Bonnyville Nouvelle 28 July 2011
Preliminary report into a crash of a CF-18 Hornet crash has found the aircraft was operating normally and focuses on human factors. It was undergoing two-aircraft formation night vision goggles training mission, The pilot ejected and was unharmed.
The report states that as the pilot selected the landing gear, a sudden rush of falling snow, illuminated by his landing light, disoriented him. It reflected through his head up display and washed out the instrument references used to control the aircraft. He thought he was going to crash, could not tell if his avoidance actions were working so ejected.
The pilot was inexperienced at night flying and had not undergone a night vision goggles mission in 224 days. Direction has been given for night vision goggles training to now start “only after a pilot has increased flying experience.”
The investigation continues.