Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 CIAS Review by www.AirShowsReview.com

Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated much when it comes to the annual Canadian International Air Show lately. The weather was a deciding factor this year too when it came to flying. But despite the hazy, overcast and foggy skies that varied over the air show days, so did the temperatures from hot (close to 40C with humidity factored in) and very humid, to windy and almost chilly (15C on Monday). The three day air show found satisfaction in the hearts of the enthusiasts who were present.

There were several highlights this year at the CIAS. By far, with its first time visit to Canada, the MV-22B Osprey from the US Marines Corps was the pinnacle. This was followed by the A-10 West Demo Team of the USAF from Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and the Heavy Metal Jet Team, who were in Toronto for the first time too. Maj. General Stephen L. Hoog, USAF, Commander, 9th Air Force, Air Combat Command, Shaw AFB, S.C., was present on Sunday.

From the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Shawinigan participated in some fast maneuvering to thrill the crowds, and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 Demo Team as well as the Snowbirds showed off their wings, weather permitting. On Saturday due to severe storms and lightning, the Snowbirds were unable to take off from Pearson International airport. The much anticipated Skyhawks parachute team cancelled their jump for the event too, but the crowds were compensated by several fly-bys by the CP-140 Aurora.

There were several civilian performers. Among them: Mike Wiskus, Pete McLeod, and Rick Volker, as well as the Air Cadets. The historical Lancaster bomber from Hamilton made an appearance during the air show.

CIAS is a waterfront air show as part of the Canadian National Exhibition, and technically it is a free event, even if you do not buy tickets to the Ex, as one can see the air show from the parks along the lakeshore of Ontario. There are no static displays available for the general public. For photography, the lighting condition is very far from ideal. You are shooting into the sun all day if there is sunlight, so in essence, a cloudy day or days are preferable for photographers.

Over all the show was good, and seemed to be better organized than in the past several years. I would like to thank Colleen Swider, Manager of Public Affairs and Media Relations, and her staff for their hospitality.

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