Windsor Snowbird pilot honoured

Major Bassam Mnaymneh with the Canadian Snowbirds during a fuel stop in Windsor, September 19, 2019. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A local pilot who has spent the last three years as a member of Canada’s elite flight demonstration team was given a hero’s welcome in his hometown.

The Canadian Historical Aircraft Association and the City of Windsor took the opportunity Thursday to honour Major Bassam Mnaymneh as this will be the last year he flies with the Snowbirds. The city gave Mnaymneh a certificate to thank him for his service and the association made the pilot an honourary member.

Major Mnaymneh said flying with the Snowbirds for the past three years has been a dream come true.

“I’d see them flying in airshows when I was a kid and you get that feeling of, that’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, and ever since then it’s always been a childhood dream,” he said.

Mnaymneh said he first started flying in 2001. He said it takes a lot of training and flying hours to get the chance to try out for the team and then another six months of training once selected to be a part of the team.

The Snowbirds stopped for fuel in Windsor on their way to an airshow in Peterborough this weekend.