A Canadian aerobatic jet (snowbird) crashed into a British Columbia neighborhood during a flyover intended to boost morale during the pandemic, killing one crew member, seriously injuring another and setting a house on fire. A video appeared to show the plane’s crew ejecting.
The crash left debris scattered across the neighborhood near the airport in the city of Kamloops, 260 miles (418 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver, on Sunday. The Snowbirds are Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds or U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Capt. Jennifer Casey, who served as a spokesperson for the Snowbirds, and the injuring of Capt. Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft who survived landing on the roof of a house.
“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times.” Trudeau said in a statement. “Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud.”
The morale-boosting mission is now on indefinite hold and the fleet of Tutor jets has been placed on operational pause.