Skip to comments.Canadian Snowbird jet crash at Malmstrom base in Montana
Posted on 05/18/2007 5:32:41 PM PDT by buccaneer81
Canadian Snowbird jet crash at Malmstrom base in Montana
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (CP) - A Canadian Forces Snowbird jet plane has crashed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana while rehearsing for performances this weekend.
Lieut. Jeff Noel, a spokesman for 15 Wing Moose Jaw, said the jet crashed around 4 p.m. Friday. Noel would not give any information on the condition of the pilot.
Noel said all those participating in the practice run in Montana were veterans, though he couldnt say exactly how many aircraft may have been in the air at the time of the incident.
"That information is being compiled right now," Noel said.
"They did recently accept three new pilots into the program but those pilots wont be flying with the program until next year."
Witness Gillian Scarber said she was driving into Great Falls and observed a group of four or five planes practicing a formation when one of the planes crashed into the ground at the south end of Malmstrom's main runway.
The plane was coming down on a vertical loop, she said.
"It just smacked into the ground, and there was a big ball of flames," Scarber said. Smoke drifted across the highway as emergency crews raced to the scene, she said.
Witnesses said they saw no signs of a parachute and presumed the pilot was in the plane when it crashed.
No further information was available.
The Snowbirds perform high-speed, low-altitude maneuvers in nine Canadair CT-114 Tutors and are part of the Canadian Air Force.
The team was scheduled to perform Saturday and Sunday in Great Falls at Malmstrom's open house and sport auto-rama.
An event organizer said the open house would continue as scheduled, but it was uncertain if the Snowbirds will perform.
One of the finest and classiest aero demo teams I have ever seen. Too Bad.
I was stationed there from Feb 77 to Feb 79 in the USAF and saw the Thunderbirds perform one year.
A Canadian Forces Snowbird plane, rehearsing for two shows this weekend at Malmstrom Air ForceBase, crashed about 4 p.m. on the south end of the bases main runway, killing the pilot. ...
A Geyser woman coming into Great Falls on Highway 87/89 observed a group of four or five planes practicing a formation when one of the planes coming down on a vertical loop crash into the ground.
It just smacked into the ground and there was a big ball of flames, said Gillian Scarber. Smoke drifted across the highway as emergency crews raced to the scene, she said.
Eyewitnesses said they saw no signs of a parachute and presume the pilot was in the plane when it crashed.
Greg Dart, head football coach for Great Falls High School, was sitting in his car on Highway 87/89 just outside the air base when three of the Snowbirds approached, flying low.
My son said, Dad, look at their wings, he said. And as I looked, the wing wiggled up and it went straight down.
It was less than a second before it hit the ground, Dart said. There was a thud, then the shock wave of it hitting. After that, there was a big black cloud and the smell of jet fuel.
The two planes came back, circled over the top and then went on, he said. I didnt see a chute that was the first thing I looked for but I didnt see anything. And they were so low that I cant imagine anyone getting out.
I saw them before. They have a great show.
Always possible when flying a fighter.
Yes ... prayers.
Sorry to hear this...these guys are the best of the best.
Well, yeah, but they weren't.
Does it matter? I suspect they pull similar G’s.
Nope, not by a long shot.
Ever see one of their shows? They play off the docile handling of the CT-114 by performing a very slow and gracefull show, almost musical, which they perform to.
Always with lights on, usually with smoke, always gracefull, never exuding strength.
They fly then, to the capabilities & strengths of their planes, which do NOT include high speed & high G maneuvers.
Right you are, and the Snow Birds are a creation of successive Liberal Socialist Canadian Goverments beginning with Trudeau. Rather than the predatory word Hawk ( the former icon of RCAF teams such as the " Glolden Hawks", the predecessors of the " Snowbirds.")the libs picked the softer " Snowbird."
Now it will take conservative Canadian Prime Minister Harper many years to acquire new CAF fighter aircraft, and recreate a more aggressive tactical aircraft demonstration team. We can only hope.
Here is the way it used to be in Canada:
This accident was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the pilot's family. I hope the accident was not a result of an aging aircraft, which I doubt. The TUDORS are generally kept in tip top shape.
Is that Ground Lock or G-Lock in terms of the number of negative Gs being generated on say pulling out of a loop?
You're talking mechanical malfunction or pilot error?
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