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Snowbird Jet Crashes Into House in Kamloops- May 17 2020

dapaterson

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It's unlikely they will just add on a few extra tails for a different Sqn for a different mission. To buy extra airframes would be a whole separate capital expenditure and given the nature of the mission, likely would have to be a CF owned and self-insured asset. A dozen wouldn't be nearly enough to run the shows, manage unserviceability, attrition, training etc.
You're assuming the sustainment of a 9 plane team; move to five or six aircraft and the math is more appealing.
 

Loachman

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Install 'Zero-Zero' seats, like this Russian Backfire Bomber didn't have last week?


I doubt that any reasonably-drop-in solution is available, ie significant airframe and other modifications would be required and the cost would be considerable/prohibitive (and could add weight to the machine and change the centre-of-gravity, thus affecting performance). Even then, there will never be a guarantee of successful ejections at extremely-low altitudes and nose-down attitudes, while rolling and descending at a high rate.

The Tutor seat was designed to give a reasonable chance of a safe ejection at zero feet altitude with a minimum forward airspeed of 60 knots (111 km/hr), no descent, and wings level. It has a pretty good record when used within its design envelope. Ejections are rare as it is, and ejections under the circumstances of this crash are even rarer.

We were all briefed about the seat at the beginning of the Ground School phase of our Tutor course. We all understood, and nobody - neither Instructors, nor students - ever expressed any dissatisfaction with any aspect of the machine. Risk was minimal, if we even ever thought about it, compared to the joy of flying that aircraft.

A Pilot/passenger maximum weight limitation was imposed in 1982 or 1983 after a fatal ejection following loss of thrust while on short final at Calgary Airport during an Instructor Mutual cross-country training mission, shortly after I finished my Tutor course. One Pilot (whom I did not know) survived. The other, whom I knew, did not. He was taller and heavier.

The Tutor was, and is a good, solid, simple, reliable, and fun-to-fly machine. I would happily fly it again, with no reservations. There is no reason to retire it until spare parts run out.

And, when that happens, there will be wealthy people around the world who will buy the remaining aircraft and whatever spares are left and continue to fly them at airshows for another century.

I have yet to fly a "perfect" aircraft. Every single one has strengths and weaknesses. Yes, even my beloved Kiowa - the absolute bestest flying machine ever to see service in the Canadian Armed Forces - had a few shortcomings. One has to understand one's aircraft thoroughly and know how to exploit its strengths and compensate for its inadequacies.

Age, alone, has no bearing on airworthiness. Design and maintenance are king and queen.

(Edit to add speed conversion for those limited to soulless Euro units of measure)
 

Loachman

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Here's the actual epilogue from DFS: Report | CT114161 Tutor - Epilogue
“Following the take-off, a loud, impact-like sound was heard by both occupants and the aircraft then experienced a loss of thrust.”

Other common symptoms of a compressor stall: rumbling noise and rise in Exhaust Gas Temperature. "Impact-like sound" must be engineerese for what we called a "bang".

“The pilot initiated a climb straight ahead”

Standard emergency response drill was “Zoom” (trading airspeed for altitude, as was done) - “Idle” (move the throttle in the left hand fully aft) - “Air Start” (starter button on the throttle). One should be gently turning towards a safe ejection area, if possible.

No mention was made in the Epilogue that a relight was attempted.

I have heard that, for a reason that I cannot remember, the “Idle” movement was removed from the checklist some time ago.

“and then elected to carry out a left-hand turn back towards the airport.”

This is what really baffled me, right from the beginning. It’s never a good idea, at low altitude and low airspeed. It was stressed to us that we should always make the decision to eject prior to even getting into the aircraft. Ejecting is a last-ditch measure, and nobody wants to leave the comfort of one’s cockpit (especially mid-Saskatchewan-winter prior to the climate returning to normal as we have been experiencing of late), and there may be no time (like in this case) to think things through. There are no medals given for saving a crippled aircraft.

One’s decision-making skills plummet in such stressful times, though, and, for whatever reason, he thought that he could make it back for a safe landing and, while he made a wrong decision, I cannot, in all fairness, fault him for what he tried to do given the max-crappy hand that he was dealt.

“The manoeuvre resulted in an aerodynamic stall halfway through the turn before the pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft. Both occupants subsequently ejected”

I was impressed that Jenn ejected almost simultaneously. She’d obviously paid attention to her training, and likely was expecting, or had been warned to expect, an ejection order. Such a loss.

A second or two earlier, a couple of degrees less bank, and…

“and the aircraft was destroyed upon impact in a residential area.

A simple turn to avoid the built-up area would have been better for all. There was lots of wilderness/grazing land available.

