CAF Story | From a Cessna 172 with Dad to a Snowbird CT-114 Tutor


Video / May 4, 2018

The first plane I flew was a Cessna 172 and I was so short that I was sitting on my dad’s lap, and basically I was just going up and down. That’s all I did. Both my parents were pilots, just as a hobby. It was a very passion that they had and they totally transmitted that to me from an early age.

So, I’m Captain Sarah Dallaire, Snowbird 2 with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. I’m in the inner right wing position, and I’m from Lévis, Quebec. I think what happened with me when I was younger, I was so wanting to do everything. So I was in figure skating five times a week, I was in Air Cadets, we had that on Wednesday and on the weekends, and plus going to school. And just, you know, dirt biking at 14 years old that I started doing every day. It just got so busy that I think my interests were everywhere and I was trying to get all the skills that I could get.

Well, I love everything that requires mental preparation and visualization, I totally love. That’s what I get hooked on. In the Air Force we call it ‘chair flying’. Before, in the dirt bike, I didn’t call it anything, but I just was doing it and my dad was really good at kind of teaching me to close my eyes, visualize all the jumps, all the turns. And I think it’s exactly the same in an airplane. The more you can rehearse on the ground, the more you can fly, obviously, you get kind of ahead of the plane.

I’m actually thrilled to go meet the public because what I haven’t told you yet is, when I was twelve I saw Maryse Carmichael, the first female Snowbird pilot and she literally put a little flame into my heart that I hold onto it, I held onto it all my life. So when I was selected to be a Snowbird pilot she was there with me and it was the greatest, one of my greatest moments for sure as a pilot. And so now to get the chance to go meet other young women, or even you know anybody that wants to follow their dream, I think one can make a difference for sure.

You know when you say you want to be a pilot and somebody says no, that could have ended there. For me to see Maryse Carmichael that year was very special, in that she’s a woman, and wow, she can do it so I want to do it. You know it just made more, an even more concrete goal for me. If I would have looked back 10 years or 15 years saying I was going to be a Snowbird pilot, it’s way too big of a goal. You need to break it down and it just will happen if you keep it in mind.

That was quite loud eh?
Off camera: Yes, sorry. Kind of creeped in there.
There you go.

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