The Canadian Forces Snowbirds returned to full operations at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan on Thursday.
The aerobatic team had been temporarily grounded by the Royal Canadian Air Force after a crash of one of its aircraft near Atlanta, Georgia. The crash happened on Oct. 13. Snowbird pilot Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier was forced to eject from his Tutor aircraft shortly before the team’s performance in Atlanta, the team stated. Domon-Grenier sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution following the ejection. The Tutor jet crashed into a farmer’s field and there were no injuries on the ground.
While the Royal Canadian Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety is continuing its investigation, the return to operations follows a thorough risk assessment process, the Canadian Forces noted in a news release Thursday.
The aircraft returned home to 15 Wing Moose Jaw from the U.S. on November 29, during which no engine problems occurred. “I have complete confidence in the Tutor aircraft,” Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, acting commanding officer and former team lead, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, said in a statement.
The 2020 schedule for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds 50 th season will be released on December 10. The season is slated to begin on June 6, 2020.
The 2020 schedule will include approximately 30 locations across North America.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds spend the winter months training for the upcoming season. Approximately 80-100 training missions occur prior to spring training in Comox, British Columbia in order to prepare for the upcoming season. This training is delayed by one month due to the accident and ensuing flight safety investigation.
2020 marks the 50 th season of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, according to the RCAF.
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