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Wed, May 28, 2003

Freedom Is Never 'Free': CF-18 Crash Kills Canadian Forces Pilot

A Canadian Forces fighter pilot was killed in a Monday accident, at approximately 1420. The accident occurred during a training mission, in northeastern Alberta. Piloted by Capt. Kevin Naismith (38), the CF-18 based at the 416th TFS, went down on the Primrose Air Weapons Range about 3 miles North of Burnt Lake, Alberta. Naismith's Hornet was one of many involved in an exercise. 

The investigation is still underway and in it's earliest stages, but poor weather may have played a part in this accident, which terminated after a steep descent to impact. Tragically; Naismith (right) appears to have attempted a very late ejection, as his body was found over 500 feet away from his aircraft attached to his chute.

Naismith joined the Canadian Forces in 1991 and had logged more than 2,000 hours in the Hornet. The accident occurred while he was flying as part of a two-ship formation at 3000 feet. Naismith was one of some 50 other aircraft working an international air combat exercise, Operation Maple Flag, involving Canada, France, Belgium and the US. Sixteen CF-18s have been lost to accidents since the aircraft was first deployed in 1982.

Naismith was married and the father of three children. They'll be in our prayers...

FMI: www.airforce.forces.gc.ca

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