UPDATE: Two Snowbirds grounded after fatal crash leave Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Two Snowbirds grounded after fatal crash leave Kamloops

Two CT-114 Snowbirds jets took off from Kamloops today, Sept. 1, 2020 to return to 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Canadian Forces Snowbirds
September 01, 2020 - 8:39 AM

After being grounded at the Kamloops Airport for several months, two Canadian Forces Snowbirds have returned to CFB Moose Jaw today. 

Two CT-114 Snowbirds jets took off from Kamloops today, Sept. 1, to return to 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, according to a Department of National Defence media release. The Canadian Forces asked the public to refrain from coming to the airport to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Capt. Jennifer Casey, the team's public affairs officer, was killed, while pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall was seriously hurt. The plane went down shortly after hitting a bird while taking off from the airport, May 17, crashing in a Kamloops neighbourhood.

MacDougall is recovering from his injuries at 15 Wing in Moose Jaw.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds jets are seen at the Kamloops airport, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 in this photo from Facebook.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds jets are seen at the Kamloops airport, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 in this photo from Facebook.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Lt.-Col. Denis Bandet, the Snowbirds' commanding officer, says the team intends to return to Kamloops next week to get the rest of the planes.

Bandet says the Snowbirds will be forever grateful to the residents of Kamloops for their support during a difficult time.

When the Royal Canadian Air Force announced the Tutor jets were allowed back into the air on Aug. 24, it also said there would be new restrictions for the aerobatics team.

The crash in May was the second in less than eight months and came after another jet went down in Georgia last October. A report released in June said a parachute became tangled in the ejection seat, leaving the pilot with minor injuries. Similar concerns were raised by investigators in the May crash, which remains under investigation.

Col. Ron Walker, commander of 15 Wing Moose Jaw, said last week that next season will look different for spectators, with new restrictions on the jets' minimum flying height and speed.

— With files from The Canadian Press

— This story was updated at 3:03 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2020 with new information, and at 4:23 p.m. with new photos.


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