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Old 05-17-2020, 09:22 PM
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Snowbird down.


One of the Snowbirds died today in a crash in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The Snowbirds are the RCAF’s acrobatic team. They’ve been flying across Canada on a morale boosting effort, starting with flights in Nova Scotia after the killing spree there last month.

The jet was the second to take off, and seemed to develop trouble very quickly, with black smoke coming out of it.

One of the officers ejected, but at very low altitude. Sounds like that officer landed hard on the roof of a house and is in serious condition.

Another officer went down with the plane. She died in a firey crash on the front lawn of house in a residential area.

Sources don’t say which was piloting it, but the dead officer was apparently Capt. Jenn Casey. She’d been with the RCAF since 2014.

God rest her soul.

https://news.google.com/articles/CBM...A&ceid=CA%3Aen
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 05-17-2020 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:43 PM
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Well, that's a shame. IIRC, this is the second fatal accident involving the Snowbirds in less than a year, correct?
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:52 PM
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Not fatal, no. It was last fall at an air show in Georgia. The jet crashed but the pilot ejected safely.

Last fatalities (2) were in 2009, at a training exercise near Moose Jaw, Sask, where the Snowbirds are stationed.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/snowb...line-1.5573947
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:16 PM
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The Snowbirds flew over my town a few days ago and it was a pleasure to see them. I was saddened by this news. But I heard the injured person is expected to recover. I wonder what the cause was, since the training level is purported to be very high.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Not fatal, no. It was last fall at an air show in Georgia. The jet crashed but the pilot ejected safely.

Last fatalities (2) were in 2009, at a training exercise near Moose Jaw, Sask, where the Snowbirds are stationed.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/snowb...line-1.5573947
Right, thanks for the correction.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:06 PM
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Video evidence (obviously incomplete) is pointing toward an engine problem followed by a pullup, stall, one-turn spin and very low level ejections.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:41 AM
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What a great morale booster!
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:23 AM
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These planes are 55 years old. One former Snowbirds commander is reported as expressing his confidence in the safety of these planes, but there has previously been reports recommending their replacement.

Supposedly they are a good choice for the role, though they are a lot less cool than their CF-86 predecessors, or F-18s. The 500 million price tag for replacing them is no small factor I am sure.

By the flight behavior, I assume there was either damage to the controls or pilot injury caused by engine failure.

Terrible couple weeks for Canadian military aviation.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FluffyBob View Post
By the flight behavior, I assume there was either damage to the controls or pilot injury caused by engine failure.
It would be most unusual for an engine failure to cause either of those, and there appears to be nothing in the video to suggest this.

What does appear is consistent with the pilot reacting to the engine problem by pulling up (natural and normal) but then getting too slow, resulting in a stall and spin entry.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:58 AM
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There's video of the flight and accident. From it, it looks like Xema described it: an immediate climb by the a/c into what appeared to be an attempted hammerhead turn, followed by a wingtip stall, one roll, and ejection by both seats midway through a steepening descent. A quick version of the 'lost engine on takeoff, now turn back to the runway' maneuver that kills many GA pilots when it doesn't work. Understandable if the pilot is trying to avoid houses downrange of the runway.

Judging from other low altitude ejection videos, the airplane did not appear to be in such an attitude or with such a rate of descent that the ejections would be unsurvivable. Both seats ejected. It does not look like the PAO's seat initiated parachute deployment though, and I guess the pilot's parachute only partially deployed. AIUI, the seats are nearly as elderly as the a/c, and I wonder how an ACES II or Russian egress system would have performed under similar parameters.

Very brave of the pilot to try and guide the a/c away from residential areas. Otherwise, it would have been easy to eject at the top of the chandelle, and likely both occupants would be alive and unharmed.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 05-18-2020 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Sorry about misspelling your name, Xema
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:12 AM
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Understandable if the pilot is trying to avoid houses downrange of the runway.
Possible - but I'm skeptical there was anything like enough time to look at the ground and make decisions based on what was seen there.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:52 AM
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I had no idea a chandelle would be an intended procedure at such a low and slow flight condition.

I am no pilot and have only played flight sims, but that experience would lead me to expect the exact disastrous results observed for such a maneuver. I find it hard to believe the steep climb was intentional and so surmised there was either injury or control loss involved.

