Bird strike likely caused Snowbird jet crash in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bird strike likely caused Snowbird jet crash in Kamloops

This image, released by the Royal Canadian Air Force investigation, shows a bird in close proximity to the aircraft shortly before it crashed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Royal Canadian Air Force
June 01, 2020 - 9:38 AM

The investigation into the fatal crash of a Snowbirds Tutor jet last month in Kamloops shows the accident was likely caused by a bird strike.

Snowbirds aerobatic team public affairs officer Capt. Jenn Casey was killed, and pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall was injured in the crash shortly after takeoff from the Kamloops airport, May 17.

A bird can be seen in video of the crash "in very close proximity to the aircraft's right engine intake during the critical phase of take-off," according to a Royal Canadian Air Force investigation report.

Investigators say in the video, the plane is seen taking off, veering left, doing a steep nosedive and then both occupants were ejected from the aircraft. The plane was destroyed on impact.

Though the plane crashed in a populated area, nobody on the ground was badly injured.

The Snowbirds were on a cross-country tour at the time of the crash, performing over cities and towns to try to raise morale a little amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ongoing investigation continues to look into environmental factors, such as the bird strike, and is also focussing on the performance of the aircraft’s escape system.

Find past stories on the Snowbirds crash here.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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