Canada — Statement From Pilot Of CF-18 Demo Hornet

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

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