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.
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.
After a thorough risk assessment and fleet-wide inspection following the August 2nd incident in Fort St. John, BC, we can confirm that it is safe for the CT-114 Tutor fleet to safely resume flying.
Therefore, the operational pause is now lifted and the team will be heading out to Penticton, BC shortly in order to return the jets to our home base in Moose Jaw, SK.
Preparing an aerobatic demonstration to the required level for public performance requires constant training and regular flying. Having not flown since early August, our team will take the necessary time to re-train and get back in the air. Consequently, we will not be attending the remaining airshows this season.
We will start training for our 2023 season and see you all soon.
You must be logged in to post a comment.