Snowbird pilot encourages students to live their dreams 0
Every day people take risks. When we travel in a motor vehicle, we're taking a risk, but we use seat belts, airbags, and other devices to help minimize those risks.
Captain Dan Rossi, an advanced safety pilot who flies with the Canadian Forces' Snowbirds, was on hand on Thursday, Jan. 5 to demonstrate the principles of SmartRisk to the students of Isabelle Sellon School.
Though Rossi - born and raised in the Crowsnest Pass - performs aerial maneuvers with the Snowbirds, he still has the same fascination with the sheer power of machines he held as a youth.
Students were presented film clips taken from a plane that showed some of the maneuvers and the formations of the Snowbirds.
Rossi told the students that the Snowbirds fly in formation to demonstrate their skill and teamwork to the Canadian public. He said they are proud of their work and strive to demonstrate their professionalism.
"We act as ambassadors for our country," said Rossi.
Flying with the Snowbirds also demonstrates courage and Rossi encouraged the students to start thinking about what kind of career they want to pursue.
"You need to start thinking about what you're going to do," he said. "Do something you love, otherwise it's work. You need courage to be what you want."
Rossi said when he was young growing up in the Crowsnest Pass people said he'd never be a pilot or get into the military. He'd always had a love of flying and wanted to be a pilot from an early age, he said, but his grades were not that great and he was overweight.
He told the students how he bicycled from Hillcrest to west Coleman everyday to lose weight and gain strength and concentrated hard on his studies.
"You've got to really work for your goals," said Rossi. "If you never try, you can never succeed. Anything that's worth anything to you, takes work."
In addition, Rossi also talked about the dangers inherent in flying and some of the close calls he had as a pilot.
"What we do is dangerous, but if a machine is made by man, it could crash," he said. "We want to be as safe as we can."
Rossi was brought to the school by RCMP Const. Charlotte Rockwell as part of the SmartRisk program, a national charity dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. The program's main focus is youth as they are the age group at peak risk for injury.