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The initial actions for a power loss/engine failure in the Tutor is "Zoom, idle, air start". We were always taught that if this happened on take off and if the engine did not stabilize/re-light before

I'm so glad that this probably means that there isn't a mechanic wondering if he/she missed something.

This image was posted on twitter... Nice gesture by the Thunderbirds:

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58 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

I believe the Tutor had a 0/90kt seat, ( I only flew in it for about 8 hours), and the most difficult part for me was looping aerobatics.Sitting side by side threw my perception off when coming over the top of a loop and it took  a few loops to figure out what one should see when upside down versus tandem seating in most all other jets. 

Didn't anyone teach you how to use the mirrors and roads/section lines?

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7 minutes ago, Rich Pulman said:

Didn't anyone teach you how to use the mirrors and roads/section lines?

No emoji so assume this is a  tongue in cheek comment. Tandem aeros  are much different than side by side .....Seeing my primary aircraft was tandem and seldom did I use a mirror for a Clear Hood exercise and picking up section lines and roads was much easier when all you had to do was align the vert stab with the line or road as you came over the top. IP's used the mirror, (one), to ensure Roger Ramjet was not peeking out from under the hood during IFR training and naturally when IP's went up by themselves for a bit of unauthorized "air to air combat" practice......😉.

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I didn't have much time on the TBird but I thought that the string on the nose took care of all of that. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

That disputes the Nurse's comments above and doesn't say much for a "0 altitude/90 kts" speed ejection seat.I know know there is a downward trajectory factor when the aircraft is descending but..........

Her words were taken out of context. What she meant was that both people at the scene were from the aircraft, contrary to early reports that the fatally injured person was from the house that was burned. The aircraft came down several houses away from where the crew did.

Edited by J.O.
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A formation take off on the wing with all your attention focused on lead and then something happens and you have to bring your scan inside to quickly diagnose what has happened adds a second or two to a very challenging scenario. A passenger could also add some minor complications, such a sad event.  Capt MacDougall is a friend of my son's and we are relieved to hear that he is recovering. Like all Canadians I am extremely saddened by Capt Casey's demise.  I think her significant other may also be a team member so the Squadron has a lot to deal with.

 My training for EFAT on SE jets was similar to Richard's with the addition that once when I asked about a possible turn to low key my IP looked at me and casually remarked, "you are as stupid as you look"............. no place for snowflakes and unicorns in those days....... although he did add that low key might be a good destination to head for only if and after I got a relight.

Aerobatics, mirrors and aligning vertical stabs.......hmmm...... interesting stuff.  I do remember using the section lines in Sask and once upon a time, when I was a boy, attempting a night loop for the hell of it over northern NB.............. stars mixed with scattered farm lights 🙃  led to using the unusual attitude recovery training that I had received. Another life lesson learned.

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Crash shows it's time to ground the Snowbirds' aging Tutor jets, experts say

Published Monday, May 18, 2020 4:50PM EDT
 
 

TORONTO -- As an investigation into the crash of a Snowbird jet unfolds, some are calling for the permanent grounding of the iconic Tutor jets that have served the military aerobatics team for close to 50 years.

Sunday’s crash, which occurred just seconds after two side-by-side Snowbirds jets took off from a Kamloops, B.C. airport, killed public affairs officer Capt. Jennifer Casey and seriously injured pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall.

The CT-114 Tutor jet has been a staple of the precision demonstration flight team since its founding in 1971. It also served as a training aircraft from 1963 until being retired from that role in the early 2000s.

Prior to Sunday's crash, seven pilots and one passenger had been killed in crashes involved the Tutor jets and several aircraft had been lost over the course of the Snowbirds' history.

The federal government has a plan to replace the Tutor jets between 2026 and 2035 for between $500 million and $1.5 billion. The upgrades are set to begin in 2022, but the Tutors are cleared to fly until 2030.

Arthur Rosenberg, an aviation engineer and lawyer, says the jets should be taken out of service now.

He told CTV News Channel Monday from New York that the Snowbirds are an “absolutely spectacular” demonstration flight team, but “in my opinion, they do not belong flying these old planes anymore.”

He says Sunday’s crash is similar to one in Georgia in October in which a Snowbirds pilot who ejected and walked away mostly uninjured reported engine failure. The plane crashed in an unpopulated area.

The Tutors have served a role as terrific training and acrobatic flight aircraft but “it’s time to move on” no matter how well they are maintained, says Rosenberg.

Dave McConney, a former aircraft technician with the Canadian Forces Air Command, agrees. He told CTVNews.ca via email that the Tutor jets “should have been retired a long time ago. I was in Air Command back in the ’80s and they were considered old and past retirement then.”

