The 49th Abbotsford International Air Show takes to the Skies and Beyond

What better way to end the weekend than to attend the Abbotsford International Air Show on Sunday…and in VIP style. The 49th Annual Abbotsford International Air Show took place this weekend from August 12-14, 2011 and what an experience it was! I’ve been to the Air Show previously with my family but I was quite young so I don’t remember much of it.…plus, it definitely wasn’t on Chalet Row, the exclusive section where tents (and seating, and food, and drinks, and booze, and of course VIP washrooms) were reserved for those guests who paid $125+ per ticket…and now that I have finished bragging about the fact that I was part of the VIP viewing section, I can move on to what this post is really meant to be about.

The Air Show

I am not a big airplane fanatic, but the good thing about the Abbotsford Air Show is that you don’t need to be in order to enjoy and appreciate the show and its exhilarating performances. I mean, some of the acts I saw totally blew my mind and I think I have a new-found appreciation for pilots and any aircraft personnel. I didn’t know much about the models, types or names of the planes, but I could appreciate the celebration and excitement for the art of flying, which is, I think, the main reason why the show exists.

We arrived on the Show grounds around 10:30am, slightly after the first couple of performances took to the skies. For those who don’t know what goes on at the Abbotsford International Air Show, here is the brief run-down: There are a series of airplane demonstrations and displays performed by a range of military planes, warbirds, and civilian planes.  They execute aerobatic tricks, maneuvers, all inclusive with special effects and explosions—yes, explosions. Many of the performances by the military aircraft were dedicated to the men and women of the Air Forces and Canadian Forces, and those who were serving or who had served in the military. I have to say, I felt a strong sense of patriotism yesterday, not just because there were massive Canadian flags around the Air Show grounds, but because just before they began their performance in the skies, pilots would dedicate their performances to the men and women who have served the Air Forces and Canadian Forces, making it possible for us to have our freedom today.

Parachuters from Canadian Forces SkyHawks captured the crowds’ attention as they jumped out of Canadian Forces planes. And to add to the spectacle, a definite highlight was—get this—a  jet-powered yellow school bus (yes, those ones that we rode on field trips!) that was taken apart and given a whole new look which included the engine of an F4 jet plane, allowing it to run up to speeds of 350 mph! And it doesn’t stop there. The jet bus was matched up against a jet plane in the most AMAZING race I have ever witnessed. Who won you ask? The jet bus of course! Even though I don’t have a video of the race, just have a look at the pictures of the bus below and you will understand why. One other focal performance worth mentioning was that of the nine Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Their majestic presence hushed the audience and created a sense of awe as they demonstrated the high level of professionalism, teamwork, excellence, discipline and dedication their performance required.

I can go on and on explaining and describing each performance and how absolutely talented, professional and brave all performers were, but there is nothing that can better describe the show than pictures..And even these pictures probably don’t do the Air Show justice, as you really have had to be there to take in the entire experience:


There were many other ground displays to check out, aside from the in-sky performances. Lots of great photo opportunities that you wouldn’t normally get with the Air Force planes, jets and helicopters. One final note is that if you have not yet been to the Abbotsford Air Show, next year would be the ideal time to attend, as 2012 will mark the Air Show’s 50th Anniversary Year, so you can be sure the event organizers and performers will have something special in store for the audience. For more information about the Abbotsford International Air Show and a detailed list of performances and activities each year, visit their website at:



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