Spring training for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in Comox will be delayed at least a month due to an incident with Snowbird 5 prior to a U.S. airshow in October.
Capt. Jenn Casey, public affairs officer with the Snowbirds confirmed in an email to The Record spring training in Comox has been delayed from April to May.
“We don’t have firm dates for spring training yet. This delay in spring training means a delayed start to performances by at least one month and therefore a reduced 2020 schedule.”
The Snowbirds have been on an operational pause since Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier sustained minor injuries when he was forced to eject before a show at the Atlanta Speedway on Oct. 13.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution following the ejection. The jet crashed into a farmer’s field and there were no injuries on the ground.
The Snowbirds cancelled their final show of the season which had been scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, the weekend following the accident.
On Nov. 27, the Tutor jets flown by the Snowbirds were given the green light to return to 15 Wing Moose Jaw, as an investigation advanced enough to determine they could be safely flown to Canada.
They have been parked at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia since the incident. Another operational risk assessment will be conducted prior to resuming regular aerobatic training flights.
Casey noted the impact to the 2020 scheduled is not clear at this time.
“Once the fleet returns to flying, we will have a better assessment of the full impact to our schedule.”
She added the Snowbirds use the winter months to conduct training in order to prepare for the upcoming season.
“Approximately 80 training missions are required prior to the team’s spring training in Comox … the team’s priority is providing the Snowbirds signature show in a safe manner.”