He says the Tutor “is considered one of if not the best trainer aircraft ever made in the world (military or civilian)” and that while the quality of workmanship of Canadian Forces personnel is world renowned, it is inevitable that metal eventually fatigues and breaks and parts wear out and fail.

McConney, who lives in Hamilton, Ont., says incidents increase as an airframe gets older and he fears that more accidents will happen if the Tutors are allowed to fly for another 10 years.

But aviation analyst Keith Mackey in Ocala, Fla. doesn’t believe the age of the plane is a factor.

“It has a very good reputation. The pilots love it,” he said of the Tutor on CTV News Channel Monday.

“Any airplane like that, even if it is old, if it is properly maintained, really is a serviceable aircraft. The age doesn’t affect it, as long as the maintenance is kept up. And I’m sure in the case of the Snowbirds, it is.”

Retired general Tom Lawson, who served as chief of defence staff from 2012 to 2015, says the Tutor is a “fantastic” aircraft.

He says he understands that questions about the Tutor’s safety are circulating, but Lawson, a former fighter pilot, says the planes are in good condition and have been well maintained.

David McNair, a former Transportation Safety Board investigator, says the video will play an important role in the investigation, along with the account of the pilot, whenever he is well enough to provide it.

He said along with determining a cause for the crash, investigators will be seeking to find out why both occupants didn’t survive, in order to make recommendations that may save lives in the future.

McNair says the Tutors are a beautiful, reliable aircraft and are well maintained.

“I’m sure the air force would not fly an unworthy aircraft,” he told CTV News Channel on Monday. He did point out that new pilots have not trained on the jet, so have to be retrained when they join the Snowbirds.

As well, he says takeoffs in formation mean pilots can’t do the kind of instrument scan that is possible when they are taking off on their own.

The Snowbirds had been on a two-week tour of Canada called Operation Inspiration, which was meant to raise the spirits of a nation under pandemic restrictions.

The team was not performing at the time of the crash. They were scheduled to fly through the Okanagan Valley on Saturday, but that was changed. On Sunday, the team was heading to Comox and then was going to fly west to Vancouver Island.

‘PILOT’S WORST NIGHTMARE’

A number of experts say a video taken by a bystander at a Kamloops airport show there was a “pop” before the aircraft begins a rapid ascent.

“That pop is very significant and is usually a sign of what is called a flameout,” said Rosenberg, likening it to the sound a barbecue makes when it runs out of propane.

“The single jet engine basically stops working.”

McConney also believes MacDougall encountered engine failure.

“The flight of the aircraft was that of an aircraft that has lost power. That is a pilot’s worst nightmare when the engines fail on takeoff.”

Long-time pilot Ron Czick, who trained on the Tutor jet while serving in the military in the 1980s, said he has watched video of the crash and that he also hears a “pop” sound as the plane is leaving the airport.

“You’re always trained to go as high as possible so you can assess and then eject if you have to,” he told CTVNews.ca from his home in Montreal.

He thinks MacDougall may have been trying to return to the airport, but that the plane pulled up so quickly that it went into a “wing stall,” when the aircraft loses energy and the wings can’t generate the lift needed to maintain altitude.

That would cause the nose to drop, says Czick, who retired from the military in 1986 and has been flying private aircraft ever since.

After the jet rolls, Czick says it appears two seats eject from the plane, but since the aircraft was already in a rapid descent, the seats on the Tutor couldn’t compensate. He said today’s ejection seats are more sophisticated than what is in the Tutor and would be able to thrust an occupant further upward.

In this case, it doesn’t appear the parachutes were able to deploy quickly enough, says Czick.

Rosenberg says that the ejections happened at about the worst time, except if the plane had been upside down because it was spinning and horizontal.

“Really, it was miraculous that anybody survived this crash.”

The time between the stall of the plane and the ejections is about five seconds, says Brampton,Ont.-based aviation expert Phyl Durdey. According to the plane’s flight manual, at about a 3,100-foot-per-minute descent, which is about what is shown in the video, says Durdey, safe ejection needs to happen at about 155 feet above the ground.

“They needed substantially more altitude to safely eject,” he told CTV News Channel.

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  • snowbirds

    Members of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds survey the crash scene of a Canadian Forces Snowbird plane in Kamloops, B.C., Sunday, May 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

 
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Is it possible she passed out from the zoom maneuver? The pilot had to quickly do what was required in just a few seconds with not enough time to brief Capt. Casey. Is it possible to help eject the other seat from your own?

Edited by blues deville
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1 minute ago, blues deville said:

Is it possible she passed out from the zoom maneuver? The pilot had to quickly do what was required to in just a few seconds. Perhaps just enough time to brief Capt. Casey. Is it possible to help eject the other seat from your own?

