Majors Wally Sweetman and Bob Henderson: “Shining examples of strength and courage”

Three people wearing olive green uniforms, jackets and helmets squat around a ground-level plaque, with a helicopter sitting on the snowfield behind them.
From left, 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron members Captain John Mullins, Lieutenant-Colonel Travis Chapman, and Honorary Colonel Mike Sudul gather at a plaque commemorating Major Wally Sweetman, the pilot of a 443 Squadron CH-124 Sea King helicopter that crashed in the mountains of British Columbia in 1994. Additionally, for this tribute flight, Major Antonio Gomez was flying right side of the cockpit and Captain Benoit Godin, left. PHOTO: Submitted

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Members of 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron recently paid tribute to a fellow aviator who died in an accident two and a half decades ago.

The squadron is part of 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, but as the West Coast operational CH-148 Cyclone squadron, 443 Squadron’s home base is Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

While carrying out a mountain flying training exercise in April 2019, the 443 group flew their CH-148 Cyclone helicopter to a mountain saddle located southwest of Keremeos, British Columbia, at an altitude of 7,400 feet (2,256 metres). Their destination was a place known as “Wally’s Saddle”, named after Major Wally Sweetman, a CH-124 Sea King helicopter pilot and 443 Squadron member whose sacrifice and heroism 25 years ago will not be forgotten. Read the rest of the article . . .

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