The seats are zero / zero supposedly but I assume horizontal or partially inverted ejection so low is very bad. I could not make out the ejection from the video I saw.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:16 AM
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Rest In Peace, Capt. Jenn Casey.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
One of the officers ejected, but at very low altitude. Sounds like that officer landed hard on the roof of a house and is in serious condition.

Another officer went down with the plane. She died in a firey crash on the front lawn of house in a residential area.
I saw video on the news earlier. It looked like there were two ejections.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:54 AM
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Had to seen that, thanks for the correction. The earliest report I saw just mentioned one ejection.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2020, 12:03 PM
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What a great morale booster!
I don't know why you thought posting something snarky and insensitive would be appropriate in a thread about one person dying and another being severely injured.

This is an official warning for being a jerk.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:57 PM
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Note that pool's comment was probably sarcasm, not snark. The point being that the announced purpose of the Snowbirds current tour is morale-boosting in the time of coronavirus.

This concept has been (understandably) criticized for various reasons, which will surely continue in the wake of this accident. I'll note that they need to fly to stay current, and the chance of an engine failure accident is much the same whether on tour or at their home base.

Last edited by Xema; 05-18-2020 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:37 PM
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The thing that struck me yesterday the most was that they were supposed to be flying over us here on Vancouver Island but, because of bad weather, it got postponed. So they wouldn't have even been in Kamloops. A very different day but for some clouds and rain. Who knows what would have happened. Would the plane have crashed? Killing people on the ground? Would the issue have been caught before hand? What a shame.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Sources don’t say which was piloting it, but the dead officer was apparently Capt. Jenn Casey.
Recent reports have clarified that Capt. Casey was a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds. I take this to imply she was not a Snowbirds pilot.

In any case, the pilot of this flight was Capt. Richard McDougal. He is reported to be hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries from landing on the roof of a house after what must have been a very low parachute deployment.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:25 PM
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These planes are 55 years old. One former Snowbirds commander is reported as expressing his confidence in the safety of these planes, but there has previously been reports recommending their replacement..

The design is 55 years old, but the individual A/C might be more of a newer vintage and its been noted that the Tutors have been upgraded over the years.

That being said, its about time we started to replace them with a newer design. Unless a compromise can be found that would allow for a zero zero ejection system to be installed, then it would be my choice to stand down the birds.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Moderator Warning



I don't know why you thought posting something snarky and insensitive would be appropriate in a thread about one person dying and another being severely injured.

This is an official warning for being a jerk.
Seriously dude?
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:30 AM
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Some additional points:

The correct spelling of the pilot's name is apparently MacDougall.

Some sites (e.g. NYT) have reported that this accident happened during an aerobatic demonstration, but that was not the case. The two planes were the coordinating team, which arrives first at any new site to set things up for the aerobatic team that arrives later. They were on their way from Kamloops to their next site (which I haven't yet been able to pinpoint).

Reviewing the video, it looks as if the pilot responded to the spin entry by lowering the nose and completing a roll to bring the plane upright - necessary for any good chance at a successful ejection.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:13 AM
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Seriously dude?
Moderating: I think I can speak for the dude and say he was being serious. Do not continue the discussion here. If you have a problem with moderation take it to ATMB.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:28 PM
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Thank you all. It sounds like the pilot did a lot of things right after an unexpected issue at low altitude. I regret the loss of Capt. Casey. A hard day indeed.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Declan View Post
The design is 55 years old, but the individual A/C might be more of a newer vintage and its been noted that the Tutors have been upgraded over the years.

That being said, its about time we started to replace them with a newer design. Unless a compromise can be found that would allow for a zero zero ejection system to be installed, then it would be my choice to stand down the birds.
Manufacture of the Tudors started in 1963 and ended in 1966. They have been updated over the years, but the basic airframe is over 50 years old. They were replaced as a training aircraft in 2000, and there are still a large number in storage for use by the Snowbirds and for some experimental flights.

There is ongoing discussion about replacement aircraft, but no action as yet, with planned avionics upgrades allowing the Tudors to fly for another decade. IMO the current CT-155 Hawk trainers would be perfect replacements, but the RCAF would probably need to double their existing fleet to support the Snowbirds in their current form.
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