I would doubt that she passed out. There wouldn't be more than  possibly 2G, if that, in the pull up. A hard pull up might get you higher...but with poor airspeed. In this type of maneuver you are aiming to get higher than you are but with the recommended glide speed/ engine relight speed.

I believe in the Tutor, each seat is initiated by the individual in the seat and there is no way you can fire the other person out. As stated as soon as the Captain says "EJECT" you should be going up the rails........but in this case the available time for ejection  was compressed to a second or two..

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2 hours ago, blues deville said:

Is it possible she passed out from the zoom maneuver? The pilot had to quickly do what was required in just a few seconds with not enough time to brief Capt. Casey. Is it possible to help eject the other seat from your own?

As Kip points out, there wouldn’t be enough airspeed to get much G load at that point. Technically, you could reach over and pull the handle on the other person’s seat, but that would leave you vulnerable to injury as their seat departed. It would also mean delaying your own ejection, which could be fatal. Some ejection seats (I.E. the T-33) had only one “live” handle, so that might not even be a possibility in some types. In any case, it’s not something that’s taught. Some aircraft have “command” ejection systems whereby activating the ejection sequence on one seat would fire the other seat. The Tutor’s seats need to be fired individually. The T-33 back seat could eject individually, but if the front seat was activated, the back seat always went first, even if its safety pins were still installed. The F-18 had a variety of possibilities that could be selected by the PIC.

Anyone getting a “passenger” ride in an ejection seat aircraft would get a thorough briefing by a safety-systems technician, and then another by the pilot during the strap-in procedure. It was emphasized that the pilot would be going up the rails on the third “EJECT”, no matter what. Sitting on an ejection seat is serious business and we took it seriously. We were taught from day one that the decision to eject is made on the ground. There’s usually no time in the air for pondering the options; an ejection had to be more or less instinctive. It was impossible to instil this into one-time passengers on famil rides, but with the amount of time Captain Casey spent in that seat, she would have had much better instincts that your average “passenger”. She would have been well trained and well briefed for such an event. But all that doesn’t mean anything if the ejection is initiated outside the survivable envelope of the seat.

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6 hours ago, Marshall said:

Crash shows it's time to ground the Snowbirds' aging

Rubbish. This Team is the spirit of Canada seen by Canadians from coast to coast to coast.( I ask for some to forgive my piggy-boarding about CBC Radio 1 being a similar, binding Canadianism from coast to coast to coast.) Captain Casey - my deepest condolences to your family, your team and your friends for your sacrifice; Captain MacDougall, godspeed to a full recovery and heartfelt thanks for steering your ailing bird away you best you could away from harm's way on the ground. Your latest ejection seems proof of that heroic deed.

Edited by Moon The Loon
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13 hours ago, blues deville said:

Is it possible she passed out from the zoom maneuver? The pilot had to quickly do what was required in just a few seconds with not enough time to brief Capt. Casey. Is it possible to help eject the other seat from your own?

That procedure is briefed prior to EVERY takeoff.

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33 minutes ago, boestar said:

That procedure is briefed prior to EVERY takeoff.

Well.........not really. She had been with them since 2018..... She had probably done enough flights that all the Captain would do is check that she was all "connected" properly in the aircraft. Obviously when someone "new" goes for a ride, (Press or other VIP), they have a ground briefing and a repeat verbal briefing once they are strapped in but as a member of the crew, (her name was on the side of the aircraft), there probably would not be a procedure briefing each time she strapped in as she would be very familiar about the "exit" calls and procedures...

It was a very sad day where time was the critical factor and of course super stress seeing she had never been put in that position...Jet pilots have the ejection procedure wired to their brains and can do the procedure  without even thinking about it.

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Okay thanks for the info. I think Kip’s mention of how the pilot’s reaction would have been instinctive from hours of training whereas the PR officer’s might not could be a factor. I’m not sure if she was found in her seat in the aircraft or if she did eject just before impact with no chance of her chute opening. Either way it’s a very sad event.

I’ve read this aircraft or another on the  team had some tech issues prior to this departure.  Perhaps it’s time to look at a newer aircraft. Maybe one with two engines. 

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In fact I didn't say it was time to ground the Snowbirds but, the article that I posted on the other hand did say:  

Crash shows it's time to ground the Snowbirds' aging Tutor jets, experts say

Published Monday, May 18, 2020 4:50PM EDT

If they are as Moon says"This Team is the spirit of Canada seen by Canadians from coast to coast to coast"

My personal POV is that it is time to get rid of their current aircraft and provide them with an updated aircraft.   

