Quinte International Air Show
The Quinte International Air Show was always a favourite of mine growing up in the 1990s. Held every even year it was part of a trio of June air shows in southern Ontario that had a profound impact on my passion for aviation. Being on a Canadian base and watching aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force perform has always been special as it is an infrequent opportunity for me. Trenton has always been a busy base as it's the home of 8 Wing, the hub of air mobility operations in Canada. Combining the collection of aircraft that are locally based with a strong contribution from American and International military units lead to many very enjoyable shows. While there were many highlights, the one that stands out most in my memory is from 1992, when two colourful MiG-29s from the Ukrainian Air Force performed for the crowd. Unfortunately, events at the base have become irregular as only two shows, 2009 and 2016, have been staged in over a decade with operational commitments and funding cited as the contributing factors. Hopefully there will be more events in the future as the base is a short drive from Toronto, has reasonably good vantage points and usually presents strong static and flying displays.
This was a phenomenal event on a beautiful day even though we were only able to enjoy half the show. The stars of the flying program were from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum as they flew their Lancaster and B-25 Mitchell with more enthusiasm than I had previously seen. The Lancaster was also wearing a special tribute to the wartime bomber and crew of 'Lady Orchid', marking the third consecutive summer that this aircraft had received a tributary paint scheme. Aircraft representing many of the squadrons based at Trenton put on spirited displays, showing off their capabilities to families and friends in attendance. It was also nice to be at a Canadian base while enjoying the CF-18 demonstration as the 2016 jet was dedicated to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, one of Canada's biggest contributions to World War II with Trenton playing a vital role as the largest training centre within 'The Plan'.
The static display was loaded, featuring everything from warbirds to vintage jets to the Airbus C295, an aircraft that Airbus was trying to sell to the Canadian government for their future Search and Rescue missions. My favourite static was and usually is the B-52H, this time from the 69th Bomb Squadron based at Minot AFB, North Dakota. It was also nice to see the CT-155 Hawk wearing its 419 Squadron heritage livery, the same colours and unit code as the 'Mynarski' Lancaster.
For a more detailed review of this event please visit Checksix - the military aviation online magazine.