“Evidence gathered during the investigation revealed that both occupants’ ejection sequences were outside of the ejection envelope.”

Which was obvious from the initial video postings.

“DNA evidence collected from the engine’s internal components confirmed the ingestion”

NOT “sucked in” as the press keeps saying.

“of a bird as witnessed from video evidence; however, the damage it caused was insufficient to cause a catastrophic failure.”

There was/is a history of occasional compressor stalls with the Tutor, generally with no known cause and easily cleared, but I cannot remember the details thirty-nine years after I last flew it. It wouldn’t necessarily take much to disturb the airflow to the compressor.

“Rather, it resulted in a compressor stall that was never cleared.”

I would have preferred a little clarity regarding “never cleared” - no attempt made, or a(n) unsuccessful attempt(s) made?

“The investigation recommends a directive be published which outlines the aircrew’s priority where an emergency during the take-off or landing phase occurs and has the potential to result in an ejection near or over a populated area.

“The investigation also recommends further training on engine-related emergencies be practiced in the takeoff/low-level environment.”

This, also, baffles me, as it should have been hammered home during previous training and also during his conversion to the Tutor. Perhaps there were unreasonable expectations made, as the Snowbirds are all experienced Pilots. Training shortcoming? Maybe. In the good, old pre-computer days, and in the absence of all of the CYA DLN courses etcetera, we would all sit around the aircrew lounge and read Flight Safety magazines and discuss the incidents and accidents therein, and sometimes our own, between flights or until the Mess bar opened on the bad-weather days.

There was also more general awareness of hazards back then, as we had many more aircraft, flew many more hours, and operated in more risky environments so accidents were a little more common. We lost eighteen guys in various crashes in 1982 (the worst year in my time in), seemingly every other couple of weeks.

“It is also recommended that the practice of storing items between the ejection seat and the airframe wall cease immediately.”

There are only two, tiny, external baggage compartments on the Tutor. People would put their empty bags in, then stuff all of their items in on top to gain every possible cubic fraction-of-an-inch (the doors would occasionally not get latched properly, leaving trails of underwear and toothbrushes across Saskatchewan and elsewhere), but there is NO NO NO excuse for jamming stuff around one’s final means of survival.

Or cases of beer in the nose gun bay of a CF5 (beer strike in Alberta, quick trip to Moose Jaw, no consideration of air pressure reduction while climbing to cruise altitude, “pop-pop-pop-pop”, very unhappy ground crew and “customers”).

“Finally, further research is recommended into the potential options that would stabilize the CT114 ejection seat from any tendency to pitch, roll or yaw immediately following its departure from the ejection seat rails.”

I was under the impression that a drogue parachute had been added since I flew the Tutor. No mention of considering a seat replacement, though.
 

Loachman

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Regardless, it does not absolve the folks in charge of ensuring troops have the right equipment.
Who, in uniform, over several millennia, has ever had "the right equipment"?

Everything could be a little bit better than it is, and everything gets old and technologically-surpassed eventually, and even more rapidly in this age, no matter how good it once was.

Plus, even brand-new, state-of-the art, leading-edge aircraft break, are flown beyond design limits, are flown less-than-perfectly, or get smacked by something.

There are no guarantees, and certainly no technological guarantees, in certain lines of work.

Some of us walk away from things that should have killed us, some of us are taken out by starlings or geese or crucial rotating parts found to be three-ten-thousandths of an inch out-of-round when the allowable tolerance is two-ten-thousandths of an inch out-of-round, some of us never realize just how close we came, and two took a machine that I last flew and were fished out of a sixty-foot-deep lake a week later (see "three-ten-thousandths of an inch out-of-round").
 

SupersonicMax

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there is NO NO NO excuse for jamming stuff around one’s final means of survival.
Up until just a couple of years ago, when we were authorized to use EFBs, we had (as in it was a formal SOP) to store our publications (for all of Canada and part of the US) on the right console panel and our NVG brackets on the left console panel in our alert aircraft. The fit between the seat and the canopy ledge was incredibly tight (you had to jam the massive pubs bag there). I am not sure what else we could have done to be honest.
 

daftandbarmy

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Up until just a couple of years ago, when we were authorized to use EFBs, we had (as in it was a formal SOP) to store our publications (for all of Canada and part of the US) on the right console panel and our NVG brackets on the left console panel in our alert aircraft. The fit between the seat and the canopy ledge was incredibly tight (you had to jam the massive pubs bag there). I am not sure what else we could have done to be honest.

Instead of paper, use an electronic copy on your iPad, or equivalent?

(Full disclosure: I admit that I have no idea what I'm talking about....)
 

