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Pilot dead after Canadian fighter jet crashes

world Updated: Nov 29, 2016 09:02 IST
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A Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 Fighter jet arrives at the Canadian Air Task Force Flight Operations Area in Kuwait on October 28, 2014 in this Canadian Forces handout photo received October 29, 2014. (Reuters File Photo)

A pilot is dead after a Canadian CF-18 fighter jet crashed in western Canada during a training mission.

Canadian Forces spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier confirmed that the pilot died in Monday’s crash.

He said the plane was based out of Alberta’s Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, the busiest fighter base in Canada. It provides fighter training for all Canadian Forces pilots.

Speaking in Ottawa, Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Michael Hood said the plane came down on the Saskatchewan side of the border between the provinces during a routine training mission.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said he couldn’t speculate on what caused the crash. A helicopter from the base was dispatched to the crash site.

The Canadian government announced last week that it would look to buy 18 Super Hornet jet fighters from Boeing to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s. Canada is also holding an open competition to buy dozens more planes over the next five years. Canada remains part of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.