Saturday, July 24, 2010

Canadian CF18 Pilot Ejects Moments Before Crash at Alberta International Airshow

At Chicago Ray's, "Canadian CF-15 Pilot Escapes Death Ejecting Moments before Fiery Air Show Practice Mishap..."

And at Boston's WCVB TV, "
Jet Crashes During Air Show Practice: Canadian Pilot Able To Eject Before Aircraft Hit Runway":

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta -- A Canadian air force jet crashed and exploded in a ball of flames during a training run for a weekend international air show in Alberta, but the pilot was able to eject from the plummeting plane before it hit the runway.

The pilot, Capt. Brian Bews, who sustained a sore back and scraped-up arms, was treated at a hospital and released Friday.

Bews was practicing Friday in a CF-18 Hornet jet over Lethbridge County Airport for an international air show. The CF-18 he was flying is a model specifically used for air shows.

"All of a sudden you could hear 'pop, pop, pop,' " witness Roland Booth told CTV News. "I saw sparks come out of the one engine. The plane started banking over to the side. That's when the pilot bailed out with his parachute."

Another witness, aviation buff Darren Jansens, says the pilot was just starting a maneuver known as a High Alpha pass before the accident.

"It's a high-angle pass, very low speed, fairly close to the ground. It's the lowest-speed maneuver the Hornet generally performs," said Jansens.

"The pilot did eject safely but was dragged several hundred feet unconscious along the ground," he added.

The military and the Department of Transport immediately launched an investigation into the accident. There was no indication of the cause of the accident.
And check the spectacular pictures at the Calgary Herald, "Pilot survives after CF-18 crashes, burns at Lethbridge airport: 'This is an isolated incident with one aircraft'."