Remains of helicopter pilot return home to Vancouver Island
VANCOUVER -- The body of Capt. Kevin Hagen arrived back on Vancouver Island Saturday, roughly two months after the Nanaimo-native and five other Canadian Armed Forces members were killed during a training mission off the coast of Greece.
Mourners lined parts of the Pat Bay Highway to pay their respects to the fallen officer. Among the crowd were fire crews from Candian Forces Base Esquimalt, who displayed a Canadian flag from one of their ladder trucks in Hagen's honour.
Hagen's family was joined by military and civilian dignitaries in a police-escorted motorcade from Victoria International Airport to the McCall Gardens funeral home.
The pilot's former classmates at Royal Military College have been raising money to set up a scholarship in his honour. As of Saturday, their online fundraiser has collected more than $9,000 toward its $15,000 goal.
Hagen was the pilot of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter when it went down in the Mediterranean Sea on April 29.
A preliminary report released by the Royal Canadian Air Force says the crash occurred during the final maneuvering for a landing. The Cyclone flew past HMCS Fredericton and turned to set up for landing, but the helicopter did not respond as anticipated and crashed.
Investigators say they are focusing on "aircraft systems" and "human factors" in trying to determine the cause of the accident.