The Royal Canadian Air Force’s Directorate of Flight Safety, as the Airworthiness Investigative Authority for the Canadian Armed Forces, has concluded its investigation into an accident involving a CT-114 Tutor aircraft of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron on May 17, 2020 in the vicinity of Kamloops, British Columbia that claimed the life of Captain Jenn Casey and injured Captain Richard MacDougall.
The complete findings of the investigation and recommended preventative measures are publicly accessible in the CT114161 Flight Safety Investigation Report.
The investigation found that ingestion of a single, small bird into the engine of the aircraft ‘Snowbird 11’ following take-off resulted in a compressor stall and a loss of thrust. Upon loss of power, the pilot initiated a climb straight ahead and then a turn back towards the airport. During this manoeuver, the aircraft entered into an aerodynamic stall and the pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft.
The pilot and passenger ejected from the aircraft at low altitude and in conditions that were outside safe ejection seat operation parameters. Neither the pilot nor the passenger had the requisite time for their parachutes to function as designed.
Recommendations in the report identified the need to conduct additional training for CT-114 aircrew to better prepare them for an engine failure after take-off in a low-level environment, clarify the command to ‘eject’, publish a directive to clarify how aircrew should prioritize an ejection-scenario near or over a populated area, and research potential options to stabilize the ejection seat from any tendency to pitch, roll, or yaw.
Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces