Initial investigation completed into Snowbirds crash at Fort St. John

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Improperly assembled oil filter behind the hard landing of an aerobatic jet on August 2

The initial investigation into the August crash of a Canadian Snowbirds aircraft in Fort St. John has been completed.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Directorate of Flight Safety (DFS) confirmed that an “improperly assembled oil filter” was the cause of the engine failure that caused the hard landing. of a CT-114 Tutor shortly after the aircraft took off. North Peace Regional Airport on August 2.

“The investigation is currently analyzing human factors that may have contributed to the event,” a National Defense statement said.

Following the findings, an order grounding a remaining aircraft at Fort St. John and the rest of the fleet at Penticton, which was due to perform at an air show at the time, has now been lifted.

“The Operational Airworthiness Authority implemented the operational pause on August 8 after consultation with RCAF Directorate of Flight Safety (DFS) investigators and experts from the Department of National Defense,” the statement continued.

The news is a relief for the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, which oversees the Snowbirds program.

“Through our rigorous investigative processes, we were able to complete a comprehensive risk analysis that showed it is safe for the CT-114 Tutor fleet to resume flying,” said Maj. Gen. Iain. Huddleston.

A decision, however, has been made to cancel the rest of the schedule for the foreseeable future, even though the jets have been cleared to return to their home base in Moose Jaw.

The Snowbird aircraft still in Fort St. John will return to its home base in Moose Jaw next week.

“While we are all very happy that the team can resume flying, it was a difficult decision to cancel their remaining performances. Going forward, we will provide the Snowbirds with the support they need as they prepare. for their 2023 show season.”

The incident is still under investigation by the DFS.

The pilot emerged unscathed from the accident.

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