Birds Probed As Possible Cause Of Fatal Crash Of Canadian Forces Demonstration Jet In Montana - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Birds Probed As Possible Cause Of Fatal Crash Of Canadian Forces Demonstration Jet In Montana

Updated:
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) _ Investigators are seeking pictures and video of the fatal crash of a Snowbirds jet to try to determine if the Canadian military stunt plane collided with a bird, the chief investigator said Sunday.

The Canadair CT-114 Tutor was in a practice formation with three other planes and flying upside down at an altitude of 300 feet Friday when it broke from the formation and hit the ground ``at a steep angle at high speed,'' said Maj. Ken Smith of Canadian Forces Flight Safety.

The known debris is in an area smaller than 1 square mile, he said.

Killed was pilot Capt. Shawn McCaughey, 31, of Candiac, Quebec. The team had been rehearsing for weekend performances at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Other Snowbirds pilots indicated ``everything appeared normal up until the final seconds when the aircraft departed and hit the ground,'' Smith said.

The Tutor is not equipped with a ``black box,'' which records information that may be useful in crash investigations. The plane did have some rudimentary monitoring equipment, which has not been recovered, Smith said.

The investigation could take a year. About a dozen Canadian investigators plan to be in Montana about two weeks.

The Malmstrom air show Saturday and Sunday took place without the Snowbirds, whose performances for the remainder of the season were put on hold.
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