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International Council of Air Shows

Former RCAF Snowbirds Taking New Command

July 1st, 2020

ICAS is proud to report that former Snowbirds Lieutenant Colonel Lyle Holbrook and Lieutenant Colonel Eric Willrich were promoted to squadron commanding officers within the last month. 
From 2002 to 2004, then Captain Holbrook served as Snowbird 10. Since that time, he served with 400 Squadron in Barrie, Ontario, flying CH146 Griffon helicopters, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. After completing Canadian Forces Staff College, he returned to 400 Squadron as Operations Officer. Holbrook continued his love of air shows, acting as air boss for many shows in Canada and the U.S., and was one of the founding members of the ICAS Canadian Air Boss Committee where he continues to contribute with improvements to safety for our industry. Command of 400 Squadron was passed to Holbrook during a ceremony at CFB Borden on June 24th.  
In 2009 and 2010, then Captain Willrich worked as Snowbird 11. Willrich went on to fly the CC-177 Globemaster and the CC-150 Polaris for the Royal Canadian Air Force on multiple missions to combat areas in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, and humanitarian relief flights into the Philippines, Nepal, Latin America, and Haiti. He continued to regularly travel with senior Canadian military officials to South America in the role of interpreter. Eric returned to Canada in 2020 to begin his transition to Lieutenant Colonel and squadron commanding officer at 437 Squadron. In a ceremony at CFB Trenton on June 9th, command of 437 Squadron “Huskies” was passed to Willrich.