The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) says it’s investigating an “inappropriate and unapproved” call sign that was broadcast by a military pilot in the United Kingdom on Monday.
A Canadian researcher posted on social media Monday a screenshot of a flight tracking website that showed a CF-18 Hornet flying in the U.K. with the call sign “D*CK69.” Steffan Watkins said in the post on X, formerly known as Twitter, it seemed the pilot turned on a transponder that broadcasted that call sign, rather than its assigned one.
Watkins shared a link to a flight tracking website which displayed the call sign.
The RCAF spokesperson said the incident is under investigation.
“The Royal Canadian Air Force is aware of an inappropriate and unapproved aircraft identifier that was transmitted electronically by one of our CF-18 Hornets currently deployed to the United Kingdom,” the spokesperson said.
“The incident is under investigation so additional details about what transpired cannot be provided at this time. The RCAF expects all members to display the highest standards of integrity and professionalism, and to exercise good judgment at all times.”
This isn’t the first incident of controversial call signs within the RCAF.
In December 2022, two military officers were handed reprimands and minor suspensions of pay for failing to enforce the military’s orders on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct.
The charges and disciplinary actions stemmed from an informal meeting known as a “call sign review board” on June 22 of that year at one of Canada’s two main fighter jet bases, 4 Wing Cold Lake in Alberta.
Former fighter pilots described such review boards as informal meetings after major training exercises or operations in which pilots assign nicknames, or call signs, to newer members over drinks.
The RCAF that during the meeting in June, several fighter pilots proposed, discussed and assigned an “inappropriate” call sign for another pilot.
The Liberal government has promised reforms in the Canadian military after a scathing report in May 2022 called the armed forces a “broken system” that is a “liability” to the country.
— with files from The Canadian Press
- How to know if you have salmonella as death toll rises from cantaloupe outbreak
- After Medicago shutdown, Canada recovers $40M and research on COVID-19 vaccine
- Ontario stay-at-home dad overwhelmed by ‘compassionate’ response to financial struggles
- Record gold prices could hit the value of your portfolio — and your jewelry box