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Photo allegedly shows the bird strike that may have caused last May fatal crash of Snowbirds’ CT-114 Tutor

In a preliminary report issued on Jun. 1, investigators say video footage from the crash showed a bird was in very close proximity to the right engine intake during take-off.

A bird strike may have caused the crash of a Snowbirds’ CT-114 Tutor jet last May, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) investigators say.

The May 17, 2020 accident killed the team Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Capt. Jennifer Casey. Pilot Captain Richard MacDougall was injured.

In a preliminary report issued on Jun. 1, investigators say video footage from the crash showed a bird was in very close proximity to the right engine intake during take-off.

As shown by the image in this post (which is a screenshot taken from the aforementioned clip and that was made available by RCAF), it’s possible that the bird (circled in red) struck the engine’s intake.

As reported, the CT-114 Tutor aircraft belonging to the Snowbirds demonstration team crashed in Kamloops, BC. After the takeoff, the aircraft climbed into the sky before rolling over and plunging to the ground.

The crash occurred the same day the Snowbirds were scheduled to make a trip from Kamloops to Kelowna as part of Operation Inspiration, a cross-country tour aimed at boosting the morale of Canadians struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This crash was the second involving one of the aircraft of the aerobatic team in less than a year (the May 17 crash in fact follows the downing of another team’s CT-114 in the US state of Georgia last October, where the team was scheduled to perform in an air show. Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier sustained minor injuries when he ejected from the Tutor).

Photo credit: Royal Canadian Air Force

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