Two members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were tragically killed in a plane crash just east of Winnipeg on the morning of July 1.
The two members have been identified as Capt. Bradley Ashcroft and Capt. Zachary Cloutier-Gill. Both were posted to 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region (1CAD/CANR) Headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“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,” said MGen. Christian Droulin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region.
Capt. Ashcroft served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for more than nine years and was a member of the Construction Engineering Branch. He had recently been posted to 1 CAD/CANR HQ in Winnipeg.
Capt. Cloutier-Gill served for nearly 12 years as an Air Combat Systems Officer in the RCAF. He was part of the Air Mobility Section at 1 CAD/CANR HQ.
The aircraft was not military, and both CAF members were not on duty at the time of the crash. According to multiple news sources, the plane was a four-person Piper Cherokee PA-28 that belonged to the Manitoba chapter of the Recreational Aircraft Association.
The crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. near Deacon’s Corner south of Dugald Road.
The cause of the crash is unknown and is currently under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board.
Image: Capt. Bradley Ashcroft (left) and Capt. Zachary Cloutier-Gill (right) died in a plane crash near Winnipeg on Friday, July 1, 2016. (Source: 1 Canadian Air Division)