A Canadian Forces pilot killed when his fighter jet crashed near Cold Lake, Alta., did not eject or call for help before his CF-18 went down, according to an interim report released Monday.
Though a parachute was discovered at the crash site, Capt. Thomas McQueen, 29, was killed when the jet struck the ground in a descending left turn.
The details are contained in an interim report of the November crash released Monday by Department of National Defence.
The report does not explain what caused the crash, which remains under investigation, but does reveal new information about McQueen’s last moments.
McQueen, a 10-year Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, was the flying behind the lead CF-18 in a two-aircraft training mission.
The objective of the mission was to deliver two inert bombs followed by two laser-guided training rounds — simulating laser-guided bombs — at the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.
Each pilot was to perform a “safe escape manoeuvre” after dropping the bombs to avoid simulated bomb fragmentation.
McQueen was flying at low altitude, about 450 feet above the ground, when he attempted the manoeuvre.
His jet climbed 50 feet, when the nose of the aircraft began to drop below the horizon. He was killed when his aircraft struck the ground while making a left turn.
The lead pilot saw the explosion and transmitted a mayday call. He noted a parachute at the side of the ground scar.
McQueen made no radio transmission himself, nor did he eject, the report said.
‘You don’t have a second’
Former Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn, who spent 30 years in the air force and flew CF-18’s for about 12 years, said it’s no surprise the pilot did not make a distress call.