The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will return to full operations at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, beginning today.
The CT-114 Tutor fleet has been on an operational pause since Snowbird 5 was forced to eject prior to an air show at the Atlanta Speedway on October 13, 2019.
While the Royal Canadian Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety is continuing its investigation, the return to operations follows a thorough risk assessment process.
The 2020 schedule for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds 50th season will be released on December 10, 2019. The season is slated to begin on June 6, 2020.
“I have complete confidence in the Tutor aircraft. Our maintainers are world-class and take meticulous care of our fleet and the Royal Canadian Air Force has a robust risk assessment process to ensure we conduct operations in as safe a manner as possible.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, Acting Commanding Officer and former team lead, Canadian Forces Snowbirds
The 2020 schedule will include approximately 30 locations across North America.
The aircraft returned home to 15 Wing Moose Jaw on November 29, 2019, during which no engine problems occurred.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds spend the winter months training for the upcoming season. Approximately 80-100 training missions occur prior to spring training in Comox, British Columbia in order to prepare for the upcoming season. This training is delayed by one month due to the accident and ensuing flight safety investigation.
Flight Safety investigations are a rigorous process and achieving an effective, accurate, professional investigation requires time and effort. The timeline for the release of an investigation report varies with the complexity of the accident.
2020 marks the 50th season of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds inspiring the next generation of aviators.