Amidst trying times for everyone, Canada has additionally experienced tragic aviation crashes. Both occurring in recent weeks resulted in the loss of military personnel.
Snowbirds crash mid air
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have spent recent weeks performing Operation INSPIRATION, an air show meant to boost the spirits of the country and pay tribute to frontline workers.
On May 17, two Snowbirds took off over Kamloops. Soon, onlookers saw the aircraft piloted by Capt. Richard MacDougall alongside passenger Capt. Jennifer Casey encounter issues. There was an explosion mid-air.
The incident ended in tragedy as both individuals ejected from the aircraft, but Casey did not survive.
Cyclone helicopter crashes in Ionian Sea
In early May, Canadian helicopter Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone took off during a NATO exercise in the Ionian Sea. The flight ended in a crash just off the Kefalonia Island.
There were six people on board the aircraft: Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, Capt. Kevin Hagen, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke, Master-Cpl. Matthew Cousins and Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough.
They recovered Cowbrough’s body and authorities presume the other five dead.
Looking for answers
While the cause of the crashes have not been found, authorities are investigating both incidents. Both investigations aim not to assign fault, but rather to gain safety information for future flights.
They are looking through available flight data, mechanical reports and witness accounts. Investigators have also enlisted U.S. aid in searching for the Cyclone helicopter. They expect to have a clearer picture of the incidents within a month. Findings will be released to the families of those who were lost, then to the public.
Release of a final report along with future preventative measures will be closer to a year from the accidents and will include discussion of related human factors.