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Partial remains of Canadian Forces pilot killed in helicopter crash recovered

Sajjan says investigation ongoing into cause of deadly helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea
Sajjan says an investigation is ongoing into the cause of a deadly helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea.

The partial remains of a pilot who was killed in a Canadian Forces helicopter crash late last month have been recovered, officials say.

Through DNA testing, Ontario’s chief coroner has identified the remains as those of Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, the Department of National Defence said in a statement Sunday.

The statement specifically used the term “partial remains” at the request of the family.

“Captain MacDonald’s family, and the families of the other crew members lost in the accident, have all been notified of this identification.”

READ MORE: Family mourns Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke after Cyclone helicopter crash

The New Glasgow, N.S., native was one of six on board the Royal Canadian Air Force CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed off the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea on April 29.

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The remains of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough were previously recovered. Four other crew members — pilot Capt. Kevin Hagen, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins — are presumed dead.

READ MORE: Fatal Canadian Forces helicopter crash witnessed by HMCS Fredericton crew: DND

“The CAF community expresses its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all our six members. We hope that they can find some comfort in knowing that we are all grieving with them,” DND said.

The helicopter was returning from a training activity at the time of the crash. The aircraft was based on the Canadian Forces frigate HMCS Fredericton, which was deployed as part of a NATO mission called Operation Reassurance.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. DND says the search for remains is continuing.