Engine Issue Led To Snowbird Ejection


An unresponsive engine led to the ejection of a Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds pilot just before the team’s scheduled performance at the Atlanta Air Show in October according to an RCAF report. The brief preliminary report said Snowbird 5 pilot Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier had just performed a routine pre-show check with the aircraft inverted and behind the main formation. After rolling level, he selected full power and the engine did not respond normally. The aircraft was at low altitude and there were no nearby airports so he ejected over an uninhabited area and suffered only minor injuries in the ejection. The aircraft, a CT-114 Tutor, was destroyed.

Domon-Grenier was taken to a hospital as a precaution but released that evening. He reported “anomalies” with the ejection but the RCAF did not elaborate on what went wrong. The Tutor fleet was grounded for six weeks while the investigation was carried out and the planes have since been cleared for a ferry flight from Atlanta back to their home base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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    • Personally, no, I wouldn’t think that. Google tells me that stall speed for the Tutor is 71 knots. Keeping in mind that you’ll approach at a higher speed than that, it’s a ton of speed to deal with in trying to find a suitable field. It’s also a ton of energy (remember, energy rises with the square of speed) to be carrying into an off-airport landing where you could easily hit an unseen obstacle, ditch, etc.

  1. What an ignorant comment. Preservation of life before aircraft. Intentionally trying to land a jet off airport instead of ejecting is where the intelligent pilots are separated from the arrogant ones.

  2. Had to chuckle at the “ignorant comment” from above.
    Of course I was not in that plane when it flamed out, so I may have ejected also, but I was sayin that belly landing in a suitable field may have been an option.
    Now, having made numerous practice dead stick legs in jets to touchdown
    allowed me to developed good judgement & competence to feel comfortable doing so.
    Of course folks out there not having that experience & flying skills may have a different take. (like above)