A bird is circled in red in this Canadian Armed Forces photo of the Snowbirds jet that crashed, killing one, in Kamloops on Sunday, May 17, 2020. (Canadian Armed Forces)

Bird strike highlighted as potential cause of fatal Snowbirds crash in B.C.: report

Crash killed one service member and injured the pilot

A preliminary report into a Canadian Forces Snowbirds crash that killed one person when the jet crashed into a Kamloops, B.C., neighbourhood in May has revealed that a bird was seen next to the engine intake.

According to preliminary details from a Canadian Air Force investigation released Monday (June 1), the bird was “in very close proximity to the aircraft right engine intake during the critical phase of take-off.”

The crash killed Capt. Jenn Casey and left the pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, with serious injuries shortly after the plane took off from the Kamloops airport on May 17. The Snowbirds had been flying across Canada as part of Operation Inspiration, meant to raise the morale of Canadians struggling amid the pandemic.

“The investigation is focusing on environmental factors (birdstrike) as well as the performance of the escape system,” the report stated.

The report further said that both occupants ejected from the jet after it took a left turn and then dropped nose-first. The plane was destroyed on impact.

READ MORE: One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crash in Kamloops

PHOTOS: Snowbirds pause flights as military, public mourn service member killed in crash

The Snowbird returned to their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask., last week, one day after Casey was flown home to Halifax.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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