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Bird strike on Snowbird engine likely caused fatal crash in Kamloops: report

Monday, June 1st 2020, 12:26 pm - The accident killed Capt. Jenn Casey, the public affairs officer for the aerobatics team.

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.

Bird strike to blame for Snowbird crash A report on the May 17, 2020 crash of a Snowbird jet that killed Capt. Jenn Casey has blamed a bird strike for the disaster. A red circle shows an object, believed to be a bird, near the engine of the plane in flight. (RCAF)

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.

Thumbnail courtesy of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The story was written by Murray Brewster/CBC News, originally published for CBC.ca.

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