GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) _ A Canadian Forces Snowbird jet crashed Friday afternoon during rehearsal for weekend performances at Malmstrom Air Force Base, killing one person on board, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
During the maneuvers above the base, one plane broke from the formation and crashed, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. No one ejected from the single-engine jet, he said.
The Snowbirds perform high-speed, low-altitude maneuvers in nine Canadair CT-114 Tutors and are part of the Canadian Air Force.
The Malmstrom runway is closed, so the team took off and was to land at the Great Falls International Airport.
Greg Dart, head football coach for Great Falls High School, told the Great Falls Tribune he was sitting in his car on the highway just outside the air base when he saw the crash.
``There was a thud, then the shock wave of it hitting,'' he told the newspaper. ``After that, there was a big black cloud and the smell of jet fuel.''
The team was to perform Saturday and Sunday at Malmstrom's open house. An event organizer said Malmstrom's open house would continue, but was uncertain if the Snowbirds would perform.