The Royal Canadian Air Force says it is investigating a sexual misconduct allegation against a Snowbirds pilot.
The commanders of 1 and 2 Canadian Air Divisions issued a statement on Saturday (June 17) saying the allegation has been made against a member of 431 Squadron, which is based in Moose Jaw, Sask., and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating.
Department of National Defence spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande says the member is a pilot with the aerial acrobatics team, but she notes no charges have been laid.
Lamirande says the department isn’t releasing where or when the alleged misconduct occurred.
The department’s news release says the person affected by the alleged misconduct is also a member of the military.
It says the Snowbirds will perform air displays as an eight-aircraft team, instead of nine, for the foreseeable future.
“The pilots do a number of training exercises before the show year begins,” Lamirande explained about why the team can’t just fly with another pilot.
“To sub someone in, we’d have to have a spare (CT-114) Tutor pilot that is fully trained and underwent the same exercises as the other ones. At this point, we don’t have someone who is trained and ready to go.”
The DND says the member facing allegations has been reassigned to non-operational duties at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. It notes the measure “does not imply any outcomes and is intended to enable a robust investigation.”
It further says the affected person and impacted CAF members are being provided care and support.
“The RCAF takes all allegations of this nature seriously and is cooperating with investigators fully,” the release states.
The Snowbirds team are scheduled to perform in Dieppe-Moncton, N.B., this weekend.
The Canadian Press