Suspected bird strike forces Snowbirds plane to make emergency landing on Vancouver Island
COMOX, B.C. -- A pilot for the Canadian Snowbirds team brought his plane in for an emergency landing Monday after a suspected bird strike.
The iconic aerobatics team is at 19 Wing Comox for their annual spring training session and are conducting flights twice each day.
According to team spokesperson Capt. Gabriel Ferris, the incident happened as the team was lifting off for their 9:30 a.m. practice.
Ferris said the pilot followed normal procedures and called an emergency for a suspected bird strike.
“We want to make sure to put the aircraft on the ground to have maintenance look at it and assess it and have flight safety also have a look at it,” Ferris said.
The pilot was able to put the aircraft safely on the ground and the remaining eight team continued on with the practice.
“As soon as the aircraft was on the ground secured, then the practice of the airshow continued,” Ferris said.
Eleven Snowbirds flew into Comox on May 3. Nine planes should be back in the air Monday afternoon, even if the affected plane is unable to fly.
A bird strike on a Snowbirds plane contributed to the fatal crash last year that claimed the life of public affairs officer Capt. Jennifer Casey, according to a Royal Canadian Air Force investigation.