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Snowbird down!

Old 22nd Jun 2001, 02:22
  #1 (permalink)  
Cyclic Hotline
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Arrow Snowbird down!

Canadian Military Jet Crashes at Air Show

TORONTO (Reuters) - Two of Canada's elite Snowbird acrobatic performance jets collided on a demonstration flight ahead of an air show in London, Ontario, and one plane crashed into Lake Erie, officials said on Thursday.

The second plane, part of a formation of nine aircraft, was slightly damaged, but landed safely at a local airport, officials in London said.

Larry Hrabets, from Ontario's Search and Rescue Services told CTV television the two people aboard the crashed plane had been picked up by rescue helicopters and were being airlifted to hospital. He could not say how badly they were hurt.

The two-seat training jets had been demonstrating maneuvers to journalists ahead of the air show in southwestern Ontario, and some members of the media had been aboard the planes.

But officials said no reporters were aboard the bright red and white plane that crashed into the lake.

The Snowbirds, formed in 1971, suffered a death in December 1998, when one of the elite flying squadron's 1960s-era CT-114 Tutor jets crashed in southern Saskatchewan during a warm-up maneuver. The pilot was killed.

Two other Snowbird pilots have been killed in seven other crashes in Canada and the United States since 1989.

Old 24th Jun 2001, 02:37
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I guess it depends on how the planes made contact, but say they were doing straight and level and just touched wing tips.

Would that cause an instant loss of control / extreme attitude / reaction ?

I.e. the relative speed between them might only be a couple of knots, would that matter ?

Old 24th Jun 2001, 07:19
  #3 (permalink)  
shake rattle n roll
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The Calgary Herald had a pic of the aircraft that managed to land. Seems like there was a lot of damage to the right hand leading edge. Looked like more than just wing tips touching.
Anyway the good news is that no one was killed.

[This message has been edited by shake rattle n roll (edited 24 June 2001).]
Old 24th Jun 2001, 09:44
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I wasn't asking just about this incident, but in general, what would happen if wingtips touched.
Old 24th Jun 2001, 12:43
  #5 (permalink)  
Wing Commander Fowler
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mstram - do they say the aircraft were travelling in the same direction also? Haven't seen the report but from your account here you don't make it clear.... ergo just touching wing tips with a closing speed of 500kts could indeed cause big big loss of control.

I'm finger lickin'
Old 24th Jun 2001, 14:35
  #6 (permalink)  
Ali Barber
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I can recall 2 of the Patrouille de France touching wingtips back when they flew those awful Fouga Magisteres. They both landed OK.
Old 24th Jun 2001, 21:44
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Press reports the collision occurred in a '9-plane formation'. Since the No.5 collided with the Lead, sounds to me like a tight diamond. Don't know if it happened during form up or after the formation was established.
Old 25th Jun 2001, 05:26
  #8 (permalink)  
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Same kind of accident back in (about) 1979 at Seafair in Seattle.
Old 26th Jun 2001, 08:38
  #9 (permalink)  
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1979 accident at Seattle came after the team enjoyed a 'big' night imbibing home brew at a local Seafair supporter's house - the hostess caught hell hell afterwards for serving such an irresistable concoction.

Of course, said wine and beer was christened 'Snowbird Special' and poured with pride thereafter.

I don't think I ever consumed as much alcohol as the parties during airshow weekends - unless it was in the performer's tent on the field on the last day of the show (flyaway the next day, that is).

Hope the two gents in this latest made it all right.

Thanks to all.
Old 26th Jun 2001, 19:57
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Cyclic Hotline
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Divers to see if Snowbird can be lifted from lake


Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Military divers will start today to assess the wreckage of a Snowbird jet that plummeted into Lake Erie last Thursday during a news-media day in London.

The divers arrived in the Port Burwell area yesterday after driving from Halifax. Investigators hope to recover the plane from the bottom of the lake, but first divers will assess the condition of the wreckage, officials said.

Last Thursday, the Snowbirds left the London airport to take journalists on a tour before the city's air show. About halfway through the flight, two planes collided, sending one plummeting to the water. The other landed safely back at the airport. The two men inside the downed plane, Major Bob Painchaud, the pilot, and Sergeant David Wilson, ejected. Major Painchaud was able to walk after reaching shore and Sgt. Wilson is listed in fair condition at the London Health Sciences Centre.

Nine investigators spent the weekend working on the case. Their final report isn't expected for about a year, but the preliminary report, due out in about a week, will address whether the Snowbird team will continue to be grounded. The Snowbirds did not fly in the London airshow and it is still not clear whether they will fly in Canada Day celebrations next weekend in Ottawa.

Captain Paul Doucette said yesterday that the planes and pilots were still in London.
Old 26th Jun 2001, 22:59
  #11 (permalink)  
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Learn what can be learned...............AND LET THEM FLY !!! LET THEM FLY !!!

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