Snowbird engine failure due to improperly assembled oil filter

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The results of an initial investigation into last month’s Snowbird aircraft crash in Fort St. John have been released.

According to the Initial From the Investigator report from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Directorate of Flight Safety, the engine failure was attributed to an improperly assembled oil filter.

The investigation continues and now focuses on the human factors that may have contributed to the crash.

A release from the Canadian Armed Forces on Wednesday says the operational pause of the fleet containing the Snowbirds has been lifted effective September 20th.

Enough information has reportedly been gathered for a risk assessment to be conducted.

The team will resume flying at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, this week.

Next week, the aircraft currently in Penticton and Fort St. John, B.C., will begin their return.

Because the team has not flown since the accident that occurred on August 2nd, there is not enough time for them to practice to return to their scheduled shows this year, said the release.

Due to this, the team’s scheduled performances for 2022 have been cancelled.

“While we are happy that we can safely resume flying, we are very disappointed that our season ended so early,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, Commanding Officer 431 Air Demonstration Squadron.

“Our focus now is to get back in the air, get our jets home, and start working on preparations for next year’s show season.”

On August 2nd, the aircraft was supposed to be ferried from Fort St. John back to Moose Jaw, with the pilot being the only occupant on board.

During takeoff, the aircraft experienced an emergency, and the pilot landed the plane. The pilot was medically assessed and uninjured, but the aircraft was damaged.

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