Captain Jenn Casey was killed Sunday when the Canadian Snowbirds jet she was riding in experienced trouble and crashed shortly after takeoff from Kamloops, British Columbia.
The pilot of the jet, Snowbird #11 Captain Richard MacDougall, survived the crash but sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries. He remains in the hospital.
Captain Casey has been the team’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO) since the beginning of the 2019 show season. Before that, she served as the PAO for the CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team during the 2018 show season. Her time with the teams made her a well-known face within the airshow industry.
Her full biography from the Snowbirds’ website reads:
Captain Jenn Casey is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct entry officer. Prior to joining she spent several years working in broadcast radio as a reporter, anchor, and producer in both Halifax, NS and Belleville, ON.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College, and a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies from Royal Roads University.
Her first assignment as a Public Affairs Officer was at 8 Wing Trenton, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s home of air mobility. She spent the 2018 season with the CF-18 Demo Team, travelling North America and the United Kingdom with the NORAD 60 jet. Captain Casey joined the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in November 2018.
Many have been posting tributes to Casey since the RCAF revealed the identity of the deceased Snowbirds member. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted:
He wrote: “Tonight, I join all Canadians in mourning the loss of a member of the CF Snowbirds Operation Inspiration team, Captain Jennifer Casey. I’m sending my deepest condolences to her loved ones, and wishing Captain Richard MacDougall a full recovery.”
The Canadian Forces in the U.S. Twitter account posted a moving tribute:
Aviation photographer and journalist Tom Podolec posted about the Snowbirds team’s visit to Toronto during Operation Inspiration:
Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Moyse posted:
The fence around the Kamloops airport where the incident occurred is now serving as a memorial to Casey, as this video shows: