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The North is Calling

by Dr. Anna Serbinenko

 

Aviation unites people every day regardless of whether it’s a small aircraft or a large jet. With that said, there is nothing more natural than using aviation to unite the entire nation during this very special year where we commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. It is from that sentiment the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour was born, to bring celebration to remote communities across Canada’s Arctic, many of which can only be accessed by flight.


The #ArcticTour150 #CAAT2007 is a unique air show event. In fact, it is a sequence of almost 100 events - 97 air shows across Canada’s Arctic to be precise (yes, it’s not a typo – NINETY SEVEN AIR SHOWS!). What’s more important – the Tour will bring the cutting edge of precision aerobatic flying to areas that have only known aviation as a means of survival, not entertainment.  EVERYBODY will have a chance to join Canada’s birthday!

In addition to the air shows, this tour offers a large educational component. Many locations along the more than 19,000 miles route are aboriginal communities. Using attention generated through the tour, we hope to educate the rest of Canada about the life, culture and struggles of our indigenous communities, and share their unique experiences. I believe the native culture is rich, fascinating and not known enough. From the art, to the music and food – we will share with you as much as we can through social media as the journey progresses.

Each community we visit is aware of the tour and are planning events of their own to complement our visit. From a music festival, to arts shows, to village barbecues, our performances will be enhanced by the engagement thecommunity themselves contributing to the event. Even as I write thisI get goose bumps just thinking of the scope of what we are about to do. It is truly EPIC!

Why an aviation tour? Northerners have seen planes before, airplanes are actually an integral part of life in the North-a lifeline for  food, medical supplies, transportation and technology. Yet most of them have never seen an air show in their life. Seeing something they know–an airplane–in a totally new upside-down perspective, with amix of technology, skill and hard work, we expect it to be an inspiration. Inspiration to not necessarily become an aerobatic pilot, but to be a better, stronger, smarter and braver version of themselves, the best they can be. We hope that youth in these communities will learn nothing else but themselves will be able to stop them from achieving their dreams. We hope to show them, not just through flying, but through a real connection that the possibilities exist and that hard work pays off. The sky is NOT the limit!

I feel particularly privileged being the only Canadian female aerobatic performer on the tour and I hope to inspire young girls to push the limits and pursue their dreams. Changing stereotypes is not easy, and I pray that there will be enough girls encouraged and empowered by the end of this summer who will in turn, make a difference in their lives. Butterfly effect.

Who is making this epic event a reality? The amazing brains and hearts behind #ArcticTour150 are the organizers of Alberta’s Rocky Mountain House Air Show: Nancy McClure, Wendy Fowler, Ken Fowler, Indira Thackorie and the team. When I signed up for the entire tour a friend of mine asked, “Who are the producers? Have they ever done anything like this before?” The truth is, NOBODY HAS EVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE! This is what makes this initiative unique, audacious, inspiring and – yes! – a little crazy.

The #ArcticTour150 requires a lot of support from various companies, sponsors, government and the Canadian military. Everything from flying in fuel (there is not much avgas in the middle of a tundra) to medical support, and funding.

The performers traveling with the Tour form another spectacular team. I feel privileged to perform again with the Granley Family, Bud and Ross. Ken Fowler and Eric Hansen from Team Rocket, Dave and Drew Watson from Yellow Thunder, Brent Handy and Stefan Trischuk are among those who responded to the challenge. Some performers are only able to commit to a part of the Tour. Some,like your faithful Sky Dancer, would not want to miss a single day of it.

Where and when? The Tour takes off on 1 June from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, and will head north for its long journey across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Northern Quebec and Labrador. We will celebrate Canada Day, July 1, in the geographical centre of Canada–Baker Lake, NT. One of the most notable aspects is the tour will journey as far north as Alert, NU, the most northern permanently inhabited place in the world, only 400 nautical miles from the North Pole! This tourwill set a world record for the longest series of air shows North of 60.  The final show of the Tour will be on18 Augustin Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit, after which I am sure everyone will be sad to see this great summer adventure come to an end.

The team knows the reality will be harder and less perfect than the plan. We will fight the weather, have cancellations and technical issues. I was even asked if I would have a gun for polar bear defense. Oh my! I do hope to see muskox (I promise to share pictures!) and find a nice pair of mukluks, even though they are too warm for my home in Vancouver.

One question I am asked frequently is, “how can someone join the Tour?” The answer is–in a VERY limited way. Some of our more southern locations like Yellowknife, are reachable by most general aviation planes within a reasonable amount of time and fuel availability (expect to pay a premium for the avgas up North). You should still check with your instructor or more experienced pilots before setting off on such a trip. Often your nearest alternate airport is beyond your fuel range, and survival in case of an engine failure is difficult. Mountain flying and weather are other challenges in many Northern regions. Most locations in the High Arctic don’t even have avgas available. The Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour, benefitting from military support, will have fuel for performers flown in ahead of time. But these supplies will not be available for the public.

 

The most important question though is “how can I support the tour?” and that answer is simple – buy a mile! As one can imagine this project comes at a significat cost and in order to pull this off we need the support of everyone. Please help us to make this a success by buying a mile on our crowdfunding page: crowdrise.com/caat2017.

We encourage everyone to follow us along our journey by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  We want to hear from you!

About the author.

