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Report: Known defect led to Snowbird crash

OTTAWA, July 6 (UPI) -- A Canadian military report issued Monday concludes the cause of a fatal crash of a Snowbird aerobatics team jet involved a known lap-belt design problem.

Capt. Shawn McCaughey, 31, of Candiac, Ontario, was killed when he lost control of his Tutor jet and crashed during a practice flight in Montana in May 2007. The report by the Flight Safety Directorate of the Canadian air force determined McCaughey's lap belt did not engage properly, causing him to fall out of his seat during an upside-down maneuver, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

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The report said the lap-belts were known to sometimes appear to be correctly fastened when they were not. The report said pilots, including McCaughey, had been given procedures to address the problem.

CKOM Radio in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said the report criticized the fact it took more than five years to rectify a "serious equipment deficiency."

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