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Abbotsford International Twilight Airshow 2016

The 54th Abbotsford International Airshow was held from August 12th-15th this year. I was lucky enough to get a photography spot right in front of all the action!

The Abbotsford Airshow was started in 1962 and is Canada's largest airshow. It averages about 125,000 people in attendance, In 2014, it was named one of the top 10 airshows in the world!

As someone who grew up in Abbotsford, I used to take the airshow for granted. My memories of the second week of August always meant loud jets flying overhead as the house I grew up in was close to the airport. We used to sit on the roof and watch the Snowbirds fly by in formation. Some of our home videos are interrupted by the deafening roar of jet engines. Now, as an adult, I realize just how lucky I was to experience this for nearly 30 years. There really are no words to describe the awe of seeing the show up close in personal. You really do have to go to the airport to experience it up close and personal. It's well worth it.

The show opened up with the Canadian Forces Skyhawks. They put on an impressive display of parachute acrobatics.

Their patriotic parachutes and displays of strength and teamwork was huge success with the crowd.

A group of three Canadian Military Skyhawks in formation with their Canadian Flag parachutes

My favourite part of their presentation was when they had clouds of rainbow coloured smoke spiral through the sky as the team meandered gracefully to the ground.

Next up were the Canadian Snowbirds. I think every Canadian kid adores the Snowbirds and dreams of flying one someday. I know I did. I have always been mesmerized by their power, grace, and utter talent. It's amazing how acrobatic these aircrafts can be, and the pilots fly only a few meters within each other sometimes. It takes an extraordinary amount of skill to be able to what the Snowbirds are famous for.

Next up on the program was the Breitling Jet Team out of Dijon, France. They are the largest aerobatic jet team out of Europe and perform shows all over the world. It was my first time watching them.

They put on a very impressive and energetic show. You can find out more about the aircrafts on their website

Next up were demonstrations of historical combat planes from World War II. These planes were restored and there are very few of them left in existence. It was a real treat to see them in action.

HFF Spitfire MK IVe

HFM P-51 Mustang

One of the most highly anticipated events of the evening was the demo of the USN F/A-18 Super Hornet. It is a very impressive tactical aircraft capable of speeds of up to 1190 MPH, and can slow down to 100 MPH. It's an extremely versatile jet with twin supersonic jet engines. More information and complete history can be found here. Now for the photos..

Next up was a performance by The Screamin' Sasquatch. A one-of-a-kind plane partnered with Jack Links. The plane was a classic 1929 Taperwing modified with jet engines. This allows the plane to do aerobatics never seen before! Visit to learn more about this exciting aircraft.

After we fed our wildside with the Screamin' Sasquatch, we got to see the 442 SQN SAR demo. They showed us how they perform rescues in mid-air.

After the demo, it started to get quite dark and the real action began. The Super Hornet decided to surprise us by doing a fly-by and dropping an explosive that lit up the grass! I was taken by surprise by this, and I was so close I could feel the heat on my face. Unfortunately, being close to something like that and using a telephoto lens, I was unable to get a shot of the wall of fire in focus. It was exciting watching all the firetrucks rush out to extinguish the fire. They worked quickly, because the weather had been very hot an dry all weekend. Everything was put out safely, and the lights show began!

Pilots Gary Rower and Dan Buchanan opened up the show and flew around the sky with fireworks streaming from their aircrafts. Gary Rower was up first in his biplane, followed by Dan Buchanan in a glider.

Since the glider is slower, it was easier to get some good shots in. As the sky gets darker, it gets more difficult to photograph. I had to keep slowing down my shutter speed, opening up the aperture to maximum, and making sure i hold the camera very very steady.

David Rower's nighttime performance.

Dan Buchanan's nighttime performance with fireworks that dazzled the crowd.

After Rower and Buchanan's impressive display of lights, Team Rocket took to the skies. By this time, the sky was completely black, and Team Rocket is FAST! I sadly was unable to successfully get good shots of them. I just don't have the right equipment! For more information about them, you can visit their Facebook page:

The Twilight show concluded with a long fireworks finale. The crowd was so impressed with it that you could hear them murmuring to each other on how dazzled they were by the show.

The best part about the show was that it happened to take place during the Perseid meteor Shower, and an almost full moon glowing in the sky. It really was a magical evening.

Thank you so much for reading my blog about the Abbotsford Airshow's 54th event. The complete gallery of the airshow can be viewed on my Facebook page. Please like and share!

Love and light,


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