Canadian Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor Jet Crashes in British Columbia; Pilot Ejects, Status Unknown

A Canadian Forces Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor jet aircraft has crashed in Kamloops, British Columbia, at about 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

A twitter post from the Kamloops Airport said that emergency crews including the airport’s aircraft rescue fleet are responding to the crash near the airport. Kamloops Airport, also known as Fulton Field or John “Moose” Fulton airfield, is a regional airport located 5 nautical miles west-northwest of Kamloops, a city in British Columbia’s Thompson region.

According to local reports, the pilot was able to eject from the aircraft. The aircraft crashed onto a house on a street near Glenview Avenue and a pilot landed on the roof of a house on nearby Schreiner Street.

The CT-114 Tutor is a two-seater aircraft and it is not known whether both the seats were occupied. The status of the pilot(s) is not currently known.

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Snowbirds have confirmed the crash.

“The #RCAF has been made aware that a Canadian Forces Snowbirds aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Kamloops, BC. Our priority at this time is determining the status of our personnel and supporting emergency personnel. When appropriate, more information will be made available”, said the RAF statement.

A video of the crash showed two jets taking off from Kamloops Airport when one of them rose, then circled and plummeted to the ground. Just before the crash, the two seats of the aircraft were ejected.

The Snowbirds flight demonstration team was scheduled to do a flyover of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island on Sunday. The jets had arrived at Kamloops airport on Saturday after flyovers in Alberta. The flyovers are being performed “to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.”

This is the second crash of a Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor jet in the past eight months.

On October 13, 2019, a Snowbirds Tutor aircraft crashed into a pasture near Brooks, Georgia in USA while participating in the Atlanta Air Show. The pilot, identified as Snowbird 5 Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier, ejected from the aircraft before the crash and was unharmed.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Snowbirds, officially known as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (French: 431e escadron de démonstration aérienne), are the military aerobatics or air show flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The Snowbirds are the first Canadian air demonstration team to be designated as a squadron. The team’s official mission is to “demonstrate the skill, professionalism, and teamwork of Canadian Forces personnel”.

The team is based at 15 Wing Moose Jaw near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The show team flies 11 Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet trainer—nine for aerobatic performances, including two solo aircraft, and two as spares, flown by the team coordinators.

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