The Boundary Bay Airshow presents some of the greatest aviators and performers in the business.
They all will thrill and delight audiences of all ages with their skills high above the sky.
Here is a brief look at who will be on hand this year:
Brent Handy (appearing courtesy of White Spot)
Brent knew from a young age that he wanted to spend his time in the air.
His early flight training was earned through the Air Cadet program. His first solo was in an Air Cadet glider, at age 16. Ten years later, Brent’s dream of becoming a CF-18 Hornet pilot was a reality. And through a fortunate series of events, he was selected to fly as a team pilot with the renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds jet team in 2011.
Following his tour with the Snowbirds in 2012 / 2013, Brent took his air show career to the next level. Purchasing a beautiful Pitts S-2, he had the good fortune of polishing his aerobatic prowess with air show legend Wayne Handley.
This year mark’s his fifth season as an unrestricted, surface-rated aerobatic performer. Expect an adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping series of tumbles, torque rolls, and loops.
Vicky Benzing (appearing courtesy of Green for Life Environmental)
Born and raised in California, Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. With more than 8,000 hours of flight time and more than 1,200 parachute jumps, she has a passion for everything airborne. Her flying career has spanned more than 30 years and she currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as commercial ratings in helicopters, seaplanes, and gliders.
Vicky learned to fly in a family friend’s antique Taylorcraft in her hometown of Watsonville, on the California coast. She was thrilled by the spins, loops, and rolls that her ex- military instructor taught her and subsequently took aerobatic instruction from legendary pilot Amelia Reid.
Vicky’s aerobatic flying took a brief back seat when she earned her PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and began working in the Silicon Valley high tech industry, but her passion for spins, loops, and rolls soon returned when she took an aerobatic flight with air show legend, Wayne Handley.
Capt. Brian Kilroy
Born in Grande Prairie, Alta., Kilroy spent his childhood in Stony Plain and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in chemical engineering.
The son of an RCMP officer, he was strongly supported to pursue his aviation dreams by his mother, who also shared his love for aviation.
He attended numerous airshows throughout his childhood where he even had the chance to see the CF-18 Demonstration Team perform, which further inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a fighter pilot.
Kilroy was a member the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Stony Plain before deciding to pursue his dream of flying and joining the RCAF in 2006.
Kilroy has actively served throughout Canada on the Hornet in support of NORAD and has deployed numerous times on international NATO and Canadian Armed Forces missions.
Today, Kilroy is a four-ship lead and qualified Electronic Warfare Instructor with 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, using his combat and operational experience to train the next generation of CF-18 pilots.
“Being chosen to represent the Royal Canadian Air Force as the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Pilot is a true honour,” said Kilroy. “I hope that this summer our team will inspire Canadians to think and dream big while also demonstrating the impressive capabilities of their Air Force.”
Flying has been a part of Bud’s life since he was nine-years-old.
He and his brothers were playing when they saw a Tiger Moth biplane glide to a landing on their uncle’s farm. They ran to see the plane, and were amazed to find that their Dad was the pilot. He had secretly earned his flying license. Bud and his two brothers were hooked on aviation after that. Their father made a career of flying, and saw his three children begin their lives in aviation.
Bud joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1956 after earning his wings with a Royal Canadian Air Cadet scholarship. He was awarded honor scrolls at basic, and advanced flying schools in the flying the T-6 and T-33. He served 3 years flying the F-86 Sabre in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was a member of the Canadian gunnery team which won the NATO competition for the third straight year.
He flew for United Airlines until retiring in 1997. He has six children and three of them served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Two flew with the Snowbird aerobatic team, and are now airline pilots. Ross flies with United, Chris with Air Canada. Deb flies the 737 for Alaska Airlines. Bob chose the Navy, and is now a Captain with BC Ferries, but also ferries the T-6 or Yak-55 to airshows.
The third of six children, Ross showed an early love of flying and a strong desire to make it his life’s ambition. Ross joined the Canadian Air Force in 1985. He received his wings in 1987, then instructed in the Canadair CT-114 Tutor aircraft in Moose Jaw.
This aircraft is still used by the Snowbirds.
In 1997 with 3,100 hours military flight time, Ross, his wife Shari and son Gregory, transitioned to life as civilians. They moved to Everett, Wash. where Ross lives while working as a pilot with United.
Ross purchased a Yak-18T in Moscow which he flies in a formation aerobatic routine.
The Yak-55, flown by his dad Bud, and the Yak-18T make an unlikely and unbelievably entertaining act.