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RCAF 431 Squadron "Snowbirds" fatality today

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Friends,

 

Consider sparing a thought today for a member of the RCAF Snowbirds who was killed today when ejecting from the aircraft in which she was riding as passenger (the squadron's Public Affairs Officer) at low altitude.  Her parachute did not deploy in time (the Tutor that they fly does not have a zero-zero seat).  The pilot is in the hospital currently.  Rough situation all around.  Speculation is running wild both internally and externally as to the cause but no official word yet (nor is official word expected until Flight Safety concludes the investigation which takes months to years).

 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/plane-crash-kamloops-1.5573930

 

  • Sad 2

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That's the second time they've lost a jet in a not significant interval.  If the last CT-114 was built in 1966 it might do to start replacing them.  

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Posted (edited)

It was pretty obvious from the video they tried to climb to hard, without enough speed and power, then they did a tight left hand turn,  the plane went inverted and crashed. They both ejected but was too late. 

Crappy old and ugly planes. New model ejection seats would have probably saved them.

 

Edited by Jaws2002

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Posted (edited)

I'm starting to think those things are death traps.

My condolences to those affected.  This was a tragic situation.

Edited by JG51_Beazil

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Utterly tragic! 😥

 

I saw them do a fly over just a few days ago as part of Operation Inspiration and it really was a highlight in a very difficult couple of months that I (and lots of us) have had here. To lose a member of the Canadian Forces at the end of this tour is just so terribly sad. Rest in peace Captain Jenn Casey.

 

img_9311.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, AndytotheD said:

That's the second time they've lost a jet in a not significant interval.  If the last CT-114 was built in 1966 it might do to start replacing them.  

They’ve been talking about replacing them for at least 20 years, at one point with the same trainer they use for fighter pilot training. But it is always put off.

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2 hours ago, Jaws2002 said:

It was pretty obvious from the video they tried to climb to hard, without enough speed and power, then they did a tight left hand turn,  the plane went inverted and crashed.

 

They don't have 0/0 seats which means there's a min safe altitude (hence the zoom climb) and their standard maneuvre when encountering a mechanical failure is to get clear of the wingman/formation (hence the turn).  I don't think the climb caused the crash.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

They’ve been talking about replacing them for at least 20 years, at one point with the same trainer they use for fighter pilot training. But it is always put off.

 

Interestingly enough, the Snowbirds are the topic of the discussion in the latest episode of The Fighter Pilot Podcast (released May 13th), and the guest (Robert Mitchell) mentioned that as well - there really isn't a plan to replace them anytime soon.

 

https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/episodes/the-canadian-forces-snowbirds/?fbclid=IwAR3DWrDc6SsZ3_QwVlytM-4otCtBy_Om3316zYSEp21V6WwzjwfTMnMkAIA

Edited by LukeFF
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On May 31 1976 had a high school friend die, as well as the trainee pilot, in a similar accident when their Tudor sucked in a duck while taking off. They stayed with the a/c to steer it away from a residential area.

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Pretty sure we had lost one a couple years ago where I live as well.  The pilot survived but another Tudor down.

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2 hours ago, MiloMorai said:

USA just lost a F-35. Stuff happens.

 

It was an F-22, actually. 

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13 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

 

It was an F-22, actually. 

Knew it was a F-something.😀

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It was a LOT of money ;)

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It's all sort of a double whammy for the Canadian Forces right now, coming on the heels of the helicopter crash in Greece. And there's speculation that the helo crash was due to known issues with the flight control systems of the aircraft.

So what you have is, in the space of a month, two tragic accidents that both may point to issues introduced by the completely borked defence procurement system in Canada. it's sort of the opposite problem from the US, where there is so little money to throw around that we can't get the equipment to have the capabilities we want or need, and then when we try and save money it ends up costing us much more in the long run. And then combine that with the apparently byzantine nature of the procurement process, and you see the DND hanging on to equipment long past its expiration date, costing money and lives, or adopting boondoggle equipment that never quite overcomes its teething problems, also costing money and lives. 

I really hope that this forces the purchase of new, proven jets for the snowbirds. There's enough jet trainer aircraft out there on the market that surely one would be fit for purpose. It would be a silver lining to this.

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RK, you should look into the fiasco that was the helicopter procurement. I would propose that the continued use of the CT-114 is because it is Canadian designed and made.

 

Sorry about the bold, can't turn it off.

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2 hours ago, RedKestrel said:

 it's sort of the opposite problem from the US, where there is so little money to throw around that we can't get the equipment to have the capabilities we want or need, and then when we try and save money it ends up costing us much more in the long run. And then combine that with the apparently byzantine nature of the procurement process, and you see the DND hanging on to equipment long past its expiration date, costing money and lives, or adopting boondoggle equipment that never quite overcomes its teething problems, also costing money and lives. 

 

You've just described the UK situation there too.  

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Such a tragic loss. 

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1 hour ago, MiloMorai said:

RK, you should look into the fiasco that was the helicopter procurement. I would propose that the continued use of the CT-114 is because it is Canadian designed and made.

 

Sorry about the bold, can't turn it off.

Yeah, that was what I was referring to - IIRC that helicopter procurement was where they tried to buy an 'off the shelf' helicopter, then found out after the fact that it would be underpowered and have other issues, and it would basically require custom upgrades to make it capable of military operations since it was functionally a civilian model, including an entirely new powerplant. The attempt to save money up front cost us much more in the short run AND the long run. Now it turns out it may have gotten some people killed, albeit inadvertently, if the crash turns out to be from an improper design.

I think the CT-114 has a certain amount of nostalgia and there is definitely a 'Canadian Made' pride to it, but honestly the big stumbling block for most of the public is the price tag to replace the jets. Aside from some enthusiasts I think most people wouldn't even notice if they were flying MiG-29s if they got the colour scheme right. Even the enthusiasts would probably just grumble and accept the status quo, as long as a few of the jets were donated to museums or other orgs who could display the jets or try to keep them flying.

Unfortunately, there's no realistic Canadian-made successor to the Tudor jet as far as I am aware, and it gets less and less likely that there will ever be one as companies internationalize and consolidate. We just don't have the domestic capacity to produce fighter jets or trainers, and we have to face up to the fact that we won't be getting it in the future either. 

 

17 minutes ago, DD_Arthur said:

 

You've just described the UK situation there too.  


To a certain extent I think it's a crisis of the 'West' in the post- Cold War era, with the US as pretty well the only notable exception (and even there, cost cutting and flexibility is at least nominally a thing). With less public support for military spending and no easily-identified military threats, there just isn't the political will or the economic justification for most military spending. But we still want to maintain our military capabilities for matters of national pride and international status and participation, and for occasions when we feel compelled to act militarily. We want to have our cake and eat it too, and somehow we think if we swap out some flour in favour of sawdust no one will notice the difference.

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