KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – A military investigation has wrapped up into the deadly Snowbirds crash last year near Kamloops, which killed one person and injured another.
The investigation found that a small bird got caught in the engine shortly after takeoff, causing a compressor to stall and a loss of thrust.
It outlines that the pilot tried to climb and turn back toward the airport, but when it became apparent a return would not be possible, he and his passenger were ejected from the aircraft at low altitude.
Since they were too close to the ground, there wasn’t enough time for their parachutes to function properly.
"the pilot initiated a climb straight ahead and then a turn back towards the airport. During this manoeuver, the aircraft entered into an aerodynamic stall and the pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft."
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) March 29, 2021
The report makes several recommendations, including additional training for crew operating the CT-114 aircraft to better prepare them for low altitude engine failure, clarifying directives on ejection scenarios over populated areas, and more research on options to stabilize the ejection seat from any tendency to pitch, roll, or yaw.
— CityNews Vancouver (@CityNewsVAN) March 30, 2021
Capt. Jenn Casey, who joined the Snowbirds in 2018 and served as the squadron’s spokesperson, was killed in the crash.
Prior to her time with the Snowbirds, Casey was a reporter, anchor, and producer with our sister station NEWS 95.7 in Halifax.
Capt. Richard MacDougall sustained injuries in the crash.