Distracted pilot blamed in fatal CF-18 crash in Cold Lake, Alta. in 2016

A CF-18 fighter jet crash claimed the life of a military pilot in November 2016. (Photo by The Canadian Press).

OTTAWA — An accident report suggests that a military pilot was distracted and trying to see where a practice bomb had landed just before the deadly CF-18 fighter jet crash that claimed his life in November 2016.

The final report of the military’s Airworthiness Investigative Authority found no evidence of a mechanical failure or bird strike in the crash near Cold Lake, Alta., that killed Capt. Thomas McQueen of Hamilton. There was no indication that the pilot was incapacitated.

There were also no radio transmissions from the plane in the moments before impact and the pilot did not eject.

McQueen had just dropped a practice bomb in a low-level exercise when the crash occurred, the report said.

“It appears that the pilot was capable of controlling the aircraft, but did not adequately monitor the aircraft’s flight path while manoeuvring in the low-level environment,” it said. The plane banked sharply and the nose dropped.

McQueen may have tried to recover at the last second, but was too low to pull out.

“While the reason for this lack of flight path monitoring is not knowable with any certainty, circumstantial evidence suggests that the pilot may have been distracted from the critical task of terrain clearance while attempting to spot his weapon impact.”

The exercise was designed to drop the bomb from an altitude of just under 200 metres.

The report said rules have been changed to raise the acceptable altitude for such training to more than 300 metres and to underline safety standards for low flying.

“The low-level environment is an inherently hazardous and unforgiving region where only a few seconds of distraction can mean the difference between life and death,” the report said.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Champion Red Sox owe nearly $12M in luxury tax

NEW YORK — Boston should be happy to pay this tax bill.… Continue reading

Most Read