Snowbirds return to full flight schedule

snowbirds
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have returned to full operations at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask. Photo: MSgt. Becky Vanshur, U.S. National Guard

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds returned to full operations at their home base at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask., on December 5, 2019.

The CT-114 Tutor fleet had been on an operational pause since Snowbird 5 was forced to eject prior to an air show at the Atlanta Speedway on October 13, 2019.

While the Royal Canadian Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety is continuing its investigation, the return to operations follows a thorough risk assessment process.

“I have complete confidence in the Tutor aircraft,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, Acting Commanding Officer and former team lead of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

“Our maintainers are world-class and take meticulous care of our fleet and the Royal Canadian Air Force has a robust risk assessment process to ensure we conduct operations in as safe a manner as possible.”

The aircraft returned to 15 Wing Moose Jaw on Nov. 29, during which no engine problems occurred.

The 2020 schedule for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds 50th season will be released on December 10. The season is slated to begin on June 6, 2020.

The 2020 schedule will include approximately 30 locations across North America.

Flight Safety investigations are a rigorous process and achieving an effective, accurate, professional investigation required time and effort. The timeline for the release of an investigation report varies with the complexity of the accident.