CF Snowbirds Aircraft Occurrence Summary which provides an initial analysis of the Fort St. John incident on August 2nd.

21 September 2022

Flight Safety update: The Directorate of Flight Safety has issued a preliminary “From the Investigator” report in relation to the Snowbirds accident on August 2, 2022 in Fort St. John, B.C. where a CT-114 Tutor aircraft of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron experienced an emergency during takeoff.

This preliminary report provides a summary of the initial factual information pertinent to the occurrence. The investigation is ongoing and the Flight Safety Investigation Report will be produced after its conclusion.

Read the report:

CT114051 – From the Investigator

Type:CT-114 Tutor (CT114051)
Location:Fort St. John, BC (CYXJ)
Date:02 August 2022

The accident aircraft was initially one of the nine Snowbirds stationed in Fort St. John airport in support of the Fort St. John International Air Show, on July 30-31 2022. Two days after the airshow, the aircraft was to be ferried from Fort St. John back to Moose Jaw, SK, on a standard IFR transit flight. There was a single occupant onboard and the aircraft was not in formation.

On the morning of the accident, the pilot conducted a routine series of pre-flight checks before proceeding to the active runway for a standard departure. Shortly after liftoff, the pilot confirmed a positive rate of climb and selected the landing gear up. Immediately after gear selection, the pilot heard a loud noise and the engine failed. The aircraft rapidly started decelerating and descending back to the runway. The pilot selected the landing gear back down and elected to land the aircraft straight ahead, however the landing gear did not have sufficient time to fully cycle back to the locked-down position. The aircraft touched down with only approximately 500 feet of runway remaining. The unlocked landing gear collapsed under the weight of the aircraft, and the aircraft skidded off the departure‑end. After approximately 1000 feet of travel, the aircraft impacted the airport perimeter fence at low speed and came to rest. The pilot secured the engine and immediately egressed the aircraft.

The aircraft sustained very serious damage but the pilot sustained no injuries.

The engine failure was due to an improperly assembled oil filter. The investigation is now analyzing the human factors that may have contributed to this occurrence.

CT-114 Tutor (CT114051), left side ~ Photo: Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE)
CT-114 Tutor (CT114051), rear view ~ Photo: Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE)