Snowbirds Grounded After Midair Kills Pilot
The Canadian Armed Forces has temporarily grounded the Snowbirds air demonstration team after a midair collision killed a pilot and slightly injured another. Capt. Miles Selby died when his CT-114 Tutor jet crashed in a field near Mossbank, Saskatchewan. The other pilot, Capt. Chuck Mallet, was able to eject and is being treated for minor injuries. The two were on a routine training mission. They were the solo pilots and may have been practicing opposing maneuvers when the accident occurred. Mossbank is about 40 miles from the Snowbirds' home base and winter-training headquarters at Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw. Selby, 31, of Tsawassen, B.C. (a suburb of Vancouver), was an F-18 pilot before joining the Snowbirds in 2003. Mallett, 35, of Edmonton, was in his third year with the team. Witness Jackie Geis said she heard a loud "boom" while feeding cattle on her Mossbank ranch. "I looked up and there were two big puffs of smoke ... and I watched the stuff fall to the ground," she told CTV News. In 35 years and 1,800 shows, the team has had about 20 accidents, five of them fatal. The last fatality was exactly six years before Friday's crash, when Capt. Michael VandenBos was killed.