Since 1972, nine members of the Canadian Snowbirds air demonstration team have died while on duty, along with one passenger.
Prior to Sunday, seven pilots and one passenger have been killed during flights, while one pilot was killed in a motor vehicle accident after an airshow in the U.S. in the 1980s, according to the Royal Canadian Air Force website.
The Snowbirds were first created in 1971 and have performed at airshows in Canada and the U.S. for decades. They fly the Canadair CT-114 Tutor, a jet that was used by the Canadian Forces as “basic pilot-training aircraft” between 1963 and 2000.
“Flying by its very nature has an inherent element of risk,” the RCAF site says. The Snowbirds perform on average around 60 airshows at 40 different locations in Canada and the U.S. each year, between May and October.
“Eight Snowbird pilots have lost their lives in the performance of their duty. We remember them,” the site said on Sunday, prior to confirmation that a Snowbirds team member had died in the latest crash in B.C.
“Every Snowbird performance is a tribute to these pilots and to all the men and women of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds who have dedicated themselves to excellence.”
The most recent crash in Kamloops, B.C., killed one member of the Snowbirds team and left another injured. Global News has learned that Capt. Jennifer Casey was killed in the crash.
Casey, the team’s public affairs officer, is from Halifax, according to her Canadian Forces biography. She joined the CAF in 2014, and the Snowbirds in 2018.
This is the second crash for the Snowbirds in less than a year.
In October 2019, a Snowbirds pilot was forced to eject at the Atlanta Air Show — his plane then fell in an unpopulated area. He escaped without injury.
2008 — The last time a Snowbird flight resulted in fatalities was Oct. 9, 2008, when Capt. Bryan Mitchell, 47, and Sgt. Charles Senecal, an imagery technician, were killed during a “dissimilar formation photo flight” in Moose Jaw, Sask.
2007 — Capt. Shawn McCaughey, 31, was killed during a practice flight at an airbase in Montana on May 18, 2007.
2004 — Capt. Miles Selby, 31, was killed while on a training mission in Mossbank, Sask., in December 2004.
1998 — Capt. Michael VandenBos, 29, was killed while on a training mission in Moose Jaw, Sask., in December 1998.
1989 — Capt. Shane Antaya, 26, was killed during an airshow at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto, Ont.
1988 — Capt. Wes Mackay, 28, of Alberta was killed in a car accident following an airshow in Pennsylvania.
1978 — Capt. Gordon de Jong, 32, was killed during the course of an airshow in Grande Prairie, Alta.
1972 — Capt. Lloyd Waterer, 24, was killed during an airshow in Trenton, Ont.
— With a file by The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, and Global News reporter Kerri Breen