Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 10, 2008 15:35 ET

Tutor Crash Kills Pilot and Military Photographer

15 WING - MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2008) - At about 12:37 pm on October 9, a CT-114 Tutor aircraft from 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron crashed 2.5 km North West of the base during a formation photo flight.

Two Canadian Forces members from 15 Wing Moose Jaw died in the crash. The fallen airmen are Captain Bryan "Mav" Mitchell, 46, and Sergeant Charles "Chuck" Senecal, 49.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Captain Mitchell and Sergeant Senecal," said Colonel Paul Keddy, Wing Commander of 15 Wing. "Captain Mitchell was extremely proud to be a member of the Snowbird Team and the Canadian Forces. It was truly a dream come true for him to have been selected by the Snowbirds to fly in the next show season. He was an inspiring instructor pilot and well-respected officer who had a passion for flying."

"Sergeant Senecal had a long and rewarding career as a photographer in the Canadian Forces with about 30 years of dedicated service. He was well known at 15 Wing as someone who could be counted on. His "joie de vivre" was contagious and made a difference in the lives of people around him."

"We are all deeply saddened at the loss of these great friends, amongst them an extraordinarily talented pilot from our home team back in Moose Jaw," said Major Rob Mitchell, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds. "They will be sorely missed."

The CT-114 Tutor was taking part in a formation photo flight. The formation being photographed included another CT-114 Tutor, a CT-155 Hawk and a CT-156 Harvard II. The aircraft that crashed was piloted by Captain Mitchell with Sergeant Senecal on board. The aircraft was following the formation at the time of the accident.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway. The investigative team is comprised of a lead investigator, a flight surgeon, an escape system specialist, a human factors specialist and a pilot who has flown the aircraft type.

The community is asked to respect the crash site while the investigation is underway. Investigators have begun collecting witness statements and have secured the area.

The Snowbirds show team is in San Francisco, California. A decision has not yet been made as to whether or not they will continue with their planned performance this weekend.

The Snowbirds show team is made up of the performing pilots, technicians and support staff who perform at air shows around North America. The home team remains at 15 Wing Moose Jaw during the show season and provides ongoing support to the squadron. It is made up of the standards pilots, technicians and additional support staff. Pilots who have been selected for the team, but who have not yet finalized their training, are part of the Snowbirds' home team.

Note to editors/news directors: Journalists are invited to a media opportunity with Colonel Paul Keddy, Commander, 15 Wing, at 1:15 p.m. today, at the Colonel O.B. Philp Building.

Please visit the Combat Camera website at www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca for photos of Captain Mitchell and Sergeant Senecal.

Contact Information

  • Captain Genevieve Mitchell
    15 Wing Public Affairs Officer
    306-694-2247