Snowbirds pause flight after accident in British Columbia
Following the accident involving a CT-114 Tutor aircraft from 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (Snowbirds) on August 2 at Fort St. John, the Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division ordered a fleet operational pause Snowbirds.
As the operational airworthiness authority for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Major-General Iain Huddleston implemented the operational pause after consulting with leadership from flight safety investigators and authority experts Technical Airworthiness within the Department of National Defence. Deputy Minister (Material).
The ARC will perform a deliberate, detailed and comprehensive risk analysis, with the goal of enabling the safe resumption of CT-114 flight operations. This operational pause means that the fleet of aircraft will not fly until an operational airworthiness risk assessment has been completed.
The RCAF airworthiness system will assess whether the accident and its causes pose a risk to continued flight operations and, if so, what mitigation measures can be put in place to reduce those risks. The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Royal Canadian Air Force Flight Safety Branch.
In early August, a Snowbird experienced an emergency on takeoff. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was able to land the plane immediately, but the plane was damaged in the process. The pilot underwent a medical evaluation and was not injured.
The RCAF has an active fleet of 20 CT-114 Tutor aircraft, operated by 431 Squadron (AD) based at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.