Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 06, 2007 14:24 ET

Canadian Peacekeeper Killed in Crash of Aircraft in Egypt

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 6, 2007) - Earlier today, a De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft flown by the French Contingent of the Multinational Forces and Observers (MFO) with nine MFO personnel aboard crashed in a remote area of the Sinai killing all nine on board. One Canadian Forces member serving with the Canadian contingent of the MFO under Operation CALUMET and the other eight French members aboard the aircraft are confirmed dead. The aircraft had left the North Camp in El Gorah at 7:45 a.m. local (12:45 a.m. ET) on a training mission and was on its way south to St. Catherine's when it crashed and was subsequently engulfed in flames after impacting the ground. MFO recovery personnel have been dispatched to the scene and efforts to complete the identification of the deceased are ongoing. The cause of the crash is unknown. It is anticipated that France will send an investigative team to determine the circumstances of the crash.

Corporal Benoit Chevalier, an Aerospace Control Operator from 3 Wing Bagotville (Quebec) assigned to Task Force El Gorah (TFEG) was killed in the crash. He was one of a team of six air traffic controllers deployed to provide flight following services for the MFO. He was on board to familiarize himself with the Twin Otter aircraft operations and to liaise with air traffic controllers at St. Catherine's airport in Sinai, Egypt.

"Corporal Chevalier was a highly appreciated and skilled member of the twenty eight Canadian Forces personnel team assigned to the MFO", said Colonel Peter Abbott, Commander of Task Force El Gorah. "He was playing a key role in maintaining the cohesiveness of the Canadian contingent and his comrades regarded him as an extremely personable, thoughtful and professional airman. I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues mourning his loss."

The Canadian contingent deployed with the MFO under Operation CALUMET comprises 28 personnel. The MFO is the peacekeeping mission established to monitor compliance by Israel and Egypt with the 1979 Camp David Accords. The MFO has included a Canadian contingent since 1986.

The MFO is an independent international organization created by agreement between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel. The 11 Participating States -- currently Australia, Canada, Colombia, Fiji, France, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, the United States, Uruguay and Norway -- provide the MFO with military contingents that make up the Force and perform specific and specialized tasks.

Notes to editors: For more information about the MFO, visit For details about Operation CALUMET, visit

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