A pilot with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team was forced to eject from his aircraft before it crashed earlier today. Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier, Snowbird #5, is reportedly doing fine after parachuting to safety. The CT-114 Tutor aircraft impacted a field, leaving no injuries or damage on the ground.
The team was preparing for their performance at the Atlanta Air Show this afternoon when the aircraft went down. The show takes place at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but the crash appeared to be several miles from the track. Smoke from the crash site was visible to spectators in the stands.
Capt. Domon-Grenier is married to Snowbird #2, Capt. Sarah Dallaire. She was in air with the rest of the team, and witnessed the crash. Here’s his bio from the team’s website:
Captain Kevin Domon-Grenier is from St-Raymond de Portneuf, Quebec. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infantry officer in 2007. Upon completion of his combat arms training in Gagetown, New Brunswick, he was posted to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier, Quebec at which time, he was assigned command of the 1st platoon of A company.
In 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan and took command of 71D, a team of Afghan National Army mentoring team. On his return to Canada, Captain Domon-Grenier transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot and received his wings in 2013. He was posted to 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. There, he instructed on the CT-156 Harvard II as an A Category Instructor.
Captain Domon-Grenier was posted to 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in 2017. He brings over 1600 hours of military flying experience. Captain Domon-Grenier flies the 5 jet in the Second Line Astern position.
All remaining flying at the event, including a performance by the US Air Force Thunderbirds, was canceled after the crash. One of the Huey helicopters flown by the Skysoldiers left the track and flew to the crash site shortly after the incident.
The Snowbirds have just one more appearance on their 2019 schedule – the Wings Over Houston show on October 19-20. Given the crash it seems likely that they will conclude the season early and simply return home to Moose Jaw. Follow along on our forums for any further updates that come out.
We had the great fortune to experience the cockpit of a Tutor when we flew with the team last year, and it is an understatement to say that the team members are awesome people. It is a huge relief to hear that everyone is ok!