Canadian Fighter Pilot Ejects Moments Before Crashing

A Canadian Forces pilot has survived after ejecting himself from a fighter jet moments before it crashed during practice for an airshow.

Lightning reactions: Royal Canadian Airforce Captain Brian Bews ejects to safety as his fighter jet stalls

The pilot has been admitted to a hospital in Alberta, Canada, with undetermined injuries.

Witnesses say Capt Brian Bews was performing low-flying manoeuvres in the CF-18 fighter jet when he ejected and parachuted to the ground.

Going down: The £30m aircraft plummets to the ground at the Lethbridge County Airport, near Alberta in Canada

He was practising a run for an airshow at Lethbridge County Airport.

The federal government has begun an investigation at the crash site.

Crash: Captain Bews watches from his parachute as the disaster unfolds. He had been taking part in a practice run the day before an air show

"He is alive and we believe right now that his injuries are non-life-threatening," Canadian Forces Captain Nicole Meszaros told CBC News.

Photographer Ian Martens told local media that Capt Bews had looked as if he were unconscious when parachuting from the jet.

Ball of fire: The CF-18 jet explodes at the airfield

"I noticed it start to bank a little bit off to one side, which I kind of thought was unusual and I saw a couple of pops and all of a sudden this plane just banked and slowly dropped into the ground into this huge orange ball of fire," Mr Martens said.

Capt Bews joined the Canadian Forces over a decade ago and has been piloting the CF-18 jet since 2004.

The Canadian government announced plans last week to spend $9bn (£5.6bn) on a new fleet of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets, which will replace the ageing CF-18s.



source: bbc