Jones

Kelowna pilot Trevor Jones, shown at left with his dad Blair, is organizing another fly-by of private planes through Okanagan skies on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Popular Victoria Day events like Rutland May Days may be grounded again, but there's something special being planned for the skies over the Okanagan.

A Valley-wide fly-by with dozens of private planes is being organized by local pilot Trevor Jones.

"This whole Covid thing has really got people down, especially with the new restrictions that sort of feel like the last straw," Jones said in an interview Thursday.

"I think something like this will give people something to look forward to for the May long weekend, help to spread a little bit of happiness and put smiles on people's faces," Jones said.

Other pilots and operators of flight schools, including some from the Lower Mainland, have already expressed interest in the Okanagan fly-by, Jones says. The idea is for two waves of planes, the first consisting of speedier craft and the second with airplanes proceeding at a more stately speed.

The tentative route is around Okanagan Lake, so people from Vernon to Penticton and all points in between can take in the show.

Jones organized a similar fly-by last May long weekend in honour of RCAF Capt. Jennifer Casey, a member of the Snowbirds who died when the plane crashed in Kamloops.

The Snowbirds were then on a tour of Canada, designed to lift people's spirits in the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had been scheduled to perform in Kelowna before bad weather forced a last minute re-routing to Kamloops.

A fly-by involving many planes, Jones says, presents an interesting aerial spectacle and reminds people of the technology and training required to achieve powered flight.

The event is set for mid-day on Sunday, May 23. Any pilots interested in participating can contact Jones at jonesytrevor@icloud.com