553 aircrew, including pilots, wireless operators, air gunners, and navigators, who were critical to the war effort. Further, tens of thousands of maintainers and support staff were recruited and trained by the RCAF to support the effort – without the contribution of these civilian men and women, the plan would have failed.

The specially painted CF-18 Hornet will feature a unique commemorative paint job designed by design director, Jim Belliveau, at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.  

See http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/cf-18-demo-team/index.page for more information.


The Snowbirds Demonstration Team (431 Squadron) is a Canadian icon comprised of serving members of the Canadian Forces. Their pilots and technicians work as a team to bring thrilling performances to the North American public. Serving as Canadian ambassadors, the Snowbirds demonstrate the high level of professionalism, teamwork, excellence, discipline and dedication inherent in the women and men of the Air Force and the Canadian Forces.

See http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/index.page for more information.

F 16mainF-16 Demonstration Team

The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team at Shaw AFB, S.C., performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities by one of the Air Force's premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The team also works with the Air Force Heritage flight, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-seat, multi-mission fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to air-to-air role at the touch of a button. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.

See http://newpreview.afnews.af.mil/acc/aerialevents/f16viper/index.asp for more information.


The Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, the SkyHawks, is Canada’s only military parachute demonstration team. For over 40 years, we have represented Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces to over 75 million spectators worldwide under our signature Canadian flag parachutes.

Bringing our parachutes in close proximity to build formations in the sky, the team puts on a spectacular show. Performing these aerobatic parachute formations requires a high level of skill and courage; and is known as Canopy Relative Work.

Supported by the Canadian Army, the SkyHawks are based out of Trenton, Ontario, at the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre. There, they train alongside soldiers who help defend our territory and sovereignty through a wide variety of domestic and overseas missions. From both Regular and Reserve Forces, the team members are from various occupations of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and bring a wide range of experience to their performances.

It is with great pride that we continue to showcase the professionalism, dedication and teamwork it takes to be part of Canada’s military.

See http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/skyhawks/index.page for more information.

fireflyFirefly Aviation

Bruce “Frac” Evans lives in Calgary, Alberta. Bruce is a professional Geologist who is involved in resource exploration throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. Bruce attended Queen’s University at Kingston. Growing up in an Air Force family the Evans’ traveled throughout Canada. Bruce’s father was initially an aircraft maintenance engineer, who later re-mustered to become a radar specialist. Growing up in the Air Force Bruce developed an interest in aviation, which was further fostered when the family purchased a Cessna 172. The Cessna became the airline for travel to and from university.

Throughout Bruce’s resource exploration career, aircraft were an important asset and were used extensively, both for transportation and in the completion of geophysical surveys. Bruce eventually started his own Airborne Geophysical Survey Company to support his projects.

After a long search for the ideal Warbird in 2007 Bruce purchased his T-28B Trojan. The T-28 is the last of the big piston engine military aircraft built. The T-28 served with the US Navy between 1954 and 1983, when the T-28 flight was retired. Bruce’s T-28 was manufactured in 1955 and served in the US Navy with Squadron VT-27 “Boomers” at Corpus Christi Texas for the majority of her career. Up to 1983 almost every US Naval Aviator trained in the T-28, and would have received their Carrier Qualification on the T-28C. A little known fact is that numerous Canadian military pilots trained on the T-28 at US Naval Air Station Pensacola and received their carrier qualifications there, before returning to Canada and flying off the RCN aircraft carriers. The T-28 is an extraordinary aircraft, she is surprisingly large at a gross takeoff weight of just under 9000 pounds, delivers jet-like performance with the help of her 1425 horsepower Wright Cyclone R-1820 radial engine, and is very maneuverable.

Bruce holds an Airline Transport Pilot Licence with Instrument Rating, a T-28 Endorsement, and a low level aerobatic clearance to 250’. Throughout his career Bruce has accumulated over 4100 hours of flight time experience.

acemakerAce Maker

A native Californian, Gregory "Wired" Colyer took his first flight at age 7 in a Cessna 172 with Dr. Lee Schaller out of the Schellville airport in Sonoma, California. Hooked ever since, Greg has been flying for almost 3 decades after earning his license in 1982 while serving in the US Army from 1982-1987.

Since leaving the service he has been employed by the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller at Oakland ARTCC. His passion for the cockpit never left him as he continued to fly as a hobby, and an occasional airshow flying a Beech T-34 Mentor, until he imported a Russian L-29 Delfin Jet in 2003.

After flying with his friend Kay Eckhart, in one of Kay's Lockheed T-33s in 2007, Greg set his sights on an upgrade to the U.S. Air Force's first operational jet and a real piece of U.S. aviation history. Acquiring a T-33 and naming it Ace Maker in 2008, he then founding the nonprofit (501c-3) T-33 Heritage Foundation to help in the preservation of the type.

He holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi-engine ratings, as well as being a Certified Flight Instructor. Greg is type rated in Aero Vodochody's L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. A level I Aerobatic low level card and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications.

