Four of the six members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) aboard the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed off the coast of Greece graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) here in Kingston.
As was reported earlier, Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough of Nova Scotia and a member of the class of 2018 in Computer Sciences, passed away as a result of the crash, which took place on Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2020. Cowbrough was an avid piper with the Princess of Wales Own Regiment.
“The Regiment is saddened by the loss of SLt Abbigail Cowbrough. She was an accomplished piper and highland dancer who volunteered with our Regimental Pipes & Drums during her time at the Royal Military College of Canada,” the PWOR said in a post on Facebook on Thursday, Apr. 30, 2020. “She was well-respected and admired by all those who knew her. We offer our sincere condolences to her friends and family.”
Three of Cowbrough’s fellow RMC graduates – Capt. Brenden MacDonald, Capt. Kevin Hagen, and Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin – are currently missing. MacDonald, a pilot originally from New Glasgow, N.S., graduated from General Sciences (Chemistry) in the class of 2007. Hagen, a pilot originally from Nanaimo, B.C. graduated from Aeronautical Engineering in the class of 2011. And Miron-Morin, an air combat systems officer originally from Trois-Rivieres, Que., graduated from Aeronautical Engineering in the class of 2013.
“It is with sadness that I have to inform you that four RMC ex-cadets were on board the RCAF helicopter that crashed yesterday,” BGen Sébastien Bouchard, Commandant of RMC said in a statement on Thursday, Apr. 30, 2020. “They stood on our parade square and commissioned as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. They marched with their classmates through the Memorial Arch, swords held high. Now, another name will join the names of our fallen who are immortalized on the Arch — forever honoured with those who gave their lives while serving Canada. Our thoughts are with Abbigail’s family this day, as well as with the families of those who remain missing. We stand with you. Truth Duty Valour.”
Earlier on Thursday, Apr. 30, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation with regard to the accident.
“All of them are heroes, each of them will leave a void that cannot be filled. On behalf of all Canadians I want to offer my deepest support to their families, friends, shipmates, and their fellow CAF members,” Trudeau said. “This is another very hard day for Halifax, for Nova Scotia, and for our Armed Forces families.”
The CAF has indicated that A RCAF Flight Safety team will depart Canada shortly to investigate the circumstances of the accident and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.