In a Salmon Arm first, attendees of the local Remembrance Day ceremony could make out the snarl of piston-engine aircraft flying overhead following the moment of silence.
Hamilton McClymont was one of the pilots who guided his craft in formation with three other planes at approximately 10 minutes after 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. McClymont and his fellow pilots are all members of the Snowflake flying club, made up of members from Salmon Arm, Penticton and Vernon.
The snowflakes, a playful take on the already trademarked Snowbirds, has about a dozen members who routinely fly between airports around the Interior to meet for coffee. They regularly join formation and fly over carnivals and other activities.
“It’s the journey and the comradeship, that’s what it’s really all about,” McClymont said. “We’re a bunch of retired guys; while we focus on safety, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Prior to the Remembrance Day, the group flew over a memorial for Bruce Aikenhead, a well-known figure in the aerospace industry.
After McClymont and company flew over the Salmon Arm Remembrance Day ceremony, the four planes went on to fly over the ceremony in Enderby. At the same time, four more planes with the Snowflake club were flying over ceremonies in Coldstream, Lavington and Lumby. Then all eight planes joined up to fly over Vernon’s Remembrance Day ceremony.
McClymont said he suggested the Salmon Arm flyover, and it was done as a tribute by the pilots.
“We just took it upon ourselves to salute the ceremony,” McClymont said.
Having learned to fly in 1961, the activity has been a long-time hobby for McClymont. The plane he and all other members of the Snowflake flying club fly are home-built from kits bought from Vans Aircraft.