Snowbirds bring jets back to Canada after U.S. crash

Royal Canadian Air Force

Ten CT-114 Tutor jets flown by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds returned home to Canada from Georgia last week.

The Snowbirds have been on an operational pause since Snowbird 5 was forced to eject before a show at the Atlanta Speedway on October 13, 2019.

The investigation has advanced enough that the Royal Canadian Air Force was confident the CT-114 Tutors parked at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, could be safely flown home to 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask.. Another operational risk assessment will be conducted prior to resuming regular aerobatic training flights.

“When flying air demonstrations, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds
operate in tight formation, conducting loops and rolls in our signature formation. At this point we have received enough information from investigators to resume wings-level flight in order to return our jets to our home base. However we need to let the investigators continue to work before we resume full operations,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, the Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds’ Commanding Officer.

Once the fleet returns to full flying operations, there will be a better assessment of the impact on the CF Snowbirds’ schedule. At this point annual spring training in Comox, B.C., will be delayed at least a month. The full effect on the Snowbirds’ 2020 schedule is not clear at this time and the schedule has not yet been released. The CF Snowbirds spend the winter months training for the upcoming season. Approximately 80 training missions occur before spring training in Comox to prepare for the upcoming season.

Capt Kevin Domon-Grenier sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution following the ejection. The jet crashed into a farmer’s field and there were no injuries on the ground.

The Snowbirds cancelled their final show of the season, which had been scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, the weekend following the accident.