Canadian Jet Pilot Escapes Crash

A CF-18 fighter jet crashed while conducting an air-show practice flight at an Alberta airport Friday, but the pilot was able to safely eject before it exploded on impact. Capt. Brian Bews was piloting the CF-18 Hornet, which was set to perform at the Alberta International AirShow this weekend, when the crash occurred at Lethbridge County Airport just after noon. Capt. Holly Brown, a spokeswoman for 1 Canadian Air Division, said Bews is a demonstration pilot for that specific aircraft, noting his vast experience. "Capt. Bews, like any of our F-18 pilots, is highly trained, highly skilled and highly capable," Brown said. "It's a long journey to become an F-18 pilot, and our demo pilots are exceptionally proven. It's an honour to be selected as a demo pilot. "Unfortunately today, something happened. He was going through his practice sessions and something happened. He had to eject and the aircraft impacted the airfield." The pilot was about 30 metres from the ground when he ejected, and could be seen coming to rest just outside the ball of flame that erupted when the aircraft collided with the ground.