UPDATED: Winnipeg plane crash victims identified
WINNIPEG – The Royal Canadian Air Force has identified the two men killed in a plane crash on the outskirts of Winnipeg Friday morning as Capt. Bradley Ashcroft and Capt. Zachary Cloutier-Gill.
Capt. Ashcroft had served in the Armed Forces for over nine years and was a member of the Construction Engineering Branch based in Winnipeg.
Capt. Cloutier-Gill was an Air Combat Systems Officer and part of the Air Mobility Section based in Winnipeg. He had been a member of the Armed Forces for nearly 12 years.
“This is a sad day for the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Armed Forces. We have lost two members of our military family who served their country well. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and loved ones, whom we are working to support in the wake of this tragedy,” read a statement released by Major-General Christian Drouin, commander of 1 Air Division and the Canadian Norad Region.
The crash happened on Friday morning at around 10 a.m. several kms north of Highway 1 between the Red River Floodway and the city’s water treatment plant.
It caused a black plume of smoke to rise into the sky and the wreckage caught fire after it hit the ground.
The plane, a Piper PA 28, belonged to the Manitoba chapter of the Recreational Aircraft Association that operates out of the Lyncrest airfield, located just a few kms from the crash site.
Capt. Cloutier-Gill and Capt. Ashcroft were not on duty at the time.
It’s still unclear what caused the plane to go down. The investigation is in the hands of the Transportation Safety Board.
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