CAF Story | Snowbirds and Patrouille de France fly as one

Video / July 19, 2017


Captain Blake McNaughton: It’s historic to have the Patrouille de France here in Canada, especially this year with the 100th Anniversary of Vimy, Canada’s celebrating Canada 150, the sesquicentennial. There’s a huge important and significant French culture here in this country, and it is just magic to be with them this weekend.

Gauthier Dewas: It's a moment, it's a historic moment because ... we've never done it. Because we work a lot with Canadian fighter pilots and the Canadian Air Force and Canadian Defence, I've had the chance to fly regularly with the Canadians, like all the pilots in my team. So to find yourself in Canada, the two teams together, flying over the Parliament in Ottawa and then going to Montreal, is an immense honor for us ... because we have very strong ties and it's a way to show that. It is also an extraordinary opportunity to be able to fly with this patrol of the Snowbirds which is internationally known, who are, who have the same values that we have,  and with whom we've been able to share for the last two days—and it's extraordinary.

Captain Blake McNaughton: There definitely is a common thread of competitiveness amongst all pilots and fighter pilots and in the demo teams throughout North America and the world. So we knew coming in that there was going to be a little bit of a rivalry but, once you start talking to these gentlemen you find out that all pilots speak the same language. We have a lot of common ground and we have an absolute crew.

Gauthier Dewas: Well the ... the French pilots and the Canadian pilots, fly ... we've always been allies; we have been flying together forever. When I was a young pilot, I was fortunate to have a Canadian pilot in my unit in Cambrai, in northern France, and there was a French pilot on exchange in Canada, and we've found ourselves on exterior operations. So ... we do the same job and we defend the same values under banners on a regular basis, so they are links that are very strong indeed. When we're together we don't feel like we have a Frenchman, a Canadian, it's … we're together, we're fighting for the same causes, so it's ... brothers in arms, quite simply.

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