OTTAWA (NEWS 1130 — A pilot originally from Nanaimo is one of five Royal Canadian Air Force members still missing in Wednesday’s military helicopter crash off the coast of Greece.
The Canadian Armed Forces identified those still missing on Thursday.
One of them is Capt. Kevin Hagen, a pilot originally from Nanaimo.
Others confirmed missing:
- Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, a pilot originally from New Glasgow, N.S.;
- Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, an air combat systems officer originally from Trois-Rivières, Qué.;
- Sub-Lieut. Matthew Pyke, a naval weapons officer originally from Truro, N.S.;
- Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins, an airborne electronic sensor operator originally from Guelph, Ont.
One body has been recovered and identified as Sub-Lieut. Abbigail Cowbrough, of N.S.
The CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed off Greece during a training exercise on Wednesday.
The helicopter was deployed with the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton as part of a NATO maritime force in the Mediterranean.
Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance said Thursday the aircraft had been performing basic exercises and was returning to the ship, when, at 6:52 p.m. local time, contact was lost. A few minutes later, he explained, flares were spotted in the water.
The Canadian Armed Forces release the names of the five missing members of the military following the helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea. The body of Sub Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough has already been recovered. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/x8GeYfFbFk
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 30, 2020
“At the time of the accident, the Canadian ship was conducting collaborative training with Italian and Turkish ships. The Cyclone was conducting concurrent flight operations.” says a release.
HMCS Fredericton and NATO allies continue to search for the five missing members of the helicopter crew.
There’s still no word on what caused the helicopter to go down, but Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has confirmed the data recorders have been recovered. An air force flight safety team is being sent from Canada to investigate the circumstances of the crash.
“I wish to express my deepest condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing with our NATO Allies for the five missing members and all available resources are being dedicated to this effort. This accident is a painful reminder of the dangers that members of Canada’s military face every day to ensure the safety and security of Canadians,” said Sajjan.
While he didn’t have any concern about the military’s current fleet of Cyclone helicopters, Sajjan said there is now an operational pause in place to ensure there are no obvious issues with the aircraft.