The 2016 CF-18 Hornet pulling G's during the minimum radius turn. Currently in Comox until April 27th, the team is holding their annual Spring Training preparing for the upcoming airshow season. This years demo pilot is Captain Ryan "Roid" Reid from 410 "Cougar" Squadron based at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.


April 29, 2016 -

The SNOWBIRDS have just completed their annual Spring Training at 19 Wing Comox this week. They are now preparing for the 2016 airshow season where they will perform at 38 different locations between May and October. The team kicks off the season in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 7 and 8th.

April 21, 2016 -

The 2016 CF-18 Hornet demo page is now up! This years theme is "Training for Victory." The paint scheme celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, during World War 2 airbases across Canada were used to train thousands of pilots and aircrew from several Allied Nations prior to deploying to fight in the war.

October 18, 2015 -

Photos from the 2015 MCAS Miramar Airshow now up! My dad was at one day of the airshow weekend and captured some great shots of the Marines in action including the F-35B Lightning II demo. More than 60 photos in total!

October 14, 2015 -

UPDATE! PAGE 2 of RIAT 2015 is now up! OVER 125 photos from the show!! The first page from the 2015 Air Tattoo now posted. Highlights included the P-1 from Japan, the Battle of Britain Typhoon and the last performance of the Vulcan. More photos to be posted soon! Thanks to photographers Jan Westendorp and Rich Greenwood for contributing these great images!

October 5, 2015 -

Jan Westendorp travelled to Poland to photograph the Radom Airshow. This show had many highlights including large formation flypasts from aircraft of the Polish Air Force.

October 4, 2015 -

NEW PHOTOS ADDED TO THE MARS PAGE INCLUDING PHOTOS OF PHILIPPINE MARS! The Martin Mars waterbomber has come out of retirement with a 30 day contract with the BC government. To date it has been deployed to fight a fire near Nelson, BC. Operated by Coulson Air Tankers and based at Sproat Lake near Port Alberni, BC, the Mars bomber will continue flying after the fire season under a new contract to train pilots from China that will be flying amphibious aircraft in their homeland.

August 29, 2015 -

First page of photos from the 2015 Comox Airshow now posted. Over 60 photos with more to follow soon!

August 24, 2015 -

The first page from the 2015 Abbotsford Airshow is now posted. This show marked the debut of the USAF F-22 Raptor demo. Along with the CF_18 Hornet, USN F-18E/F Super Hornet demos. The Snowbirds and the Breitling Jet Team from Europe, it was an entertaining show that was well attended by airshow fans....and to top it all off, the DH98 Mosquito was back in the air, this time flying formation with a Spitfire and Mustang in the Merlin Flight. Over 60 photos now up for viewing with page 2 to follow soon!

May 1, 2015 -

The annual Spring Training in Comox concluded this week. The Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Team are now preparing to hit the airshow circuit. Here are over 50 photos of the Snowbirds shot during their three weeks of practice.

April 30, 2015 -

More photos of the spectacular Battle of Britain 2015 CF-18 Demo jet - including an epic air to air shoot with the RCAF Snowbirds! A special thanks to the CF-18 Demo Team, the Snowbirds and 442 Squadron for their support during the past three weeks.

March 25, 2015 -

The US NAVY and USMC operate the F-5E Tiger in the Adversary role, known as Red Air during exercises, they fly as the "bad guys" and simulate tactics used by opposing forces.

March 10, 2015 -

The AV-8B Harrier page has now been updated with new photos from MCAS Yuma and NAS El Centro.

March 7, 2015 -

Continuing focus on the US Marines, the F/A-18 Hornet page is now up featuring many photos of the ATARS equipped Hornet used only by the USMC.

February 25, 2015 -

New page with images of the USMC MV-22 Osprey. A unique tilt rotor asset operated by the US Marines and replacing the aging CH-46 Sea Knight.

December 7, 2014 -

Jan Westendorp covered Aviation Nation 2014 at Nellis AFB, find over 60 awesome photos from one of the largest air shows in North America this year. This show also serves as the last show of the season for the home based USAF Thunderbirds.

