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Snowbird pilot OK after crash landing

Emergency crews converged in a hay field southeast of the North Peace Regional Airport shortly after 12 p.m. following the crash.
snowbird-crash-fsj-aug2022
Emergency crews respond to a Snowbird plane crash at the North Peace Regional Airport, Aug. 2, 2022.

Update, 2:15 p.m.:

A Canadian Forces Snowbird pilot escaped serious injury Tuesday after their plane crashed during takeoff in Fort St. John.

Emergency crews converged on a hay field southeast of the North Peace Regional Airport shortly after 12 p.m. following the crash.

Major Trevor Reid with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Public Affairs Office says the CT-114 Tutor suffered what’s being called a "hard landing" while taking off from the airport. The pilot was not physically injured and was being checked on by a medical team.

"The aircraft did have a hard landing and the sole occupant, the pilot, did not suffer physical injuries but is being medically assessed as per RCAF policies," said Reid.

The Snowbirds demonstration team was in town for the return of the International Airshow over the weekend. 

Most of the team has since flown to Penticton for a performance there, however, on Tuesday afternoon one Snowbird aircraft could be seen on the airport tarmac where they had staged for the airshow. 

Reid said its too early to determine the status of the Snowbird still at the airport, as well as the team’s scheduled appearance in the south Okanagan.

"Our chief concern is with our pilot right now," he said. "He's not physically injured but certainly we're cognizant that this is a serious incident for him."

Airport officials say the emergency operations centre has been activated, and airport firefighters and the Fort St. John fire department were on scene.

A witness in the area reported hearing what sounded like a plane with engine trouble, however, the cause of crash is not known and still under investigation. 

RCMP Cst. Chad Neustaeter said RCMP members are also on scene "to assist with the initial emergency response but details are yet to be determined."

Officials say they are working to determine what the operational impacts are to the airport. As of last report, a runway closure and inspection has delayed some flights.

"Despite all of the safety precautions that are taken, incidents do happen and it’s heart-breaking in the air show world," a statement from airshow organizers said.

"The North Peace Regional Airport is working with local first responders and ground crews to attend to the pilot and their aircraft. We ask that during this time you are respectful of the families of the pilots who were involved in the incident and ensure that anything you share comes from official source."


Original story:

Emergency crews have converged on a hay field southeast of the North Peace Regional Airport this hour.

Preliminary details from airport officials say a Snowbird plane crashed on takeoff shortly after 12 p.m.

There are no injuries being reported at this time, and the airport's emergency operations centre has been activated, officials say.

Airport firefighters and the Fort St. John fire department are on scene.

"By the time the City of Fort St. John Fire Department arrived, the fire had been extinguished by the North Peace Regional Airport Fire Department,' the City of Fort St. John said in a post to social media. "There are no injuries reported at this time."

A witness in the area reported hearing what sounded a plane with engine trouble, however, airport officials say the cause of crash is not known and still under investigation. 

RCMP Cst. Chad Neustaeter said RCMP members are also on scene "to assist with the initial emergency response but details are yet to be determined."

Officials say they are working to determine what the operational impacts are to the airport.

On Tuesday afternoon, there was one intact Snowbird plane seen on the tarmac where they had staged for the weekend airshow. Airshow organizers acknowledged the incident, sharing in a statement that the departing Snowbird went down on takeoff.

"Despite all of the safety precautions that are taken, incidents do happen and it’s heart-breaking in the air show world," the statement said.

"The North Peace Regional Airport is working with local first responders and ground crews to attend to the pilot and their aircraft. We ask that during this time you are respectful of the families of the pilots who were involved in the incident and ensure that anything you share comes from official source."

More to come.