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Snowbirds fly over Nova Scotia to mark naval helicopter crash, mass shooting


The famed Snowbirds aerobatics team is flying over Nova Scotia communities today in an effort to remember lost comrades in a naval helicopter crash and to lift the spirits of a province struggling after a mass shooting.

On a warm, clear day over the East Coast province, the red, white and blue Tutor jets were expected to fly over the 12 Wing Shearwater air base in Halifax, home to the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed off Greece.

Six members of the Canadian Forces died in the incident on Wednesday.

The loss of life came in the wake of a mass shooting by a gunman, who took 22 lives on April 18 and 19, beginning in the coastal community of Portapique, where 13 people died.

The Snowbirds were scheduled to be over downtown Halifax and to fly past communities affected by the mass shooting.

The day began with performances over Saint John, N.B., Fredericton and Kentville, N.S.

Capt. Joel Wilson, a 27-year-old pilot participating in the flights, says the team hopes to provide relief and inspiration for Nova Scotians at a difficult time.

The performance is part of a cross-country tour which the military says aims to boost morale as the country continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.