October 10, 2014 -

A new documentary is now in production, covering the MK35 Mosquito, the only flying example in Canada and second in the world. The doc will cover the early stages of restoration in 2009 to it's first flight and first public appearance at the 2014 Abbotsford Airshow. This BluRay will be a must for any aviation enthusiast. Click the link above to get more info

October 3, 2014 -

Kleine-Brogel AB hosted the Belgian Air Force Days on September 13-14. A highlight of the show was the sunset displays by the RAF Red Arrows. Jan Westendorp was at the show to cover all the action.

September 22, 2014 -

The Swiss AF held an amazing airshow for two weekends celebrating their 100 Years of service. Two pages with more than 80 photos from Jan Westendorp now posted!

July 28, 2014 -

The largest military airshow wrapped last week, Jan Westendorp was at RIAT during the Saturday show and captured some great shots. Over 125 images in total!!

July 6, 2014 -

The controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been a hot topic in the media since its first flight. The United States Marine Corps fly the F-35B variant, it will replace the again AV-8B Harrier one day but as of this posting, the F-35 Lightning II fleet is once again grounded.

June 30, 2014 -

The annual NATO TIGER MEET has just wrapped up! Jan Westendorp was there to cover all the action from this weeks Spotters Day.

June 8, 2014 -

Action from Rainbow Canyon, located to the west of Death Valley. The pilots have named it "STAR WARS CANYON", aircraft from Edwards AFB, NAS Lemoore and NAS China Lake are frequent visitors to this Death Star trench run This is one of the best spots in the world to photograph low level military ops!

June 8, 2014 -

Over 50 photos from NAF El Centro, AV-8B Harriers, F-18's, T-45 Goshawks, F-35 Lightning II, Cobra's, RAF Chinook to name just a few of the aircraft photographed!

May 11, 2014 -

The 2014 CF-18 Hornet Demo team has completed its annual Spring Training at CFB Comox and ready to hit the airshow circuit. This year the team will perform in Canada, the US, Belgium and Switzerland. Painted in a beautiful blue scheme with RCAF motifs that reflect 90 Years of the RCAF. Of special note, this particular jet has had two pilots eject safely from it (both runway incidents) and prior to this paint scheme was the Nighthawks specially painted Hornet sometimes referred to as Nightmare 01.

May 11, 2014 -

New page covering the Snowbirds Spring Training. This year the team has a new "Boss", Major Patrick "Paco" Gobeil, some may remember as the 2012 CF-18 demo pilot.

February 19, 2014 -

Update to the Royal Air Force FGR4 Typhoon page!

February 12, 2014 -

New update to the F-22 Raptor page now up including great photos during operations from the runway at Nellis AFB during 2011!

February 11, 2014 -

New page covering the USAF B-2 "SPIRIT", also known as the Stealth Bomber. Capable of flying anywhere in the world nonstop to drop ordnance and being undetectable to radar, these machines are truly awesome.

February 10, 2014 -

Update to the CT-155 Hawk page. Flying with the NFTC - Nato Flight Training in Canada, these Hawks prepares future fast jet pilots before graduating to aircraft like the F-18 Hornet or F-16 Viper.

December 24, 2013 -

Massive update to the EA-6B PROWLER page. Four pages now uploaded full of US NAVY and MARINE Prowlers!

December 23, 2013 -

More updates to the US NAVY/MARINES page. The P-3 ORION page now updated with many never before seen images!

December 18, 2013 -

The U.S. Navy F/A-18 HORNET page is now updated with new photos! Many action shots taken on the runway at NAF El Centro!

December 6, 2013 -

The T-45C Goshawk page is now up! Some rare action photos highlighted of this colourful trainer.

December 3, 2013 -

A new page of the iconic F-14 Tomcat. Retired in 2005, this jet a favourite of many and a star at any airshow it performed. Many of the photos have never been posted till now, thanks to Jan Westendorp to sharing some of his great Tomcat photos!

December 3, 2013 -

New page covering the U.S. Navy and Marine C-130 Hercules!

December 1, 2013 -

New photos of the CC-115 Buffalo added to the page, some a recent as last week.

December 1, 2013 -

New photos of the CP-140 Aurora to the page, including images from it's first public appearance at Comox.

November 13, 2013 -

I have updated the F-4 PHANTOM page. Within these pages you will see images from the various operators around the world, including some of the many special paint schemes applied to the iconic Phantom! As well as some old images that are published for the first time on the site.

