Ejection seat tangled with parachute in Snowbirds crash: Investigators

snowbird istock

A military investigation has found the ejection seat of one of its iconic Snowbirds planes tangled with the pilot's parachute as he tried to escape from the aircraft before it crashed in the U.S. state of Georgia last year.

The finding is contained in a report released by the Royal Canadian Air Force today and follows similar concerns about the Snowbirds' ejection seats after Capt. Jennifer Casey died during a different crash in British Columbia in May.

The report says while investigators were unable to determine exactly what caused the first Tutor jet to crash while on its way to the Atlanta Airshow last October, they did find signs of previous damage suggesting a possible fuel leak.

Investigators also found the ejection seat tangled with the pilot's parachute when he tried to escape from the aircraft before the crash, which prevented the parachute from opening properly.

The Tutor jet was destroyed after crashing into a farmer's field and the pilot sustained minor injuries.

The investigation into last month's deadly Snowbirds crash in Kamloops has suggested a bird strike was responsible for that incident, though the military has said it is also looking at whether the plane's ejection seat functioned properly.