Snowbirds Pause After Takeoff Accident


The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds have canceled at least two shows after a takeoff mishap involving one of their CT-114 Tutor jets at an airport in northern British Columbia. The aircraft had a hard landing at Fort St. John Airport and was damaged. The pilot and lone person on board was not injured. Circumstances surrounding the incident have not been made public. An investigation has been launched and the team has canceled shows in Penticton, B.C., on Wednesday and Abbotsford, B.C., on the coming weekend until the aircraft have been cleared for flight.

The full team of show pilots and aircraft had already made the trip to Penticton when the incident occurred. It’s not clear why this aircraft was still in Fort St. John. The grounding is a normal result of a mishap like this as Air Force officials determine if the problem that caused it could occur to the other aircraft. The team was grounded for months two years ago after a fatal accident in Kamloops, B.C. Capt. Jen Casey, a public affairs officer for the team, died when her parachute failed to fully deploy after she and a pilot ejected following a bird strike in May of 2020.

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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  1. FROM: “The pilot and lone person on board was not injured.”
    TO: “The pilot and lone person on board were not injured.”

  2. Probably the end of this season, perhaps of the use of that airplane design which has had several incidents/accidents in recent years.

    Abbotsford event would be the big airshow which is back, USAF Thunderbirds also scheduled.

    USN Blue Angels at Seattle ‘Seafair’ hydroplane races this weekend. Plus RCN and USN ships and aircraft.

    Fort St. John BC is a a substantial airport in NE B.C., jet airliner service, would have been busy when oil patch was booming. (Much NG, liquids such as used to dilute heavy oil, and crude oil in the region.) Dawson Creek airport to the south is smaller, did have jet service by Pacific Western into 5000 feet of pavement at about 2200 feet ASL.

    OTOH if Editor wants history in NE BC, there probably still is 5200. feet of pavement to the west at Hudson’s Hope. CYNH, I’ve been on it, evaluating for a 737 charter of people touring the big power dam.