Revised  for The Aviation Magazine
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2012 Air Shows
Canadian International Air Show at the CNE, Sept 1-3, 2012
Location: South of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds on the waterfront west of Ontario Place.
Admission: Included with the CNE admission. The air show can be viewed for FREE from the lake front parks. VIP tickets available on line in advance, in a reserved section where performing pilots can be met.
Parking: At the CNE or directly at the lakeshore parks $25.00. While public transport (TTC) is available to the CNE, none exists to the free air show viewing areas. 1/2 to 1 mile walk from and to public transit each way.
Value: Average to good depending on weather
 
My report is based upon watching the air show on Saturday onboard the Royal Canadian Navy Frigate the Ville de Quebec. For which I wish to thank Lt. (Navy) Joseph Frey, Public Affairs Officer DND, Toronto and Capt. Josee Bilodeau, Public Affairs DND, Montreal for making the arrangements. Thank you so much for your hospitality!
This year’s Toronto International Air Show despite the excellent weather was very disappointing. As the Royal Canadian Navy’s officer with whom I was talking about the air show onboard the frigate Ville de Quebec as we moored, said it very diplomatically “rather weak”! I’ve also heard a bit stronger opinions that began with “c” and rhymes with “rap”, from many aboard the frigate. And, no wonder the actual flying program was stretched out with huge, as much as 30 minute, gaps and let’s just say the schedule was not according to what was listed, but at least that had the disclaimer “Schedule Subject to Change without Notice!” When finally an aircraft did appear, several of them just did one fly past by the showline then disappeared!! WOW!! Awesome!!!
The much hyped, never seen before at the CIAS, CC-130 Refuel Demo with CF-18s turned out to be one pass from the east to west with one CF-18! Gee, if you blinked you missed it! What was interesting that the CC-130 Hercules did circle in the air over the east end of Toronto, miles away from the air show, for over 30 minutes prior to this one flyby. This was clearly seen from the frigate, the same goes for the CP-140 Aurora perhaps circling above the frigate would have been more memorable for all on the ship and from the shore too! Just like it was done two years ago!
The CT-33 over the show was playing catch me if you can! It flew from the west to east for one pass then it disappeared for 20+ minutes. Eventually it flew one more pass from the east to west. Later it made one pass with the one of the Harvard’s with Royal Canadian Navy Markings, as a “Naval Heritage Flight”. The (2) F-16 from the USAF, failed to show up, due to technical difficulties. The CF-18 Demo was good, but Paco could have made a few turns toward the ship, to give the Royal Canadian Navy and all onboard a better look! The ship was not exactly near the flightline and one required the Hubble telescope for any decent images from the frigate. Let’s just put it this way; a 600mm lens was not enough!
The performances by Mellisa Pemberton in her Edge 540, as well as Mike Wiskus’ S-1-11b SS were too far from the frigate to see them properly, and we were almost moored by the time the Harvard Heritage with the original T6 and the T-6C, and most of the Harvard Team performed, around 1545. By the time the Snowbirds flew to close the air show, as they always do, we all departed from the frigate.
In conclusion, from aboard the frigate the show was rather weak indeed! Maybe for the specators on the shore it was a bit better, if they waited to see the Snowbirds. It seems that the CIAS cycles the quality: one good year followed by a very poor one. If Cleveland can host a great air shows every year why can't the CIAS, in Toronto? The CIAS can and should do better than this. Perhaps for the few privileged reporters from the local TV stations and tabloid paper who were given special media rides with the Snowbirds, the T-6C, and the Harvards during media days; the CIAS aka CNE Air Show was a memorable one, but for the average spectator far from it. As air shows go, this year’s was about 4.5 out 10 and that is being very generous. Sorry, if that ruffles a few feathers but that is the truth!
 
Participants were:
  • Snowbirds
  • CF-18 Demo Team
  • CC-130 Hercules Refuel Demo
  • CP-140 Aurora
  • Canadian Harvard Association Formation Team
  • CT-33 "Mako Shark"
  • Mike Wiskus - Lucas Oil
  • Pemberton Aerosport
  • T-6C
  • Air Cadets
  • Heritage Flight T-6 and CT-33
  • Historical Flight T6 and T-6C
  • Ville de Quebec Royal Canadian Navy Frigate
Rating: 4.5 out 10
 
Photography and report by AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
 
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