US & Canada

Canadian fighter pilot ejects moments before crashing

Capt Bews was practising low-flying manoeuvres for an upcoming air show

A Canadian Forces pilot has survived after ejecting himself from a fighter jet moments before it crashed during practice for an airshow.

The pilot has been admitted to a hospital in Alberta, Canada, with undetermined injuries.

Witnesses say Capt Brian Bews was performing low-flying manoeuvres in the CF-18 fighter jet when he ejected and parachuted to the ground.

He was practising a run for an airshow at Lethbridge County Airport.

The federal government has begun an investigation at the crash site.

"He is alive and we believe right now that his injuries are non-life-threatening," Canadian Forces Captain Nicole Meszaros told CBC News.

The fighter jet burst into flames on impact

Photographer Ian Martens told local media that Capt Bews had looked as if he were unconscious when parachuting from the jet.

"I noticed it start to bank a little bit off to one side, which I kind of thought was unusual and I saw a couple of pops and all of a sudden this plane just banked and slowly dropped into the ground into this huge orange ball of fire," Mr Martens said.

Capt Bews joined the Canadian Forces over a decade ago and has been piloting the CF-18 jet since 2004.

The Canadian government announced plans last week to spend $9bn (£5.6bn) on a new fleet of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets, which will replace the ageing CF-18s.

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