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'Deficient' pilot training to blame for 2004 Snowbird crash

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  • 'Deficient' pilot training to blame for 2004 Snowbird crash

    The pilot killed in a 2004 mid-air collision of two Canadian Snowbird jets was too inexperienced and lacked the training to attempt the complex manoeuvre, according to an air force report released Monday.

    Too bad no one can ask the captain directly because he is (conveniently) RIP

  • #2
    Hmm...I find that hard to belive, seeing as these are the best of the RCAF.


    • #3
      So are they saying that they don't train pilots how to fly loops and not hit each other? This is basic air combat manoveuring, turn and don't hit anything. This report reminds me a lot of the accident report when the Thunderbirds had their "Diamond Crash" in the T-38's. The report initially attributed the crash to pilot error.

      "When the report was submitted, General Creech (Commander of Tactical Air Command and former Thunderbird pilot) returned it and
      reconvened the board with the statement that "Thunderbirds do not
      commit pilot errors." Command guidance was to come up with another

      That was when the "shock absorber" was invented as the culprit. What
      made the report a laughingstock for T-38 pilots (although acceptable
      to Gen. Creech and the general public) was the fact that with 160
      AT-38B aircraft on the ramp at Holloman, with at least 1000
      maintainers and more than 200 Talon IPs on the base and with more than
      20 years experience operating the airplane for the USAF, no one had
      ever before heard of the "shock absorber" and no one could find any
      reference to such a gadget in the control system schematics."
      Wayne Dippold


      • #4
        The two pilots were flying towards each other, but apparently there was not enough separation and the pilot did not initiate proper avoidance maneuvre.

        I do find it suspicious, or perhaps disappointed, that the investigation seems to have stopped at this conclusion though. This case is no different than part failures in the manufacturing industry. In the investigation reports, the most common conclusion is "operator error", and the most common corrective action is "re-train operator".

        The fact is, operator error is almost always just the action immediately before a mistake and therefore not the root cause of the problem. Due diligence requires investigators to keep digging further until they uncover an underlying problem.

        Hopefully there is no serious problem in the squadron at the top level, but in light of a few other recent crashes, I'd like to see them dig a little further.