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Snowbirds Trust

Heroes Remember

Your life depends on everybody around you knowing and doing their job to the best of their ability. One of the things that is very important with it is that there is a self critique feature where when you have gone up flying and come back down everybody will say what they did wrong because without that you could never find out in a lot of cases if a maneuver went wrong what happened. So people will confess I did this, and that's what caused it. So that you, there's this openness that, openness that develops and the trust, there's a bond developed because of that trust. There is a lot of friendship from the point of view of little jokes that they play on one another. Another important part of the team is the ground crew and the bond between the pilot and the ground crew in the Snowbirds reflects the way it used to be in the olden days between the fighter pilots and the ground crew because they prepare your plane for you and your life is in their hand every time that you go up, because if they do not prepare it properly, if they're slack in anything they do then it could be catastrophic.

Mr. Peters describes “self critiquing”, a debriefing strategy wherein pilots discuss their own flying errors with the rest of the aerobatics team. He goes on to praise the valuable contribution of the ground crew to the team’s safety.

Walter Peters

Walter Peters, the youngest of six children, was born in Litchfield, Nova Scotia in 1937. A graduate of Mount Allison University, he worked for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force at age twenty-four and entering pilot training. After receiving his commission and wings, Mr. Peters enjoyed a distinguished career on many levels. He was Canada’s first black jet fighter pilot and an A1 flying instructor. He was involved in the development of the Snowbirds and later flew with them. At Trenton, Mr. Peters piloted Hercules cargo aircraft on assorted missions around the globe, and it was here that he also became the Canadian Armed Forces’ first Human Rights Officer. As advisor to the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Peters offered advice on the tactical movement of troops by air, and analysed and briefed the Council after the Russian shootdown of a Korean civilian jet in 1983. He retired holding the rank of Major.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Walter Peters
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Air Force

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