CF-18 will fly for Lions' Season Opener after all despite Mayor
The BC Lions Football Team has been planning some special entertainment for the season opener game on July 10th, 2010 for several months.
On June 11th, 2010, during a trip to Cold Lake Alberta to witness the aerial combat exercise, Maple Flag, Major Brian 'Gyproc' Dunsterville stationed at 4 Wing at Cold Lake Alberta confirmed that he had received all the necessary clearances and was assigned to fly a CF-18 Hornet fighter jet at low altitude to rally the attendees of the season opener game taking place in Vancouver's Empire Stadium. Such an aerial maneuver is called a 500' low-level flypass.
On Thursday, July 8th, the following disturbing email was circulated by a private citizen who has been known to associate with both the BC Lions as well as the Canadian Forces:
Subject: Vanacouver Mayor Gregor Robertson "kaputs" Air Force fly past at BC Lions' home opener.
To my friends & colleagues that are supporters of our Canadian Forces,
I thought to write you this short note with less than 44 hours to go before kick-off at the BC Lions' first home game of the 2010 CFL football season. As you are likely already aware, this season will be a unique one as the Lions' return to Empire Field and will play all their home games outdoors while BC Place receives its new retractable roof.
Unfortunately, the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, has thrown a wrench into the opening ceremonies by not allowing an Air Force CF-18 fighter jet conduct a fly past at 500 feet AGL (Above Ground Level). Earlier today, the Mayor notified the BC Lions' office that he had changed his mind and would no longer allow the fly past to take place. The President of the BC Lions, Mr. Dennis Skulsky, has tried to contact the Mayor directly to discuss the matter but Mayor Robertson has made himself unavailable. It looks like the Mayor is a good dancer as he seems to have mastered the Granville Island Two Step!
So with that said, I've decided to contact all my friends, colleagues and business associates that are supporters of our men and women in uniform to advise them of this unfortunate development and to solicit your support to have Mayor Robertson honour his word and re-approve this fly past which I believe will allow the fans at Saturday's game cheer for our troops.
Mayor Robertson's telephone number is 604-873-7621 and e-mail is email@example.com should you wish to make your thoughts on this issue known.......the troops appreciate your support.
Thank you for your time on this matter as I'll keep you posted.
President, Sealord Capital Corporation
Because that nasty, loud jet-plane might disturb the heroin addicts, pollute the trees in Stanley Park, and drown out the foul-mouthed tirade of the street-person harrassing (sic) you for the change in your pocket, you know.
After a few phone calls, a news frenzy and some harsh commentary directed towards Vancouver's Mayor Gregor Robertson, the President of the BC Lions, Dennis Skulsky, was able to reach the Mayor's Office who requested a compromise. The initial entertainment included more than just a display from the CF-18 Hornet. The 443 Squadron from Vancouver Island was also to supply Sea King Helicopters as part of the aerial display.
Dennis Skulsky, new to the job and wanting to keep the peace with the Mayor's Office, not only took the deal but also agreed that he'd put a press release out stating that the noise produced by the jet may disturb Vancouver's residents despite assurances from the CF-18 pilot that there is only a noise issue within one nautical mile of the stadium as he drops the jet to 500 feet.
Plse pass to your President that my plan is as flexible as the Mayor needs it to be.
YVR Terminal has been very cooperative and supportive with my airspace requests, and all I can suggest is that if the Mayor requires me to hold over Mt Seymour, I will! Given the forecast great weather, the noise issue is only really relevant within about 1 NM of the stadium as I drop to 500 ft.
If the 500 ft is the big issue, I am happy to do the pass at 1000 ft...though I doubt most of the fans will get to see the jet.
I am still very keen to get out to VR and if it means I need to personally brief the Mayor/Council on exactly what the flypast means for speeds and altitudes when I get in to town on Fri pm, or even any time on Sat, I am more than willing to do it.
I am forwarding you all a copy of the 'draft' plan in powerpoint. Plse have a look to see if it addresses the Mayor's concerns.
By the way, I am also more than willing to have the Mayor visit me and the jet at YVR on Fri or Sat for a cockpit tour. No change planned to my ETA of 1500h-1530h on Friday.
Fingers crossed for a positive outcome, for all our sakes!
Official release from the BC Lions:
CFL: Canadian Forces To Add To Lions Roar Saturday
British Columbia LionsCanadian Football League
July 9, 2010
VANCOUVER, Canada - The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that a Canadian Forces F-18 Hornet fighter jet will perform a fly-by at approximately 7:05 pm (two minutes prior to kickoff) for fans attending the club’s first regular season home game versus the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night.
“We are thrilled and honoured to have the Canadian Forces be part of our festivities on Saturday night.” said Lions president and CEO, Dennis Skulsky. “On behalf of the BC Lions Football Club and our fans, thank you to the City of Vancouver and Mayor Robertson their support in making this fly-by possible. I know our fans and surrounding residents around Empire Field will enjoy this amazing experience.”
The CFG-18 Hornet piloted by Major Brian Dunsterville will fly from south to north at approximately 500 feet of the ground and reach Empire Field at approximately 7:05 pm.
NOTE: Due to associated engine volume events of this nature produce, the BC Lions Football Club requests that all media outlets make this information known to their viewers, listeners and readers in order to help inform all residents adjacent to Empire Field regarding the fly-by and minimize any concerns for citizens in the surrounding area.
The Lions kickoff the 2010 regular season home schedule on Saturday, July 10th at 7:00 pm versus the reigning West Division champion Saskatchewan Roughriders presented by 7-Eleven. Catch the action beginning with the pregame show starting at 5:00 pm on the home of the Lions, TEAM 1410.
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For more information on the BC Lions Football Club, please visit our website at bclions.com
A sweet victory for the fans, a bittersweet victory for the Canadian Forces and those that stood up to the initial flip-flopping by Mayor Robertson.
If you are in Vancouver, look into the skies above Empire Stadium at 7:05pm and wave hi Major Brian Dunsterville, piloting the CF-18 Hornet fighter jet.