Canadian Snowbirds Reveal Identity of Captain Killed in Flyover Meant to Honor Front-line Workers

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds has identified the crew member killed in Sunday's fatal crash as Capt. Jenn Casey. Casey had been aboard the CT-114 Tutor aircraft Sunday afternoon with the pilot, Captain Richard MacDougall, when it veered upwards, circled the tarmac, and went into a nosedive, crashing into the roof of a house in a Kamloops, British Columbia neighborhood as it performed a flyover as part of Operation Inspiration, which honors frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Sunday May 17, 2020 and one other member injured in an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-114 Tutor aircraft in the vicinity of Kamloops, British Columbia," the National Defence Canadian Armed Forces confirmed in a news release. "Killed was Captain Jennifer Casey, the team's Public Affairs Officer, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Captain Richard MacDougall, one of the team's coordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured and is being treated for his injuries."

According to her biography on the Royal Canadian Air Force website, Casey, who was from Halifax, Nova Scotia, worked in broadcast radio as a reporter, anchor, and producer before joining the Canadian Armed Forces in August of 2014 as a direct entry officer. Her first assignment as a Public Affairs Officer was at 8 Wing Trenton, the Royal Canadian Air Force's home of air mobility. During the 2018 season, Casey traveled North America and the United Kingdom with the NORAD 60 jet with the CF-18 Demo Team. She joined the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in November of 2018.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our Canadian Armed Forces members in a tragic incident involving one of our Snowbirds' aircraft in Kamloops, British Columbia. I am sending my sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Jenn Casey. I am also wishing a rapid and complete recovery for Captain Richard MacDougall," The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, said. "Canadians look at the Snowbirds as a source of joy and an exhibition of the incredible feats that our people in uniform are capable of. Operation INSPIRATION was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time, and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission. I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss."

According to the National Defence Canadian Armed Forces, an RCAF Flight Safety team was set to travel to British Columbia from Ottawa to investigate the crash. A Flight Safety Investigation will also be conducted. As a result of the fatal crash, Operation Inspiration has been delayed indefinitely.