Today (May 17th), a pair of CT-114 Tutors belonging to the Canadian Forces demonstration team, The Snowbirds, was involved in a crash shortly after take off from Kamloops Airport in British Columbia, Canada.
Shortly after a pair of Snowbirds takeoff, one of the jets can be seen, on video, pulling up and banking left in an attempt to reverse paths back to the airport. As a few local spectators watched, the jet can then be seen yawing left into the bank and pointing towards the ground. Thus, the tail was pulled out and the aircraft plummeted to the ground in what looked similar to an accelerated stall or cross-control stall.
In a video taken by local onlookers witnessing the incident, both seats of the aircraft successfully ejected. However, due to the low altitude of the ejection and relatively high treeline, the captured footage does not confirm if either of the seats successfully deployed their parachutes in order to slow the impact.
The #RCAF has been made aware that a Canadian Forces Snowbirds aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Kamloops, BC. Our priority at this time is determining the status of our personnel and supporting emergency personnel. When appropriate, more information will be made available.
— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) May 17, 2020
“I heard these two huge bangs and all of a sudden up in the sky there was a dark black circle of smoke,” said Kerri Turatus, a resident of the area stated in an interview.
It is unclear who the pilot was, or if a passenger was also onboard. As is custom with the Snowbirds, the jet’s crew chief / technician flies onboard during transit flights. Although it is currently unknown where these jets were headed, they were scheduled to depart Kamloops for Comox to continue their Operation Inspiration tour in support of COVID-19 frontline fighters.
It is currently unknown the status of those involved in the incident or the situation or the state of the crash site. Residents captured photos of at least two people being loaded onto stretchers.
This incident comes after a Snowbirds pilot crashed last October. The team has since been grounded while the RCAF inspects the old CT-144 aircraft until their recent announcement of returning to the skies in support of COVID fighters.
Talking Aero has decided not to include photos or videos of the incident out of respect as injuries and casualties are currently not known.