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Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

A bird may be what brought down the plane in Kamloops last month, in a crash that took the life of Capt. Jenn Casey
A red circle shows what is believed to be a bird. Photo: RCAF

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force says it's focusing on a bird strike as the reason a Snowbird plane crashed in British Columbia last month.

A preliminary investigation report posted today says a close look at video footage of the plane just before the crash showed a bird very close to the plane's right engine intake "during the critical phase of take-off."

The crash near Kamloops killed air force Capt. Jenn Casey, a public-affairs officer riding as a passenger, and seriously injured the pilot.

Though the plane crashed in a populated area, nobody on the ground was badly injured.

The Snowbirds were on a cross-country tour at the time of the crash, performing over cities and towns to try to raise morale a little amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The air force's report says the investigation will continue to probe the possibility of a bird strike and whether the Tutor jet's escape devices worked properly.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.



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