Bird strike on Snowbird engine likely caused fatal crash: report

Canadian air force crash investigators are looking at a bird strike as the probable cause of the crash of a Snowbird demonstration jet in Kamloops, British Columbia last month.

The accident killed Capt. Jenn Casey, the public affairs officer for the aerobatics team.

In a preliminary report issued Monday, investigators say video footage from the crash showed a bird was in very close proximity to the right engine intake during take-off.

It’s possible the bird struck the engine’s intake, the report suggested.

The jet was climbing at the time, but then turned and went into a steep nose dive before hitting the ground in a residential neighbourhood.

Both Casey and the pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, ejected.

The aircraft was destroyed on impact.

“The investigation is focusing on environmental factors (birdstrike) as well as the performance of the escape system,” said the report.

MacDougall was injured, but is expected to make a full recovery. The investigation is ongoing and it could be months before a final verdict on the exact cause of the accident is issued.

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