The red and white Snowbirds remain on the ground following the May 17 crash in Kamloops. Kamloops this Week.

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

  • May. 25, 2020 3:08 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

Kamloops Airport manager Ed Ratuski has confirmed to Kamloops This Week that the CT-114 Tutor Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops on Monday.

“There’s still some activity here,” Ratuski said, noting injured pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall is expected to depart Kamloops.

The airport hasn’t been advised of any set departure date for the jets, Ratuski said.

On its Facebook page, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds posted that members of the squadron are returning to 15 Wing in Moose Jaw on Monday afternoon, with a request for privacy upon their arrival at 2:15 p.m. Moose Jaw time as they are still grieving the loss of Capt. Jennifer Casey, who died when the plane carrying her and MacDougall crashed in Brocklehurst on May 17.

The tour, which began on May 3 in Nova Scotia, has been suspended due to the tragedy.

Lt. Alexandra Hejduk, public affairs officer for 19 Wing Comox, said most members of the Snowbirds have now departed the city for Moose Jaw — the Snowbirds’ home base — via a Hercules plane, but a small contingent is staying behind, acting as stewards of the jets for as long as they need to be.

Hejduk said those team members will remain at whatever local hotel they have been staying, with the military covering the cost.

They are also supporting MacDougall, who is recovering at Royal Inland Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Hejduk couldn’t comment on the role MacDougall will play in determining the cause of the crash, but noted the investigative team is interviewing all witnesses, MacDougall being one of them.

Hejduk said the red and white Snowbirds remain on the ground until the cause of the crash is determined. Snowbirds commanding officer Lieut.-Col. Mike French has said the investigation could take up to a year to complete.

Military investigators arrived in Kamloops on May 18 and the wreckage of the plane was cleared from the crash site on Glenview Avenue by May 21.

First Military Police Regiment from Edmonton, with the assistance of the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Joint Task Force Pacific, secured the site, and the RCAF’s 19 Wing Comox aided with recovering the wreckage.

Hejduk said military personnel have some logistics and loose ends to tie up before departing Kamloops by the weekend. The wreckage will be transported to Ottawa.

Police tape at the crash site has been moved back to just outside the Glenview Avenue home the jet struck. One side of the house, which Hejduk said has been handed back to the homeowners, is charred and boarded up, with a few holes in the roof.

Footage of the crash site release on social media showed flaming wreckage up against that side of the home and what appeared to be the tail of the plane across the street.

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s directorate of flight safety team began its preliminary field investigation on May 18, amassing evidence and removing the wreckage from the site to be transported to a secure location, catalogued and analyzed, Hejduk said.

She said there is no timeline for completion of the investigation, noting people have been asking how long it will be before there are answers.

“Those members need to be able to do everything in the most thorough, objective and professional manner as possible so we can get down to the bottom of what happened,” Hejduk said.

READ MORE: One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crash in Kamloops

READ MORE: B.C. pilots organize memorial flight to honour Snowbirds after fatal crash

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Airport

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UPDATED: Motorcyclist escapes fire uninjured after onlookers sound alarm in Sidney

First ride of the season ends in flames for one motorcyclist

Loaded gun, hundreds of rounds ammunition seized in Victoria

Victoria police focus on Project Burnside Gorge Connect

Saanich police break up Canada Day gathering of nearly 200 youth in Mount Douglas Park

Officers observed underage drinking, public intoxication, lack of physical distancing

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Epstein pal arrested, accused of luring girls for sex abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell was in an intimate relationship with Epstein for years

B.C. repairs COVID-19 emergency order for local government

Ombudsperson shut out as his recommendations implemented

No doctor assisted death allowed at Hamlets in Duncan

Faith-based company that owns facility believes in sanctity of life

Most Read