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Snowbirds return to full operations after U.S. crash

Snowbirds Royal Canadian Air Force
This year marks the 50th season of Snowbirds performances at airshows across Canada and the U.S. File / Global News

The Canadian military’s Snowbirds aerobatics team is returning to full operations after a crash grounded the planes in the U.S. for more than a month.

Military investigators are still trying to determine why one of the Snowbirds’ famous Tutor aircraft crashed on Oct. 13 prior to an airshow at the Atlanta Speedway in Georgia.

READ MORE: Canadian Snowbirds pilot unhurt after ejecting from aircraft at Atlanta airshow

But the military said the aircraft flew back to their home base of Moose Jaw, Sask., last month without engine trouble and operations have been restarted after a thorough risk assessment process.

Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier sustained minor injuries in October when he ejected from the plane, which crashed into a farmer’s field, but no one else was hurt.

The team’s spring training remains delayed as the investigation continues.

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Canadian Snowbirds pilot uninjured after ejecting before Atlanta Air Show performance
Canadian Snowbirds pilot uninjured after ejecting before Atlanta Air Show performance

This year marks the 50th season of Snowbirds performances at airshows across Canada and the U.S. They are considered a key tool for raising awareness about — and recruiting for — the air force.

Lt.-Col. Denis Bandet, the acting commander of the Snowbirds, said he has complete confidence in the aircraft.

“Our maintainers are world-class and take meticulous care of our fleet and the Royal Canadian Air Force has a robust risk assessment process to ensure we conduct operations in as safe a manner as possible,” he said in a statement.