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RCAF Snowbird crash in residential area in BC

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The snowbirds were on a Trans-Canada COVID-19 cheerup tour: 

 

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Oh man, that’s horrible news.

Heres’s a video of the actual take off and crash. Looks like both the pilot and backseater ejected. I wonder if their peel off to the left and subsequent climb was planned? Thankful that there weren’t more fatalities in this one.

 

On a side note, some dude flying a drone came very close to having take out a Blue Angels plane the other day during one of their fly overs here in the US.


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So, so sad reading and watching this. And only a few weeks ago, my sister in Vegas sent me a clip of  the morale-boosting Thunderbirds from Nellis AFB displaying over Vegas.

May all concerned R.I.P.

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Rick Almeida

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Man just devastating, I’m hoping for the best for all involved.  

I saw them when they flew over my neighbourhood early in their tour...so sad to think they were trying to cheer up a whole country (and succeeding!) and then this.

 

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Dave

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, cmpbellsjc said:

I wonder if their peel off to the left and subsequent climb was planned?

Maybe they were losing thrust and pitched it up to gain what height they could with the speed they had before trying to turn back for the field, which can work , but is usually not a good idea if you cannot then get the nose down to maintain speed, as evidenced by it appearing to be going into a spin, or possibly thinking that turning back might mean they'd not hit a residential area if they banged out. I guess we might find out when a crew member can elaborate on what happened, assuming they can recall it, which isn't always the case with traumatic events.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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Perhaps the peel off and climb was to gain separation from the other Tutor? Layman speculation, there seemed to be two more or less identical puffs of smoke at the time of the ejection, however, one object didn't slow down like the other one did. Drogue chute fail? Ejection too low for proper chute operation? As I say, layman speculation.

The Tutor jets have had their seats looked at before..

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/ejection-system-to-be-overhauled-in-snowbirds-aircraft-1.783010

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Mark Robinson

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Posted (edited)

What I do know about situations like this, is that you have to make a decision quickly. Sometimes the decision you make might unfortunately not be the best one you could make, but even so, with literally seconds in which to make that choice, making a decision quickly, and then sticking with it, is always the correct thing to do.

Without being in that situation yourself and having to pick a course of action quickly, it's difficult to be critical of the choice which was made. Every pilot knows you brief for the take off and what you'll do if things go awry, but sometimes things go pear shaped at the most awkward moment they can, and then you're sometimes faced with a situation where you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I have actually got away with turning back for the field once many years ago, losing power just as I climbed out and was passing about 350 feet with the aeroplane going at around 70 knots, which was very nearly twice its level stall speed. My split second decision was to use the speed I had to get another 100 feet or so, giving me maybe 450 feet AGL, then stick the thing in a fairly steep dive to as low as I dared, get some extra airspeed on, then rack it around over the trees on the perimeter, feeling for the tail buffet which would indicate a potential stall, at which point I would roll level and take whatever choice I had to land ahead, which hopefully would be with the field in front of me. On that occasion, this turned out to be the case and I got it down in one piece back on the airfield.

Watching that video, and assuming they were not dealing with a control issue (which may well be the case) I suspect they might have had the same idea as what I did all those years back, but unfortunately they didn't stick the nose down for the turn (which I concede may not have been possible), so when it started to stall and spin, they had to pull the loud handles. Terrain-wise, I think they had the right idea to try it, since choices look very limited, but sadly it just didn't come off. It's hard to criticise them without being in that seat for yourself, although I'm sure many people who have never been faced with that kind of choice will critique them from the comfort of an armchair.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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RCAF just announced one crew member has died and the other was seriously injured.  Just awful news.


Dave

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1 hour ago, Chock said:

Maybe they were losing thrust and pitched it up to gain what height they could with the speed they had before trying to turn back for the field, which can work 

Yeah I suppose that could be possible, maybe a bird strike, mechanical issue or flameout and we’re trying to get back. The peel off looked to me like it was part of the demo, but who knows. It will be interesting to see what the report says when it’s released.


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They’re now reporting that Capt. Jennifer Casey the Public Affairs Officer is the one who hadn’t survived and that the pilot was injured but not life threatening injuries.


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Just saw that, and apparently she was a Nova Scotia native.  Our poor little province has had way too much death and sadness in the past month.  RIP.

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Dave

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Very sad to see.

Also note that I don't believe the Tutors have zero-zero ejection sets (these are old jets). They might have been trying to gain altitude in case they had to eject too.

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10 minutes ago, goates said:

Very sad to see.

Also note that I don't believe the Tutors have zero-zero ejection sets (these are old jets). They might have been trying to gain altitude in case they had to eject too.

Yup, definitely a possibility.


Alan Bradbury

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5 hours ago, HighBypass said:

Perhaps the peel off and climb was to gain separation from the other Tutor? Layman speculation, there seemed to be two more or less identical puffs of smoke at the time of the ejection, however, one object didn't slow down like the other one did. Drogue chute fail? Ejection too low for proper chute operation? As I say, layman speculation.

The Tutor jets have had their seats looked at before..

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/ejection-system-to-be-overhauled-in-snowbirds-aircraft-1.783010

 

I agree Mark, it certainly looks like the ejection seat malfunctioned.  Looked like he was still within ejection limits.

As far as the aircraft pitching up and out, difficult to say without being very familiar with the aircraft, but I'd bet his main priority was to separate from the other aircraft if there was a degraded ability to control the aircraft.  It looked like he was still within ejection parameters when whatever problem happened, well before the pitch and what must have been a departure.

 

 


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