The RCAF says a fuel leak likely led to the ejection of a Snowbirds pilot and the loss of his CT-114 Tutor in Georgia last October. The investigators also said in their final report that Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier suffered minor injuries because some of the lines of his parachute became tangled with the ejection seat. “The mostly likely cause of the parachute malfunction was the result of one or more parachute pack retaining cones having been released prior to the activation of the MK10B Automatic Opening Device,” investigators wrote. “Entanglement of the suspension lines with parts of the ejection seat immediately followed ultimately disrupting the proper opening of the parachute canopy.”
Domon-Grenier walked away from his crash but the effectiveness of the Tutor ejection seat is also being investigated in the fatal crash of a Tutor in Kamloops, B.C. in May. The Snowbirds’ Public Affairs Officer Capt. Jennifer Casey died and the pilot of the Tutor Capt. Richard MacDougall was seriously hurt after they ejected at low altitude over a residential area of Kamloops. Witnesses reported that Casey’s parachute failed to fully deploy. The two were on a repositioning flight to CFB Comox when the aircraft went down just after takeoff from Kamloops. Preliminary investigation suggests the Tutor may have ingested a bird before it climbed sharply and then entered a spin. The occupants ejected during the aircraft’s descent.