VANCOUVER, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A Canadian Forces F-18 Hornet fighter jet crashed Friday afternoon during a practice session for an air show in the western province of Alberta.
|Pilot Capt. Brian Bews parachutes to safety as his a CF-18 fighter jet crashes|
and explodes during a practice flight at the Lethbridge County Airport on Friday,
July 23, 2010 for the weekend airshow in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. (Xinhua/AP)
A spokeswoman for the Canadian Forces said the pilot " successfully ejected" before the crash which took place at about 12:15 pm local time at the Lethbridge county airport in the southwest part of the province.
"At this point, as far as we know, there are no other injuries," said Captain Kendrah Allison of the Canadian Forces in Ottawa. "It was during a practice session for the Alberta International Airshow."
Captain Brian Bews, a demonstration pilot for that particular aircraft, was reportedly flying low-level maneuvers when the plane crashed and burned on the runway in Lethbridge, a city 215 kilometers south of Calgary. Witnesses said he pulled his parachute and ejected about 30 meters from ground before the jet crashed.
He was taken to a local hospital with undetermined injuries.
"I know that the pilot has been recovered and I don't know the status of his medical condition, but obviously his well being is our primary concern so we are taking care of whatever injuries he has," Allison said.
It was not known whether the fighter jet developed problems at take-off, during maneuvers or in landing.
"The plane has also been recovered and right now there is an investigation ongoing, a flight safety investigation, and that will determine the cause of the crash," Allison said.
She added there was no impact to CF-18 operations. "Other CF- 18s are continuing as normal."
"There's no problem with the fleet. We don't think this is a fleet problem at all. The cause of the crash is under investigation. If we suspected that there was a problem with the fleet then the necessary precautions would be taken because we want to maintain safety for the fleet at all times."
A demonstration by the twin-engine CF-18 Hornet tactical aircraft was one of the many attractions scheduled for the Alberta International Airshow which takes place Saturday and Sunday.