Greg stays in shape for flying high performance aircraft by competitive cycling with the Taleo cycling team and an occasional Ironman Triathlon.

Greg would like to acknowledge and give a very special thanks to ACE Wayne Handley and Randy Howell of the Patriot Jet team for their coaching, advice, and support.

See http://www.acemaker33.com/ for more information.

kentKent Pietsch

Kent Pietsch fell in love with flying when he was four years old. Five decades later, his passion has not waned.

Since 1973, Kent has performed his incredible aerobatic routines for millions of people at more than 400 shows, which have taken him to quality venues throughout the United States.

Kent grew up in Minot, North Dakota, where every day after school, he’d find a way to get to the airport, and do whatever it took to get into an airplane.

While most aerobatic performers have one basic program, Kent executes three storied acts that leave spectators mesmerized. These include a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV! However, Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe. When Kent is at the controls of his plane, it is impossible not to watch him perform.

Kent loves to fly, but the audience is always his number-one priority. “If you can’t entertain, you have no business being out there,” he said. “The gratification is in knowing that people are enjoying themselves.” Kent’s humble nature and willingness to interact with fans make him a crowd favorite wherever he performs.

He flies an 800-pound Interstate Cadet with a 37-foot wingspan. The plane’s horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine can generate 90 horsepower and a G-force ranging from -3 to +5.

See http://www.kentpietschairshows.com for more information.

melissaPemberton Aerosports

Award-winning aerobatic pilot, free fly skydiver and champion rock climber, Melissa Pemberton brings a high-energy, action-packed display of Unlimited Aerobatics with her Edge 540 Aircraft to audiences world-wide. Her dazzling performances have been thrilling audiences all over the globe with gyroscopic manoeuvers, tumbles, rolls and everything in between. Her thrilling and entertaining display both amazes and inspires audiences.

However a stunt plane is not all that she flies.

Melissa is also an avid skydiver. She is among the best in the world at free flying. She enjoys flying her wingsuit and has over 300 base jumps.

Melissa strives to be a positive role model and inspiration to young people and women across the world, showing them by example that no dream is too big and nothing is impossible!

See http://sportsgal.com/ for more information.


Out on the taxiway you can hear the deafening roar of an engine and see billowing clouds of smoke. You feel the reverberations of mini sonic booms. You look up, expecting to see a state of the art jet fighter and realize it’s not an aircraft at all, but the Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car right before your eyes at ground level, preparing to accelerate.

Look with awe to the end of the runway as Bill Braack engages the afterburner on the car’s Westinghouse J34-48 engine, generating 6,000 pounds of thrust, shooting 20-foot flames out the back and producing billowing smoke and mini sonic booms.

Always a crowd favorite, the team at Smoke-n-Thunder boast a 100% safety record, and hundreds of thousands of satisfied spectators.

See http://www.smoke-n-thunder.com/2014/index.html for more information.

av8fxAV8FX Pyrotechnics

The AV8FX team is led by April Zalesky, along with a core staff of special effects experts. April Zalesky, a native of Vancouver, BC, is the heart and soul of AV8FX. Born into a flying family, April, a licenced pilot as well as an Airshow Pyrotechnics Coordinator, has been involved in the airshow business from an early age. She was drawn into the excitement of airshow pyro and fireworks over 20 years ago and has produced pyrotechnic displays for both large and small shows across Canada and the United States.

Among the staff are special effects coordinators for the film industry who have worked on major motion pictures and television shows such as Jumanji, Viper, Red Scorpion, and others. April and her crew have worked together in the airshow pyro business for many years and have an exceptional safety record.

See http://www.av8fx.com for more information.

ricRic Peterson

Ric has been entertaining and engaging audiences across North America for almost 30 years as a performer announcing at air shows.

See http://www.ricpeterson.ca for more information.

tommy williamsAir Force Heritage Flight Foundation

Tommy Williams started flying when he was 16 years old in Houston, TX before attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. While at Embry-Riddle he participated in Air Force ROTC and after graduation was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the USAF. While in the Air Force Tommy flew multiple fighter aircraft, the F15C, F-5E, F-4E and F-16 acquiring over 3,800 hours of fighter time.

After serving on active duty he entered the Air Force Reserve and is still serving as a Major General in support of First Air Force and the North American Air Defense mission at Tyndall AFB, FL. His civilian job is as a captain for Delta Airlines flying the Airbus A-320 based in Minneapolis, MN.

Tommy has always had a passion for the fighters of World War II and is proud to play a small part in helping keep alive the heritage of the US Air Force by displaying and flying the P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre in air shows across the country.

See http://www.airforceheritageflight.org/team/tommy-williams and http://www.airforceheritageflight.org/ for more information.

Additional Flying Displays

Remote Control Aircraft Display

417 Squadron SAR Demo

Mass Attack with 419 Squadron Hawk and 410 Squadron CF-18

75th Anniversary Formation (Harvard 2, Hawk and CF-18 Demo Jet)


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