F-18 Crashed at YQL Airport

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Looks like a right engine failure in the classic high-alpha maneuver.

Reminiscent of the lawn-dartski Mig-29 at the 1989 Paris airshow! Glad the driver's okay. What a story for the grandkids!!

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OK I know it was a serious accident that could have been fatal but....

in the first Calgary Herald video, the music in the Background was STAYING ALIVE... I had to chuckle. I am glad he is ok.

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Went to the airshow in YQL on Sunday and the wreckage was sitting out front and centre of the Presidents Chalet. All the performers had to taxi past the wreckage to and from the staging area. Must have been kind of sobering.

That aside it was a great show, hot and sunny with just enough of a breeze to keep it cool but not enough to adversely effect the performances. Some great acts, from the Granley's Duelling Yaks and the A10 to Manfred Radius' glider performance and the Tora Tora Tora re-enactment of Pearl Harbour.

Took lots of pics and will post some when I get a chance to go through them. One of the drawbacks of having a camera that shoots 8 frames/second is lots of very similar shots and lots to cull before finding the gems (hopefully).

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PS Note nozzle positions in first photo! That should tell them something. (F18 pilots please explain!)


Not a driver but the nozzles go open when they are in afterburner. There is also a lot of flame coming out of the left engine when it hit the ground...

Right engine failure sure looks like the culprit.scratchchin.gif

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Statement from pilot of CF-18 demonstration Hornet Written by Air Force Articles Tuesday, 27 July 2010 Winnipeg, Man. – Captain Brian Bews, the Canadian Forces 2010 Demonstration Hornet pilot who ejected from his CF-18 in Lethbridge, Alta. 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 Capt 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, Que. “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 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.

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  • 2 years later...

Stuck piston likely led to CH Hornet crash Written by The Canadian Press

Dec. 12, 2012, Lethbridge, Alta. - A military investigation has concluded that a sticky piston probably caused the crash of a CF-18 Hornet during an air show practice in southern Alberta.

The jet, flown by Capt. Brian Bews, lost thrust in its right engine while doing a manoeuvre about 90 metres above the ground at the Lethbridge County Airport in July 2010.

The plane didn't respond and Bews was forced to eject seconds before the CF-18 crashed and exploded in a massive fireball.

He suffered three compressed vertebrae.

The Royal Canadian Air Force says a number of factors contributed to the crash, but it pointed specifically at the piston.

"The engine malfunction was likely the result of a stuck ratio boost piston in the right engine main fuel control that prevented the engine from advancing above flight idle when maximum afterburner

was selected,'' says the report.

"The large thrust imbalance between the left and the right engines caused the aircraft to depart controlled flight and the aircraft was unrecoverable within the altitude available.''

The Air Force says it is improving its air show training program and has expedited a program to upgrade the main fuel controls of all CF-18s.

As a result of the crash, the CF-18 demonstration team cancelled its six scheduled appearances in Canada and two in the United States under orders of the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

Bews told reporters a few weeks after the crash that he knew instantly something was wrong.

"It became immediately obvious to me that the jet was not acting like it normally acts,'' Bews said at the time. "I was not in control of the aircraft anymore.''

Bews wrestled with the jet for a few seconds before it looked like it was about to spiral toward the ground.

"I knew where the jet was going and I didn't want to be there with it, so I knew my only chance of survival was to pull the ejection handle.''

The ejection went smoothly, but when Bews landed the parachute shroud lines became entangled around his left leg and the parachute re-inflated before it could be released, causing him to be dragged several hundred metres.

"The pilot untangled the shroud lines from his leg and rotated onto his stomach while continuing to be dragged, now head first,'' the final report says.

"At the same time, members from the Sky Hawk Parachute Demonstration Team were chasing the pilot in their vehicle and, as they managed to catch up with the parachute, the pilot was able to

release the right Koch fitting. One of the Sky Hawks jumped from the vehicle and assisted the pilot by deflating the parachute and other Sky Hawks members performed immediate first aid.''

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