Good2Golf

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Instead of paper, use an electronic copy on your iPad, or equivalent?

(Full disclosure: I admit that I have no idea what I'm talking about....)
Don’t worry, Army dude...that’s what an EFB* is.

Great idea...other than not using a cool TLA**

👍🏼


* Electronic Flight Book - ie. IPad or G-Tac pr
Other tablet
** Three Letter Acronym
 

Loachman

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Before the 2019 crash it was common practice to place small bags on top of the seat...
So what more do they have to carry now than before? What's in these "small bags"? Essentials, or luxuries? DFS seems to think that this practice can and should end.
 

Loachman

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Up until just a couple of years ago, when we were authorized to use EFBs, we had (as in it was a formal SOP) to store our publications (for all of Canada and part of the US) on the right console panel and our NVG brackets on the left console panel in our alert aircraft. The fit between the seat and the canopy ledge was incredibly tight (you had to jam the massive pubs bag there). I am not sure what else we could have done to be honest.
My only F18 ride was in Germany, just before being posted back. I knew quite a few guys flying them, and could have gone for rides at almost any time. I wasn't all that terribly interested, though, until the opportunity was almost no longer available and figured that it would be borderline criminal to waste it.

We did a "scenic" tour up the Rhine Valley. Most of what I saw was just blue left, above, and right. I couldn't see anything ahead or down. I was tempted to take Sonny for a real scenic tour - 250 feet AGL, front doors off, wave at tourists in castles as we orbitted, then drop down for a few turns around a tour barge full of semi-drunks, then back up to a castle on the other side, land at Mendig for fuel then get driven down into Koblenz for a Gasthaus patio lunch, then head back home the same way - but didn't want to make him mad with envy.

Anyway, sidetrack aside, airspace was dense and complex, but I didn't see masses of pubs in his cockpit. Did your predecessors always have to carry as much as you describe, or is that, too, more recent - and, if so, why? I've seen the thickness of pubs grow with all of the GPS approaches, to the point that they will not fit in the clipboards on either side of the Griffon cockpit. You, apparently, have to be able to cover much more geography than they did.

It was tight in the Kiowa as well. I used my GPH 205 for a lumbar support when not being used for its primary purpose. Any maps and such that I had to have readily accessible were under my left or right thigh, and my Observer or passenger had the main map(s) (which could be quite bulky).
 

SupersonicMax

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Instead of paper, use an electronic copy on your iPad, or equivalent?

(Full disclosure: I admit that I have no idea what I'm talking about....)
As G2G mentionned, that's what EFB means. Appologies for not spelling out the accronyms.

EFBs came late however. There were a bunch of technical reasons (is it electro-magnetically compatible with the aircraft, is it compatible in the cockpit, in all lighting conditions, is the battery good enough, what happens when you eject with it strapped to your leg, etc). In my professional opinion, some of those concerns were overcautious (whether it is a 1 lb iPad or a 2 lb stack of paper hitting you in the head, I don't think it makes much of a difference), some were easily mitigable (bring 2 iPads if we are worried about battery life) and I think the risk that some brought could have been accepted and compared to the risk of having a 20 lb bag of compact stacks of paper next to the ejection seat.

And there there were the security reasons (how do you bring an unclassified tablet with WiFi and potentially LTE into a classified spaces (office or the aircraft itself). Eventually, after much frustration and some work to prove the concerns we in fact not concerns, it was approved. But we digress from the original subject.

For the Tutor, there is legitimately not enough space to bring anything. You can bring a larger backpack in the luggage compartment and that's it. It is not pressurized nor heated so you have to be careful what you bring in there. There is definitely no space for a laptop. I am not sure where a laptop could be stowed (they need their laptops on the road, especially the coordinators/PA). They also need to pack to a week or more (yes, they can do laundry but you still need a minimum, including gym clothes, civilian dress clothes and regular clothes. It's hard to bring all that in a backpack. And you somehow have to stow the aircraft binder as all. I would normally put my laptop and aircraft binder beside the ejection seats. I could have put them on the glareshield but it does obstruct view a lot, which is less than ideal during the takeoff phase.
 

YZT580

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Instead of paper, use an electronic copy on your iPad, or equivalent?

