Winnipeg, Man. — Captain Brian Bews, the Canadian Forces 2010 Demo Hornet pilot who ejected from his CF-18 Hornet in Lethbridge, Alberta Friday has authorized disclosure of his injuries — compression fractures in three vertebrae — and has issued the following statement:
“I feel extremely lucky considering the magnitude of the accident; Martin Baker is my new best friend! I will be concentrating on rest for the next while, but will make a complete recovery. I would like to thank the Canadian Forces SkyHawks and the other first responders for their quick reaction to the accident, as well as the staff at the Lethbridge hospital who have taken such great care of me. I would also like to thank my family, friends, my demo team and my air show family for their amazing support since the accident.”
Martin Baker is the brand name of the ejection seat credited with saving Bews’ life when he ejected from his aircraft seconds before it impacted the airstrip during a practice run for the 2010 Alberta Airshow.
“Given the incredible amount of force in the ejection sequence, this type of injury is very common in aircrew who eject,” said Major Rachel Morrell, Wing Surgeon at 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alta. “We can expect a full recovery and return to duty for Captain Bews.” She also added that the time to fully recover in order to return to flying duties varies greatly and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
“We’re extremely relieved to see Capt Bews quickly recovering from Friday’s accident,” said Colonel Alain Pelletier, Commander 3 Wing Bagotville. “His timely reactions and successful ejection during the event demonstrate his professionalism and are the outcome of two key elements: thorough training of our demo pilot and the survival equipment of our modernized CF-18.”
The exact cause of the crash is unknown at this time. A Flight Safety investigation is currently underway.
Department of National Defence, Kanada