Canadian Forces Snowbirds Return to Operations Following Atlanta Air Show Crash

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds has returned to full operations at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, on Dec. 5.

The CT-114 Tutor fleet has been on an operational pause since Snowbird 5 was forced to eject prior to an air show at the Atlanta Speedway on October 13, 2019.

While the Royal Canadian Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety is continuing its investigation, the return to operations follows a thorough risk assessment process.

The 2020 schedule for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds’ 50th season was released on December 10, 2019. The season is slated to begin on June 6, 2020.

The Snowbirds, officially known as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (French: 431e escadron de démonstration aérienne), is the flight demonstration team of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)/Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The Snowbirds are the first Canadian air demonstration team to be designated as a squadron an is based at 15 Wing Moose Jaw near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan..

The show team flies 11 CT-114 Tutors—nine for aerobatic performances, including two solo aircraft, and two as spares, flown by the team coordinators. Approximately 80 Canadian Forces personnel work with the squadron full-time; 24 personnel are in the show team that travels during the show season. The Snowbirds are the only major military aerobatics team that operates without a support aircraft.

The Snowbirds continue the flying demonstration tradition of previous Canadian air force aerobatic teams, which include the Siskins, the Blue Devils, the Golden Hawks, and the Golden Centennaires.

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