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31 Bravo


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#3198 2008-10-10 19:00 GMT-5 hours    
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=4f41b6ab-0e2d-4eaa-9773-b50c81336926

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Canadian Forces officials have confirmed two people were killed in the Thursday afternoon downing of a CT-114 Tutor jet northwest of 15 Wing Moose Jaw.

The plane's pilot was a member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds home team, and not a demonstration pilot, 15 Wing commander Col. Paul Keddy told reporters. His pilot was a military photographer from the base.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the members of the families and those involved most closely (with them) at 15 Wing," said Keddy.

The downed jet was flying formation with three other CF aircraft -- a CT-155 Hawk, CT-156 Harvard and a second Tutor, reports The Moose Jaw Times Herald. The aircraft impacted a field just over one mile from 15 Wing.

Identities of the victims have not been released, pending notification of the next of kin.

Major Robert Mitchell, commander of the Snowbirds, extended condolences on behalf of the show team, which is preparing for a weekend performance in San Francisco.

"On behalf of the members of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, I too would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of both individuals," Mitchell said. "As our show team sits here deployed in San Francisco, we're all deeply saddened at the loss of these great friends, amongst them an extraordinarily talented pilot from our home team back in Moose Jaw. They will be sorely missed."





http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=95d78466-ad8d-44e0-a329-51132e045428

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Identities of two killed in Snowbird jet crash released
Linda Nguyen , Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, October 10, 2008

The identities of a pilot and a photographer who were killed Thursday after their military aerobatics plane crashed near a Saskatchewan air force base were released Friday.

The Canadian Forces have identified the two men as pilot Capt. Bryan "Mav" Mitchell, 46, and military photographer Sergeant Charles "Chuck" Senecal, 49.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Captain Mitchell and Sergeant Senecal," said Colonel Paul Keddy, Wing Commander of 15 Wing in a news release Friday. "Captain Mitchell was extremely proud to be a member of the Snowbird Team and the Canadian Forces. It was truly a dream come true for him to have been selected by the Snowbirds to fly in the next show season. He was an inspiring instructor pilot and well-respected officer who had a passion for flying."

Senecal was a veteran military photographer with the Canadian Forces for the past 30 years.

"He was well known at 15 Wing as someone who could be counted on. His 'joie de vivre' was contagious and made a difference in the lives of people around him," Keddy said.

The crash occurred about two kilometres west of 15 Wing in Moose Jaw, Sask., around 12:30 p.m. local time Thursday. Mitchell was a member of the Snowbirds home team, a military official confirmed.

Meanwhile, 24 members of the Snowbirds are in San Francisco, Calif., waiting to learn if they will still be performing at a scheduled air show there this weekend.

Friday's practice has been cancelled, according to Capt. Jennifer Jones, a spokeswoman with Canada's national air demonstration team.

"We have absolutely no idea what caused that accident. Right now, we are taking the time to grieve the loss of two great friends. We're sticking together. We're a tight-knit family, supporting each other as best as we can," she said. "The crash could've been attributed to any number of factors and once we have a little more information, a decision will be made about flying this weekend."

Jones said the mood remains sombre but the Snowbirds team will be prepared to perform.

"The team is formed of a group of professionals. They are ready for whatever decision is made, ready for option A or option B," she said. "The pilots want to fly and we'll see if they get to."

A flight safety team of investigators from the Royal Canadian Air Force in Ottawa was set to arrive in Moose Jaw Friday. The team will be assessing, among other things, if there are any safety concerns surrounding the CT-114 Tutor jet that the two were flying when it crashed.

The Snowbirds plane was on a training mission at the time of the crash.

It was photographing three other aircraft - a Hawk, a Harvard and another Tutor - flying in formation, and had been airborne for about 45 minutes when it went down.

The other aircraft returned to base safely and there was no indication the downed aircraft clipped or touched any of the other planes during the training flight. The plane was not in active service with the team.

Military spokespeople would not say whether the jet was showing signs of distress or trailing smoke before the crash.

The deaths come just over a year after another deadly Snowbird crash.

On May 18, 2007, a Tutor jet, also based at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, crashed while flying in formation with three other aircraft during a practice at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont.

The pilot, Capt. Shawn McCaughey, was killed when his seatbelt came unbuckled during an airborne roll, causing him to fall out of his seat and lose control of his aircraft.

The CT-114 Tutor has been in service in Canada since 1962, when they were purchased by the military as pilot trainers. They were adopted by the Snowbirds in 1971. They are also used in aircraft testing at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment in Cold Lake, Alta.

There have been several other crashes involving planes from CFB Moose Jaw in the past.

Last April, an instructor and student pilot were ejected from an aircraft at 15 Wing 1 1/2 seconds before it crashed into the end of the runway. Investigators believe the crash may have been caused by a broken turbine blade.

In 1954, a Trans-Canada flight collided with a two-seater, single-engine military plane just south of the airbase.

Acting pilot officer Thomas Andrew Thorrat's climbing Harvard Mark II hit the tail end of the Northstar plane at 6,000 feet, sending it in a rapid descent into the city of Moose Jaw.

The plane descended towards the direction of the city's largest elementary school and skimmed the school's roof before crashing into a house.

All the passengers aboard the commercial flight - along with the military plane's pilot and a housekeeper at the residence - were killed, bringing the death toll to 37.

Moose Jaw is 70 kilometres west of Regina.


Will keep updated as soon as the Directorate of Flight Safety report comes through.
Rest In Peace brothers.

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#3199 2008-10-11 16:15 GMT-5 hours    
Wow, sad news indeed. RIP.

Any news on the cause?

-Ray

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#3200 2008-10-11 23:30 GMT-5 hours    
No no news on the cause, and until official reports come through speculations are useless. Did the Snowbirds fly at San Francisco Fleet Week today?

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#3201 2008-10-12 00:48 GMT-5 hours    
I wanted to go watch but I've come down with a nasty cold/sore throat for the past couple of days and wasn't really up to it. I'll keep an eye on the local news tonight for any footage. I know the Angels were practicing around the city yesterday but didn't see or hear anything about the Birds.

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#3202 2008-10-12 13:52 GMT-5 hours    
That would be a fun airshow to watch i bet. Love when the F-18's buzz the water.

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#3203 2008-10-12 14:07 GMT-5 hours    
Yes, the Snowbirds were there, so that's a good sign.

It is fun to watch. I went last year and it was pretty cool. You have to go early though to find a good spot to watch from. It's fun watching the Blue Angels just a few feet above the water. Also, it's fun to watch Fat Albert fly low towards the Golden Gate Bridge and then do a hard climb to avoid it, along with a few other maneuvers. Really cool.

Here's a couple photos from last year.

View large    View medium
Click here for medium size photo!

Photo © Joerg Amann
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Click here for medium size photo!

Photo © Joerg Amann

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#3204 2008-10-12 20:03 GMT-5 hours    
Here's a video of that awesome photo taken by Joerg.





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#3205 2008-10-12 23:34 GMT-5 hours    
I can't find any info about what caused the crash yet, Flight Safety preliminary reports wont come out until 30-60 days, you know how these things go. As of right now, flights are grounded at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. I personally found this story very sad given the fact that one of the two victims, died doing what we love so much, photographing aircraft.

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#3206 2008-10-15 09:57 GMT-5 hours    
Hi Ray,

I've heared that the sneak pass this year wasn't as low as the ones last year. So we were lucky to be there last year. btw - the youtube video was made by my wife...
Regards
Joerg

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