Snowbirds Update

On June 24, the Canadian Armed Forces released the following statement: “The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be unable to fly in planned airshows and fly pasts, until a technical issue is resolved that relates to a device that sets the timing for the deployment of the parachute during the ejection sequence.

“During routine maintenance on the parachutes at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on June 19, aviation technicians discovered that the tool may not be calibrated accurately. Out of an abundance of caution, the parachutes currently being used by aircrew flying in CT-114 Tutor aircraft will now be re-tested and re-packed, as necessary, to ensure proper timing is set for their activation in the event of an emergency.

“It is not known how long it will take to resolve this issue, but the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is working diligently with subject matter experts and a third-party aviation contractor to get the team back in the air as soon as it is safe to do so. It is anticipated that upcoming performances in the Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview areas in New Brunswick on Wednesday, June 29, will need to be cancelled. The Snowbirds and the CAF teams are working hard to get the team back in the air for Canada Day, July 1, in Ottawa, ON.”

As it happened, the Snowbirds were unable to fly over the National Capital Region for Canada Day. According to the RCAF’s Twitter account, “This was a tough decision, but after not flying for a period to time, the team must conduct several practice flights and our technicians need to conduct some maintenance work on the jets. The next planned show is 9-10 July in Kelowna B.C.” Another tweet added, “The silver lining is that the team has been cleared to fly, but now must return to home base in Moose Jaw in order to prepare for future airshows.”