On November 23, 1963 a Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet aircraft on a naval training flight with two crew members on board, crashed into the heavily forested mountainous area of Mt. Strachan in what is now known as Cypress Mountain.
The two Royal Canadian Navy crew members were killed. The accident occurred one day after the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy and shared the headlines for several days as information on Lee Harvey Oswald’s Participation was uncovered. It was the height of the Cold War at this point in history, and Canadian armed forces pilots were training aggressively to be ready for any challenges resulting from the escalating political tension.
The Navy jet went down in bad weather with out any communication or trace of evidence as to why the pilot steered directly into the mountain. It took over three days of intensive group, air and water searching to find the wreckage near the popular Hollyburn Ridge winter recreation area.
Cypress Provincial Park which contains Mt. Strachan was established in 1975 and provided summer hiking as well as winter skiing opportunities. As Cypress Mountain Ski Area was developed, hiking access became more accessible to the general public; the T-33 crash site became a highly visited area due to the well-traveled hiking trails within the popular park.
In 1987 a chairlift to the peak of Mt. Strachan was constructed. “Sky Chair” now accessed 5 new ski runs, one particularly labelled “T-33” in remembrance of the 1963 event.