Jet Failure Ruled Out in Air Show Crash

From Associated Press

There is nothing to suggest that mechanical or structural failure played a part in a weekend accident in Toronto that killed the Snowbird aerobatic team pilot, Capt. Shane Antaya, the Snowbirds base commander said.

Col. Claude Thibault said Tuesday that he is confident the 25-year-old Tutor jet is still up to the task of serving as Canada's primary military training jet.

"You can't really say it's 25 years old," Thibault said in an interview.

"Every 400 hours (of flying time), the aircraft is virtually stripped down to nothing and rebuilt."

Thibault was responding to a question about the structural integrity of the Tutor, which went out of production 25 years ago.

During a demonstration by the Snowbirds at the Canadian National Exhibition air show on the weekend, two Tutors clipped wings. Antaya died when his plane plunged into Lake Ontario. The pilot of the other plane ejected safely before his jet crashed.

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