One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Wednesday April 29, 2020 and five other members remain missing following an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. Killed was Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, a Marine Systems Engineering Officer, originally from Toronto, Ontario. Confirmed missing are:
— Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Pilot, originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
— Captain Kevin Hagen, Pilot, originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia
— Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Air Combat Systems Officer, originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec
— Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Naval Warfare Officer, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia
— Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator, originally from Guelph, Ontario.
HMCS Fredericton and NATO allies continue to search for the other five members of the helicopter’s crew. The helicopter was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea with HMCS Fredericton as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under Operation REASSURANCE. 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. The CAF are providing our members and their families with as much support as possible to include a wide range of resources to help them through this difficult time. A RCAF Flight Safety team will depart Canada shortly to investigate the circumstances of the accident and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.
A Flight Safety Investigation will be conducted to ensure our personnel can continue to have confidence in our equipment and procedures. One of the aims of the Flight Safety program is to investigate such occurrences with the objective of quickly identifying effective preventive measures that will either prevent or reduce the risk of similar occurrences in the future. The CH-148 Cyclone was operating from HMCS Fredericton as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). The ship deployed from Halifax, N.S., on January 20, 2020 for a six-month deployment under Operation REASSURANCE. HMCS Fredericton’s deployment is part of a range of military activities undertaken by the CAF to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures.