Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

OTTAWA — Military investigators are pointing to video footage as the reason they suspect a bird strike was been responsible for last month’s deadly Snowbird plane crash in British Columbia.

The crash was May 18, shortly after two of the Snowbirds’ iconic Tutor jets took off from the Kamloops Airport while participating in a cross-country tour aimed at boosting Canadians’ morale during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video posted to social media shortly after the crash showed one of the planes climbing a few seconds after leaving the runway before rolling over in the air and plummeting into a residential neighbourhood.

The crash killed Capt. Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds’ public-affairs officer who was riding as a passenger, while the pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Both ejected from the plane seconds before it hit the ground.

No one on the ground was seriously hurt.