 

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watching the press conference with the CO of 431, he stated explicitly that the maneuver that was carried out for a loss of power after takeoff was briefed on every flight.  he was very clear on it in both languages.

 

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29 minutes ago, boestar said:

watching the press conference with the CO of 431, he stated explicitly that the maneuver that was carried out for a loss of power after takeoff was briefed on every flight.  he was very clear on it in both languages.

 

Agree...If the takeoff involves more than 3 aircraft. The normal takeoff with 3 jets is a VIC formation.....Loss of power by # 1 is a straight pull up, loss of power by #2 is pull up out of the formation and turn right, Loss of power by # 3 is pull up out of formation and turn left.

Their departure was only a two plane formation with # 2 on the left  ...(((why was # 2 on the left when a two plane normally has #2 on the right?...the reason would be this pilot flew formation from the right seat and it is always easier to fly on the lead  from the side you have your flight controls on rather  than fly "cross-cockpit" .....on anyone)))).....in that case it is SOP to pull up and turn away from the lead...If he had been #2 on the right side it would have been a pull up and turn away from the lead.

Yes, The CO was certainly correct and I would think he is talking about  the procedures that must be briefed when doing a big formation take-off as each aircraft must know, and is told in the briefing, what his 'escape" procedure  is supposed to be in the event of an engine failure.

The procedure done before the accident is SOP when in "little" formations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

Posted Jun 1, 2020 10:11 am MDT

 

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 11:21 am MDT

 
Snowbird.bird_.jpg
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 earlier this month. (CREDIT: Royal Canadian Air Force)
 
 

OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Air Force says it’s focusing on a bird strike as the reason a Snowbird plane crashed in British Columbia last month.

A preliminary investigation report posted today says a close look at video footage of the plane just before the crash showed a bird very close to the plane’s right engine intake “during the critical phase of take-off.”

The crash near Kamloops killed air force Capt. Jenn Casey, a public-affairs officer riding as a passenger, and seriously injured the pilot.

 

A preliminary report on the CF Snowbirds crash that killed Capt. Jennifer Casey last month in Kamloops points to a birdstrike as the probable case. "The investigation is focusing on environmental factors (birdstrike) as well as the performance of the escape system."

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

 

Though the plane crashed in a populated area, nobody on the ground was badly injured.

The Snowbirds were on a cross-country tour at the time of the crash, performing over cities and towns to try to raise morale a little amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The air force’s report says the investigation will continue to probe the possibility of a bird strike and whether the Tutor jet’s escape devices worked properly.

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Wrong description of what happened after the pull up....( why the steep left bank...... which concluded with a left hand roll and a very nose low attitude.)

It stands to reason seeing the pilot  was in the right seat that he did a steep left hand turn in order to see if making the airport was possible ...but ...why continue the roll ?.

Every single engine jet aircraft loses altitude in a roll, The nose must be pulled up in order to be at the same altitude as when you started the roll. A dead engine aircraft would loose even  more altitude with zero thrust. 

Rolls in an airshow where the aircraft starts a roll as it is going by and maintains the same altitude when becoming wings level is only accomplished by using brief moments of zero -negative "G" when the pilot pushes the nose up while being inverted.

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Given all the educated (experienced) comments, I am still mystified why the ejection command was given so late instead of the time of loss of control (at its apogee). Hopefully, the pilot will be able to shed light on that decision.

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I'm so glad that this probably means that there isn't a mechanic wondering if he/she missed something.

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6 hours ago, GDR said:

I'm so glad that this probably means that there isn't a mechanic wondering if he/she missed something.

This. I have a friend that was the last person to work on an aircraft before it crashed. It was extremely stressful for him.

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On 6/1/2020 at 7:17 PM, Moon The Loon said:

Hopefully, the pilot will be able to shed light on that decision.

I'm eager to get his take on it too.

I bet it all happened with frightening rapidity. I’m grateful I never had to stand toe to toe with that particular bear and I’ve often wondered how I would do if he (or worse she) broke cover from the left flank without warning.

I bet the time from power loss to the ejection call was less than a slow read of the next paragraph:

The gear is up, flaps selected up, slight throttle reduction to maintain station, felt impact with the GU-11, compressor stall and vibration, zoom (throttle idle air-start), shallow left turn away from echelon and the high ground, a quick scan ahead for where the beast will fall, stick shaker in the turn, initial wing drop, ejection call, check canopy, two swings in the harness and a parachute landing fall (OK, the Airforce doesn’t teach that, it’s an army thing), the question “did that really just happen?”, slow acknowledgement that it actually did and the prospect of a lifetime of second guesses (and what if I’s).

I think I'd prefer the bear.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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