Pilot unharmed, jet damaged in Snowbirds ‘incident’ during takeoff in British Columbia

A Snowbirds pilot escaped injury today after landing his jet after a takeoff accident in northern British Columbia.

The Royal Canadian Air Force said Tuesday night it would investigate what happened at Fort St. John Airport in British Columbia, but gave few details.

The plane was damaged, and it’s not clear how it will affect the Snowbirds’ performance schedule, but the team’s set show scheduled for Wednesday night in Penticton, British Columbia, has not been cancelled. .

The squadron flies a CT-114 Tutor aircraft, which was temporarily grounded in late June. This is because the Air Force has addressed a technical issue with the device that sets the timing for deploying the parachute during ejection.

In May 2020, a jet collided with a bird shortly after takeoff, stalling its engine and crashing, killing public affairs officer Capt. Jennifer Casey.

The team suspended operations for the rest of the summer after another Snowbirds jet crashed in rural Georgia less than a year ago due to a faulty fuel delivery system.

A May 2020 crash in Kamloops, British Columbia reported that the pilot and passenger ejection sequence was “outside the ejection envelope,” with the plane at a very low altitude and the parachute functioning properly. I didn’t have time. The pilot, Captain Richard McDougall, was seriously injured and Casey died at the scene.

The pilot in the Georgia crash reported an “abnormality” in the ejection sequence and parachute opening, but was able to eject and suffered only minor injuries, according to the Flight Safety Investigation. it was done.

As a result, all life support systems were inspected, and a fleet-wide engine inspection was recommended, the investigative report said.

The Tutor Jet has been in service for nearly 60 years and will be in use by Snowbirds until 2030, but there have been calls for a replacement in recent years.

canadian press