The RCAF’s 431 Air Demonstration Squadron has been cleared for takeoff again after they were grounded pending an investigation into the cause of a crash-landing of one of the team’s CT-114 Tutor jets at the Fort St. John airport last August 2 after encountering an engine failure immediately after takeoff. The pilot managed to return to the airport.
The decision to return the Snowbirds to the skies was taken after the Department of National Defence determined that the engine failure was “due to an improperly assembled oil filter.” Investigation of the incident nevertheless continues.
Although the precision aerobatic team has resumed operations, they will not perform any more shows this year as they are currently out of practice due to the lengthy grounding.
“While we are happy that we can safely resume flying, we are very disappointed that our season ended so early,” said LCol. Denis Bandet, Commanding Officer of the squadron. “Our focus now is to get back in the air, get our jets home and start working on preparations for next year’s show season.”