(Full disclosure: I admit that I have no idea what I'm talking about....)
electronic books didn't exist and his computer was handheld, circular, and required no batteries
 

3green

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Dead reckoning computer does not have the required IFR publications for transiting around North America. On a typical trip, a pilot would require pubs/flips that would easily fill a box roughly the size of a 12 pack of beer, I've done trips across NA with enough pubs to fill a 24 bottle box of beer. The pubs have to be jammed everywhere and anywhere in the cockpit. There is literally no space to bring them. They are literally absolutely required. EFB is not just tactically functional, it's a flight safety issue - for example when a Hawk blew a $600k canopy because one of the many pubs bags they had jammed on circuit breaker panels, etc, got snagged on the canopy fracture handle and detonated the canopy at altitude. No one uses a dead reckoning computer anymore. It's an obsolete relic and serves basically no purpose airborne for this type of flying. I haven't had one in the cockpit since I did civy Cessna training 20 years ago.

As for personal kit - again there is literally no room. Crews are rolling up t-shirts and stuffing them between avionics boxes in the maintenance compartment the nose, jamming their shoes and socks against the firewall between electrical busses etc. There is no other way to transit with anything more than the flightsuit you're wearing. Until recently, it was common practice to put a bag above the seat. So it has been for the last 30+ years. Right or wrong, this is how crews got the job done for over a generation. There is just no room. As mentioned the PA/Coord has to carry a laptop. Other display teams have a staff of up to 100 people to do various functions that the team all does on their own.
 

daftandbarmy

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Dead reckoning computer does not have the required IFR publications for transiting around North America. On a typical trip, a pilot would require pubs/flips that would easily fill a box roughly the size of a 12 pack of beer, I've done trips across NA with enough pubs to fill a 24 bottle box of beer. The pubs have to be jammed everywhere and anywhere in the cockpit. There is literally no space to bring them. They are literally absolutely required. EFB is not just tactically functional, it's a flight safety issue - for example when a Hawk blew a $600k canopy because one of the many pubs bags they had jammed on circuit breaker panels, etc, got snagged on the canopy fracture handle and detonated the canopy at altitude. No one uses a dead reckoning computer anymore. It's an obsolete relic and serves basically no purpose airborne for this type of flying. I haven't had one in the cockpit since I did civy Cessna training 20 years ago.

As for personal kit - again there is literally no room. Crews are rolling up t-shirts and stuffing them between avionics boxes in the maintenance compartment the nose, jamming their shoes and socks against the firewall between electrical busses etc. There is no other way to transit with anything more than the flightsuit you're wearing. Until recently, it was common practice to put a bag above the seat. So it has been for the last 30+ years. Right or wrong, this is how crews got the job done for over a generation. There is just no room. As mentioned the PA/Coord has to carry a laptop. Other display teams have a staff of up to 100 people to do various functions that the team all does on their own.

Finally, something that the Air Force and the infantry have in common: being forced to carry a bunch of useless stuff because someone else says so :)
 

SeaKingTacco

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Dead reckoning computer does not have the required IFR publications for transiting around North America. On a typical trip, a pilot would require pubs/flips that would easily fill a box roughly the size of a 12 pack of beer, I've done trips across NA with enough pubs to fill a 24 bottle box of beer. The pubs have to be jammed everywhere and anywhere in the cockpit. There is literally no space to bring them. They are literally absolutely required. EFB is not just tactically functional, it's a flight safety issue - for example when a Hawk blew a $600k canopy because one of the many pubs bags they had jammed on circuit breaker panels, etc, got snagged on the canopy fracture handle and detonated the canopy at altitude. No one uses a dead reckoning computer anymore. It's an obsolete relic and serves basically no purpose airborne for this type of flying. I haven't had one in the cockpit since I did civy Cessna training 20 years ago.

As for personal kit - again there is literally no room. Crews are rolling up t-shirts and stuffing them between avionics boxes in the maintenance compartment the nose, jamming their shoes and socks against the firewall between electrical busses etc. There is no other way to transit with anything more than the flightsuit you're wearing. Until recently, it was common practice to put a bag above the seat. So it has been for the last 30+ years. Right or wrong, this is how crews got the job done for over a generation. There is just no room. As mentioned the PA/Coord has to carry a laptop. Other display teams have a staff of up to 100 people to do various functions that the team all does on their own.
Maybe it is just time to admit the obvious: the Snowbirds, as a concept, have run their course. Running a nine plane display squadron on a 60 year old airframe in an air force our size is ludicrous. 431 Sqn is now one of the larger Sqns in the RCAF. To do, what wartime function, exactly?
 

Quirky

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To do, what wartime function, exactly?

431 isn't going anywhere, the public loves the snowbirds. I do agree that new aircraft are needed badly, including trimming down the 9 ship, well 11 total if you count the coordinators, into 5 or 7. This year will be a wash for airshows unless most of the performances are down in the US which is where its headed seeing how Canada can't sort this Covid mess out. Then you bring up the issue for recruiting and what purpose does an American tour give.
 
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