The Royal Canadian Air Force has released the names of the two members killed in a helicopter crash in the Ottawa River near Garrison Petawawa earlier this week.
Capt. David Domagala, 32, and Capt. Marc Larouche, 53, died in the crash. The military released the names in accordance with the family’s wishes.
Originally from Amos, Que., Larouche served with several squadrons and flew CH-135 Twin Huey, CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, according to a Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) press release.
Larouche deployed internationally to Somalia and domestically to British Columbia.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved husband, Captain Marc Larouche,” read a family statement signed by Larouche’s partner Annie.
“He was a father, a son, a brother, a friend… Most of all, he was a mentor.”
Larouche had been a pilot since 1993 and became a “revered instructor,” the statement said.
“It comforts us all to know that he left to do what he loved most.”
Originally from Woodstock, Ontario, Domagala served in the Canadian Army Reserve before applying to become a pilot, DND said.
After graduating from the Royal Military College, Domagala completed pilot training and was posted to 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in 2019.
He was deployed internationally to Egypt, for which he received a Commander Commendation from Canadian Joint Operations Command. He started training on the CH-147F Chinook when he was redeployed.
A CH-147F Chinook helicopter carrying four members of the Canadian Forces on a training flight crashed into the Ottawa River near Garrison Petawawa early Tuesday morning.
Two members of 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron were reported missing and were found dead later that day, Defense Minister Anita Anand said.
The two others on board were found by Garrison Petawawa firefighters with minor injuries and have been released from hospital, DND said.
The helicopter had two pilots practicing at night and two crew members in the back, according to a press conference Wednesday morning.
About 110 military personnel searched the area on Tuesday, including divers and close air support from Petawawa and 8 Wing Trenton. Divers from the Ontario Provincial Police and local firefighters were also involved.
That said the department of the Royal Canadian Air Force on Wednesday Flight Security Directorate investigated the cause of the crash.