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SnowBird crash in Canada.

SnowBird crash in Canada.

SnowBird crash in Canada.

A Snowbirds jet crashed shortly after takeoff in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday. Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds, died in the crash. The pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, survived with non-life-threatening injuries.
Link to News Report
Link to Interview with a former Snow Bird pilot

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

He pulled up the instant his engine flamed out.

This traded every spec of his speed for altitude.

Unfortunately, it cost so much speed the plane essentially rose until is stalled at which point all control was lost and it nose dived.

Ejection was delayed until the craft was vertical. Full chute deployment never occurred for either of the crew. I suspect the pilot survived (sort of) simply because he landed on a wood roof.

On loss of power the nose of an aircraft should never be raised but instead lowered immediately to maintain speed>control>choices.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

Hi Keith. I pretty much agree with you except for your last comment.
Watch the interview with the former Snow Bird pilot in the second link.
It is SOP in that class of craft to trade speed for altitude if the engine flames out.
I have edited my first post to make it more clear that there are two separate links.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

Well I don't know enough about it to say what the SOP should be, but there's trading speed for altitude, but you need to do it without stalling the aircraft. I guess it's a fine line and it all happens pretty fast. I don't know what was in line with the runway which may have caused the pilot to try and go somewhere else??

Why would this flame out though when in simple formation?

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

It's easy to second guess this situation, straight ahead was a controlled water landing, turning 180 was undetermined. I always understood that takeoff is the most critical phase of flight because in the event of a failure, the options are not good.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

The second link is an interview/conversation between Vincent Aiello (Call sign Jell-o) and Robert Mitchell (Call Sign Scratch).
The Fighter Pilot Podcast: Founder & Host, Vincent Aiello

Vincent became enamored with aviation while attending an airshow at the age of 8. After high school he attended UCLA and participated in the NROTC program. Upon graduation he was commissioned into the United States Navy and was selected for pilot training. Vincent spent nearly 25 years in service flying mainly the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet but also the F-16 Fighting Falcon during an adversary tour. He accrued over 3,800 flight hours and 705 carrier landings, having served as a TOPGUN instructor and air wing operations officer.

Two-time former Canadian Forces Snowbirds pilot, Robert Mitchell, joins us to evaluate footage from the 17 May fatal Snowbird mishap in Kamloops, Canada.

At 3:40 into the 18:53 Podcast they start discussing the reasons for trading speed for altitude when power is lost.
At about 5:00 both pilots emphasize that their comments are speculation
At 7:48 Robert Mitchell (Scratch) relates a very similar experience when flying with the Snow Birds.
Scratch was anticipating ejecting but was able to restart a damaged engine and gain enough power to power glide to an alternate airstrip.
While this is speculation, with the background and personal experience of these pilots, until the official report comes out, this may be as good as it gets.
Juan Brown comments
Juan adds quite a bit of background information on the ejection sequence and engine restarting.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

The pilot account might make the event clearer.

I would agree that he traded speed for altitude and the intent would have been to eject at the peak altitude before the plane dived, or the apex of the upward arc. Possibly he held on hoping for a re-start or trying to direct the plane away from the houses. Possibly he just misjudged as things happened fast and pulled the handle too late.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

Once you're committed to losing the aircraft, the best option given a loss of thrust at very low level is very often to raise the nose and eject while the jet is still climbing - having a positive vertical velocity at the point of ejection has a huge survivability impact.

This film is old, but relevant.


RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

Going any amount of vertical with no power tells me that he wasn't much interested in keeping the aircraft flying above stall speed. He WANTED to be as vertical as possible before they left in a hurry.

“What I told you was true ... from a certain point of view.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Return of the Jedi"

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

EVERYTHING the military does is dangerous. Sad outcome.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

My guess is that the pilot knew they were below the minimum altitude for the ejection system and was trying to gain as much altitude as possible. As I watched the video I cringed a bit at how long he stayed in the climb and especially the roll leading up to the stall. Did he lose track of attitude once the horizon fell out of view? Was he aiming for a safer place to ditch the plane? Once he realized his mistake he was already in something like a turning flight stall and had to wait for a complete rotation to eject. Not a bad recovery all considered.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

They used to teach a turn back manoeuvre where you traded speed for height and then did a 180 turn and then landed back on the departure runway. But the turn was always test pilot stuff and required you to basically have a windshield full of ground during the turn to stay above stall speed for a 45 banked turn. Most people instinctively pull back with that much ground in their faces and the result of stalling with loads of turn yaw means it very rapidly develops into a spin in crash. Once turned you then went for best glide speed down to the runway. But they found that even highly trained military sky gods used to screw it up regularly and the accident rate training for it was way way over the number of people that used it successfully to save the day.

I believe these days with the UK training jet the Hawk they teach trade speed for alt and then try and get the wings level so your going towards the sky and eject.

Small civi single engine aircraft its been actively discouraged to even attempt it since I started flying in 2000 in Europe. The old soviet block pilots will also think it normal to do a turn back and to be honest are pretty good at managing it as well. But still they had the same problem that it killed more people training for it than it actually saved. But as one of my colleagues said are yes but to us an engine failure was normal operations if we did 100 takeoff's without having one it was a good year.

I have only ever seen it demonstrated once by an ex lightning test pilot during my instructors rating. During the debrief he just said right what did you learn from that. I said keep wings level spot the best option 30 deg's either side of the nose and aim for that while completing restart drills and securing the aircraft for a crash. And don't even think about trying to do a 180.. He laughed and said spot on lesson objective complete.

That bang seat wasn't a 0/0 I have zero clue what its envelope is. The MArtin BAker on the hawk I think they can use from 200 ft if they are wings level and your pointing upwards and 500ft if in a 40 deg pitch up attitude. But I may be completely wrong, I can't remember where I heard it.

Just checked the MB mrk 10 is meant to be 0/0 according to this http://martin-baker.com/products/mk10-ejection-sea...

But I am pretty sure there was an operating limitation maybe its 200ft with a climb out pitch attitude and 500ft at higher pitch attitudes. So get the height and then get flat then bang out?

I have zero idea what the Canadian military training is for this situation. I am 95% sure though civi pilots won't have been taught a turn back manoeuvre for the last 30 odd years.

Unfortunately the stats show that these sort of support team passengers have a very low survival rate when things go wrong. There have been several similar deaths with the red arrows in the UK over the years.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

zeus I have always been a fan of airspeed over alt for dealing with emergency's especially in twins. So I found that video very interesting.

But I am in a completely minority for this view. The number of people that want you to get back to V2 on the dot is collosal. I wouldn't speed up on purpose but if you have a speed and your climbing I sure as hell don't want to slow down and get into the Vmca risk area. An extra 15 knots makes very little difference to performance unless your in icing speeds and max weight and have a complicated "Innsbruck" single engine procedure to fly with loads of turns to do.

RE: SnowBird crash in Canada.

In an interview I saw with Robert Mitchell he mentioned by when flying in formation you have to pull away from the other aircraft when there is a problem. I imagine that really complicated the situation for him in terms of trying to stay near level in a climb. He also speculated, from a dot on the video, it might have been a bird strike.


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