Video of 1989 Snowbirds CNE Air Show Crash

Video of 1989 Snowbirds CNE Air Show Crash

Snowbirds are a Canadian armed forces aerobatic stunt team. CNE stands for “Canadian National Exhibition” which is an annual event held at Exhibition Place in Toronto, in the province of Ontario, Canada and it’s the country’s largest fair attended by more than a Million people each year. The Canadian International Air Show is held at the conclusion of the CNE each year in September, as it has since 1949. During three days of the exhibition, aircrafts perform stunts over Lake Ontario – one of the five Great Lakes of North America.

On September 3, 1989 Canadian Forces Snowbird pilot Captain Shane Antaya of Stratford died after a midair collision. His Canadair CT-114 Tutor touched wingtips with a plane piloted by team commander Major Dan Dempsey of Edmonton. The latter safely ejected from his aircraft, the former plunged and crashed into Lake Ontario. Wife, mother and other family members of Captain Shane Antaya were in the crowd that watched him plummet to his death.

Captain Shane Antaya was an experienced pilot that had logged over 1,800 flying hours without a mishap. I guess when you’re a pilot, it only takes that one mishap to end your life in a tragedy. Some speculate that Captain Antaya gave his life to avoid an even greater tragedy when he realized that his aircraft may crash into scores of pleasure boats docked in the harbor.

The video below is a compilation of reports by CBLT, CHCH 11 and CFTO each of which covered the airshow disaster when it happened. It also contains amateur videos of the crash. Best Gore member Jamesie who hooked me up with the video says:

I was there when it happened. I will never forget the look of horror on people’s faces. Amazingly the show still went on.

Thanks a lot, Jamesie:

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20 thoughts on “Video of 1989 Snowbirds CNE Air Show Crash

  1. Wow. It looks like he could have possibly ejected and survived. It takes a true hero with balls of steel to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others

    R.I.P. Capt. Shane Antaya

    • LOL pretty random question there, guy.

      Vancouver has decent girls, and they will love you long time if you speak with an English accent, but that’s about as much as I know on the subject

        • me and my boss went to B.C. for a week to party out. He is from London, and had girls complimenting his accent all the time. Needless to say, he had no problem getting laid. I enjoyed that part of Canada, had a really good time with the locals.

          Have to say, Canadian girls are definitely a step up from American girls.

  2. I was there, with my then 4-year old son perched on my shoulders, when it happened. A woman sitting about 50 ft. away from us was rushed away by airshow staff right after it happened – she turned out to be Capt. Antaya’s wife. It’s not anything I’ve forgotten, because to see something like that happen makes you feel incredibly helpless.

    • I was in attendance as well. I was about 11 years old, I remember all of the emergency responce fire boats with their water canons. Thought that was the coolest thing.

  3. I was supposed to be there with my friends but I had to work. They raved about it to me later and I was very upset that I missed it. How dare they have an airshow crash at the CNE when I’m not there!

  4. He was a hero. If he had not died while steering his plane away from hitting boats in the water then he surely would have ended up diving in front of a bullet to shield his girlfriend.

  5. I was about to say I was surprised I didn’t hear about this before as I live in Toronto. Then I read it happened in 1989, the year I was born haha.

  6. I love airshows though i only went three times to the Miramar Air show it’s been awhile i’m hoping next time i go there it would be with my love partner<3 at least hope so.. sucks the times i went nothing happened :x

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