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Trivia | Bagatelle

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Long before the Snow Birds and Golden Hawks the RCAF had an Aerobatic Display Team called the Sky Lancers. Two part question: Where did they perform?

A Ontario / Quebec;

B Europe;

C Western Canada

D Canada & USA.

What caused their demise?

A Government cutbacks;

B Shortage of available aircraft;

C Shortage of available qualified pilots;

D A tragic crash killing four of the five team members.


Answers: B & D
In 1956 4 (F) Wing at Baden West Germany provided the members of “The Sky Lancers”. Unfortunately on 2 March 1956, while practicing their routine over the Rhine valley, “The Sky Lancers” crashed near the Vosges mountains south west of Strasbourg killing four of the five team members. This accident put an end to RCAF aerobatic teams for several years.

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5 Comments

  • Bob Swartman

    October 7, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    I was engineering officer on 414 squadron at the time. We supplied two of the aircraft and two of the pilots were from 414- Dale McClarty and Ed Welters. The weather was not good that day, low ceiling, and they were practising in cloud. When the formation came out of a loop and out of cloud they were too close to the ground and all four went in together. It was a sad day!

    2925 Bob Swartman

  • rmcclub

    January 30, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    4135 George W. Hosang | ghosang1@san.rr.com | BearingExpert.com | IP: 76.89.65.230

    Note to editor: I recently ran across this copy of my earlier email which ended up in electronic nirvhana so here it is again.

    I had forgotten about the Sky Lancers and their unfortunate demise so I was very glad to be reminded. As a CF-100 pilot in 425, 416 squadrons, and EWU at St. Hubert, I was not keen on thrashing about the sky doing aerobatics myself but certainly enjoyed watching others. Over the years I have seen a number of teams from all over the world but the skill and finesse of Canadian pilots and their teamwork never ceases to thrill me and especially of the Snowbirds. Unfailingly they do maneuvers that are particularly noteworthy for novelty and skill not matched even by the famed USN Blue Angels in my opinion. In spite of any mishap, Canada has every right to be extremely proud of all its Air Ambassadors over the years and the fact that they are indeed held in high esteem outside the country.

    I am pleased to learn from Veritas that RMC graduates have been selected over the years for Rhodes Scholarships, and deservedly so. In 1965, some 7 years after graduating, I was awarded an Athlone Fellowship through which I attended Leeds University, graduating with an MSc. I don’t believe that programme exists any more but I would be very interested to learn of any other cadets who followed that path.

    Jan 22, 10:20 PM

  • 4135 George W. Hosang

    January 30, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Bill, I found it! It’s a rather convoluted path, but it is there in the current eVeritas as you said. Go to Trivia/Bagatelle posted by the rmcclub on January 29th, 2008, and to Posted in Trivia/Bagatelle and keep going past hockey questionaire, BGen Tom Lawson article, H24263 Cowan article, Sky Lancers questionaire and to b.Trivia/Bagatelle Comments. I’m not sure how many people will get to read the extra bit about Athlones where it is situated so I applaud your idea to review all post-grad honours. Thanks for your time and effort.

    George Hosang

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