A CF-18 of the Royal Canadian Air Force is flying over northwestern B.C. today. (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

A CF-18 of the Royal Canadian Air Force is flying over northwestern B.C. today. (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

CF-18 flying over northwestern B.C. today

Part of a salute to health care and other front line workers

The Royal Canadian Air Force is saluting northwestern B.C. front line health care and other workers today via a flypast of a CF-18 jet.

Captain Dan Deluce will begin his run in Prince Rupert at approximately 12:30 p.m., flying to Terrace, then looping south to Kitimat and coming back up north to continue to Smithers.

The original plan had the salute beginning in Smithers but cloudy weather this morning has resulted in a route reversal.

“The aircraft will fly over the area at an altitude no lower than 1000 feet above the highest obstacle on their route, and the public can expect the accompanying jet noise,” indicates a Royal Canadian Air Force release.

Specific locations to be included in the salute include the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, the Museum of Northern British Columbia, which is also in Prince Rupert, Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, Kitimat General Hospital and the Bulkley Valley District Hospital in Smithers.

The flypast is part of Operation INSPIRATION, first launched in May 2020 as a salute to healthcare and essential workers on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Flypasts by the Royal Canadian Air Force are conducted in support of special events and are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure public safety,” the release added.

This CF-18 is part of the CF-18 demonstration team of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The CF-18 has been the air force’s predominant multi-role fighter aircraft for decades with air defence, air combat, ground attack and tactical support capabilities.