Anna Serbinenko, aka Sky Dancer, is the only Canadian female aerobatic performer. She is a class 1 airplane and class 1 aerobatic instructor. Anna is joining the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour as a performer for the entire Tour. Sponsorship opportunities available, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Anna also teaches flying in her school Canadian Flight Centre that was established in 1979. The school prides itself in training “from tailwheel to turbine”, and its graduates from over 60 different countries leave for their jobs with a variety of training on 10 different types of planes in their logbook.

Read more on www.annaskydancer.com and www.cfc.aero.

 

Anna Sky Dancer’s blog: www.annaskydancer.com

The latest version of the schedule is the following:

DATE

WHEELS DOWN SHOW

WHEELS UP SHOW

 

 

 

June 02 2017

Fort Liard

 

June 03 2017

Watson Lake

 

June 03 2017

 

Teslin

June 03 2017

 

Tagish

June 03 2017

 

Carcross

June 03 2017

 

Marsh Lake

June 04 2017

Whitehorse

 

June 04 2017

 

Ibex Valley

June 04 2017

 

Mt. Lorne

June 04 2017

 

Faro

June 04 2017

 

Ross River

June 04 2017

 

Haines Junction

June 04 2017

 

Carmacks

June 04 2017

 

Destruction Bay

June 04 2017

 

Burwash Landing

June 05 2017

Dawson City

 

June 05 2017

 

Beaver Creek

June 05 2017

 

Pelley Crossing

June 05 2017

 

Mayo

June 06 2017

Old Crow

 

June 07 2017

 

Fort McPherson

June 07 2017

 

Tsiigehtchic

June 08 2017

Inuvik

 

June 09 2017

 

Sachs Harbour

June 09 2017

 

Holman/Ulukhaktok

June 09 2017

 

Paulatuk

June 10 2017

Aklavik

 

June 11 2017

Tuktoyaktuk

 

June 12 2017

Fort Good Hope

 

June 12 2017

 

Colville Lake

June 13 2017

Norman Wells

 

June 13 2017

 

Deline

June 13 2017

 

Tulita

June 14 2017

Fort Simpson

 

June 14 2017

 

Jean Marie River

June 14 2017

 

Wrigley

June 14 2017

 

Nahanni Butte

June 14 2017

 

Sambaa K'e - Trout Lake

June 14 2017

 

Fort Providence

June 16 2017

Day OFF

 

June 17 2017

Fort Smith

 

June 18 2017

Yellowknife

 

June 18 2017

 

Kikakisa

June 18 2017

 

Enterprise

June 18 2017

 

Fort Resolution

June 18 2017

 

Lutselk'e

June 18 2017

 

Wekweeti

June 18 2017

 

Behchoko

June 18 2017

 

Waati

June 18 2017

 

Gameti

June 19 2017

Kugluktuk

 

June 19 2017

 

Ulukhaktok

June 20 2017

Cambridge Bay

 

June 21 2017

Gjoe Haven

 

June 22 2017

Taloyoak

 

June 23 2017

Kugaaruk

 

June 23 2017

 

Naujaat - Repulse Bay

June 24 2017

Day OFF

 

June 25 2017

Coral Harbour

 

June 26 2017

 

Chesterfield Inlet

June 26 2017

Rankin Inlet

 

June 27 2017

 

Whale Cove

June 27 2017

Arviat

 

June 28 or 29 2017

Churchill

 

July 01 2017

Baker Lake

 

 

PHASE TWO (2)

 

July 08 2017

Hay River

 

July 09 2017

Yellowknife

 

July 10 2017

Travel Day

 

July 11 2017

Kuujjuarapik

 

July 11 2017

 

Whapmangoostui

July 12 2017

Sanikiluaq

 

July 13 2017

 

Umiujaq

July 13 2017

Inukjuak

 

July 14 2017

Rigolet

 

July 15 2017

 

Makkovik

July 15 2017

 

Postville

July 15 2017

Hopedale

 

July 16 2017

Nain

 

July 17 2017

Day OFF

 

July 18 2017

Kuujjuaq

 

July 18 2017

 

Kangiqsualujjuaq

July 19 2017

 

Tasiujaq

July 19 2017

 

Aupaluk

July 19 2017

 

Kangirsuk

July 19 2017

 

Quaqtaq

July 19 2017

Kangiqsujuaq

 

July 20 2017

 

Puvimituq

July 20 2017

 

Akulivik

July 20 2017

 

Ivujivik

July 20 2017

Salluit

 

July 21 2017

Cape Dorset

 

July 21 2017

 

Kimmirut

July 22 2017

Day OFF Iqaluit

 

July 23 2017

Pangnirtung

 

July 24 2017

Qikiqtarjuaq

 

July 25 2017

Clyde River

 

July 26 2017

Pond Inlet

 

July 27-29 2017

Day OFF/Alert

 

July 28 2017

Alert

 

July 29 2017

 

Eureka

July 29 2017

Grise Fiord

 

July 30 2017

Resolute Bay

 

July 31 2017

Arctic Bay

 

August 01 2017

Igloolik

 

August 02 2017

Hall Beach

 

August 18 2017

Iqaluit

 

 

 

 

Flying into Thin Air
Base to Final Turning Stall
 

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Friday, 03 December 2021

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