Snowbirds, Capt Logan Reid prepped for takeoff


Snowbird pilot Capt Logan Reid.

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

A Victoria-born pilot will be at the controls of one of nine CT-114 Tutor jets, when the Canadian Forces Snowbirds aerobatic display squadron takes to the skies over Canadian cities this summer.

Tucked in the cockpit of Snowbird 8 will be Capt Logan Reid, donning the familiar red pilot flight suit.

However, before he and his fellow pilots can delight air show fans across Canada with their signature manoeuvres, which include the Canada Burst, formation heart, and solo head-on crosses, they must first complete training camp. From April 19 to May 11 the 24 member show team will relocate from 15 Wing Moose Jaw to CFB Comox. 19 Wing has been the site of the Snowbirds’ annual spring training camp since the mid-1970s.

“Getting to Comox is an exciting time for us because the flying tempo steps up considerably and it’s a significant milestone as we get our manoeuvres put together,” says Capt Reid. “It’s also the first time you get the feeling of really taking up the mantle for the new pilots and technicians who have joined the team.”

After spending his Easter weekend with wife Nicole and their four-year-old son Mackenzie in Moose Jaw, Capt Reid and his teammates will hop in their jets and fly west.

Under normal circumstances, he and the team would head to Comox to refine their routine for airshows in May. But some exceptional issues including bad weather, COVID-19 restrictions on personnel, and maintenance factors have put them behind schedule. Their first airshow will be June 18 and 19 over Borden, ON. After that, they will zigzag across the country performing into September before crossing the border for a few shows in California.

During training, they plan to make two flights a day, six days a week with their flight paths very close to the Courtenay-Comox region.

The practice is all for a good reason, says Capt Reid. When performing in formation the pilots have no room for error. They can reach speeds of up to 600 km/h with a separation of just 1.8 metres, the height of an average man.

Feeling the rumble

Logan, 33, grew up in Brentwood Bay. He first caught the aviation bug after attending numerous air shows with his father in Comox and Abbotsford, B.C.

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a fast jet pilot,” he says. “At the air shows, I distinctly remember feeling the rumble of the fighter jets as they screamed by and then being wowed by the awesomeness of seeing the Snowbirds in the sky.”

He also likes older planes that predate the Cold-War era flying the air show circuit. He calls them “inspiration machines” while noting the advances in aviation technology of the last century are truly “mind boggling.”

His interest in aviation led him to join Royal Canadian Air Cadets 676 Kittyhawk Squadron based at Victoria International Airport.

He graduated from the University of Victoria in 2008 with a Diploma in Business Administration – Aviation. During this time, he also obtained his private pilot license through the Victoria Flying Club. Capt Reid then attended the Royal Military College of Canada and earned his Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering in 2012. He was posted to Moose Jaw to earn his pilot wings where he flew the CT-156 Harvard II and the CT-155 Hawk. He continued to follow his dream and applied to join the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and was selected in 2018.

Tight Bond

His role in the team’s No. 8 plane, positioned two aircraft away from the lead plane’s right wing, is a spot he has maintained since joining the team.

His other role with the team is the Lead Solo. This occurs when the planes fly away in groups of two and then proceed head-on against each other.

“It’s a fast-paced game of chicken with closing speeds of 1,100 kilometres an hour, missing each other by 30 feet,” he says. “My job as the lead is to command the head on crosses and make sure they are staged appropriately at show centre.”

To perform at this level requires skill, professionalism, and teamwork and its paramount each individual brings that attitude to work every day, says Capt Reid. It’s also these same requirements that make the Snowbirds such a close-knit family.

“We put our lives in each other’s hands every mission, so the bond is tight and the trust runs deep.”

Being a Snowbird pilot is a “collection of surreal” experiences, he explains. “It’s one that involves being so finely in tune with your jet that it makes the wings feel like an extension of your body and seeing the world rotate around your formation. It’s almost indescribable. Every time I put on the red suit I still get a little giddy.”

This will be Capt Reid’s final year with the Snowbirds team, as most pilots serve in the demonstration squadron for a maximum of five years.

“I have had no greater honour of flying for this team. It’s hard to imagine a better job and there have been so many special moments.”

When the airshow season wraps up this October, Capt Reid hopes to begin Fighter Lead In Training. The goal is to eventually pilot Canada’s CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft.

To learn more on the Snowbird’s 2022 schedule go to


Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.