KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) — A member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team has died and another is seriously injured after one of the jets crashed in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday.
The member who died has been identified as Capt. Jennifer Casey.
The RCAF says the injuries to the pilot, Capt. Richard Mac Dougall, are not life-threatening.
The RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We are deeply saddened and grieve alongside Jenn’s family and friends. Our thoughts are also with the loved ones of Captain MacDougall. We hope for a swift recovery from his injuries. – Comd RCAF pic.twitter.com/UZKJa6OT3S
— CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) May 18, 2020
The plane went down during a scheduled fly-over as part of the force’s Operation Inspiration tour.
Operation Inspiration started in Nova Scotia earlier this month and features the team’s signature nine-jet formation. It followed a similar initiative south of the border, where the U.S. military’s own flight demonstration teams have been flying in honour of front-line workers and first responders.
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Prime Minster Justin Trudeau released a statement Sunday evening offering his condolences
“Our thoughts are with the families of Captain Casey and Captain MacDougall, as well as the entire Canadian Forces Snowbirds team, as they grieve this terrible loss,” it reads.
“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times. Every day, they represent the very best of Canada and demonstrate excellence through incredible skill and dedication. Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud … All Canadians are with you during this difficult time.”
The fence surrounding the @KamloopsAirport is becoming a memorial tonight after Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces, was killed in today's #Snowbirds crash in #Kamloops.@CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 @BT_Vancouver pic.twitter.com/6QwUglp87e
— David Zura (@DavidZuraCityTV) May 18, 2020
A statement from Canada’s Department of National Defence says Operation Inspiration has been “delayed indefinitely.”
With files from The Canadian Press