October 4, 2013 -

While covering RED FLAG 13-3 back in January, as it usually does, Exercise Green Flag was being conducted. With A-10C from Davis Monthan, F-16's from Nellis and Mirage 2000-9 from the UAE, they conducted air to ground missions twice a day with air refueling support coming from USAF KC-135 tankers.

September 9, 2013 -

UPDATE! Jan Westendorp brings us images from the fantastic airshow at Kecskemet AB, Hungary. Performers included the Russian Kinghts and Turkish Stars among many more rare displays! All photos now up, more than 100 images to enjoy!!

August 19, 2013 -

After an eight year hiatus, the Comox Airshow returned to 19 Wing CFB Comox. The one day show was a huge success with thousands of aviation fans enjoying ideal airshow weather and a terrific show! Over 100 photos now up on the site!

August 11, 2013 -

RIAT 2013 has wrapped up, the largest military airshow was smaller than previous years but still was able to have an impressive line up. Jan Westendorp has a photos of all the action.

August 1, 2013 -

The Snowbirds performed over the harbour in Nanaimo on July 31st. Flying in support of the C.H.I.L.D. Foundation, a charity that is focused on improving the health care of ill children with Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis and liver disorders. Each year the team flies a show in B.C. to support C.H.I.L.D., the last time the team flew in Nanaimo was 2009.

July 24, 2013 -

Volkel AB in the Netherlands held an impressive show a few weeks ago. Celebrating 100 years of flight, Jan Westendorp was there covering all the action with a very great variety of perfomers. First 50 photos now up!

July 8, 2013 -

Germany held a celebration to say send off their F-4F Phantom. Special markings applied to many Phantoms for this sad occasion. Thanks again to our European contributor, Jan Westendorp captured some fantastic photos of this historic event.

May 28, 2013 -

Exercise TRIDENT FURY wrapped up two weeks ago. I have over 40 images of the paricipating aircraft that were operating out of 19 Wing Comox.

May 13, 2013 -

The RCAF Snowbirds completed their annual Spring Training two weeks ago. Flying twice a day at CFB Comox,they honed their skills for the upcoming airshow season.

May 1, 2013 -

The 2013 CF-18 Hornet Team just completed their annual Spring Training at 19 Wing Comox. A new page with over 25 photos of the only fast jet demo in North America this year.

March 28, 2013 -

A new page from Spotting at NAS North Island, San Diego...possibly the nicest place to spot in the world, beautiful sun, sand and beach! During a few hours in October, Mark Munzel and myself photographed several home unit Seahawks, Greyhounds and deployed aircraft including USMC Harriers, USN Hornets, USN Hercules and more!

March 12, 2013 -

RED FLAG 13-3.

November 26, 2012 -

MCAS Yuma, Arizona hosts biannually the Weapons and Tactics Intructor course, where all units from the US Marine Corps train together to hone their skills. Page 2 is now up!

November 26, 2012 -

I spent three days at NAF El Centro last week shooting the various units training, the amount of activity was a photographers dream. Flying starts at 0700 and continues till after sunset with F-18C/D Hornets, Super Hornets,T-45 Goshawks, CH-46 Sea Knights, EA-6B Prowlers, UH-60 Blackhawks, RAF Merlin and Lynx helos all flying in superb warm weather and blue skies. Visitors included a C-2 Greyhound and several Marine C-130J Hercules. PAGE 3 NOW UP! Over 120 photos of action no up!!

Aircraft of the Can...
By Derek Heyes

July 20, 2010

I am pleased to announce the release of my first book, GUARDIANS OF THE NORTH - Aircraft of the Canadian Forces 2004-2010. Devoted to the aircraft that Canada operates today, the 86 pages are full colour and give you a rare glimps in the cockpit and behind the scenes during Exercises and Operations that the men and women of the Canadian Air Force perform 24-7-365 days a year. Follow the link directly above or in the top right corner of your screen for a Preview of the book. The link will also allow to purchase the book and have it delivered directly to you. This will be the first volume in a series of books dedicated to the Air Forces of the world, their aircraft and the men and women that fly and maintain them.


Contact me at

Aircraft of the Can...
By Derek Heyes

Northern Lights Combat Support

2014 - Derek Heyes

All images are copyright and may not be downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, copied, altered or projected in any form, by use of computer, electronic or printed means, without written permission from Derek Heyes. All rights reserved.