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Former 14 Wing Greenwood pilot part of international effort to find flight MH370
As the search continues for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Cape Bretoner is part of it.
Kevin MacSween of New Victoria said his son Mike, 36, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, is currently posted in Adelaide City, Australia, on an exchange program. Mike is taking part in the search.
"He is a pilot and flight commander in charge of a 12-man crew," his father said.
He said Mike has been involved in searches before with the Air Force, but this is on a different scale.
"A search of this scale is once in a lifetime, I think, it's gotten a lot of attention. He is the only Canadian involved. Mike is there with the Canadian flag on his arm, so he's drawing some attention.
"He's honoured to be helping," he said.
"He looks at it like it's a job they've got to do and hopefully they can find something to help people get answers."
MacSween said his son and crew are flying off the west coast of Australia.
"It is like four-hour flight out to the area, then they search for two hours or whatever time they can get in there, then they have to head back," he said.
"Hopefully they can find something so the families can have some news, some closure in it all. "
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8.
According to reports Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has told families of passengers that the plane ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean, with Chinese aircraft, an Australian fuel supply ship and an Australian aircraft each finding objects floating in the sea. Mike MacSween is in a YouTube video posted by FaleryVideo being interviewed after the crew's first flight in taking part in the search a few days ago.
"We were tasked with the visual search, conducted two legs of approximately 175 miles each, spaced at six nautical miles," he said.
"The weather in that particular area was actually quite good, the ceiling — the clouds — were based at about 1,000 feet. Visibility was approximately 10 miles in most of the area. There was a few spots of isolated rain showers with reduced visibility, however for the most part the search conditions were quite good for a visual search."
Mike said in the video that they searched about two hours.
"We weren't able to locate anything of significance, however there are other aircraft that are continuing the search at this time that hopefully will have some better luck."
MacSween said growing up his son always wanted to be a pilot.
"We have a picture of him here when he was three years old sitting in a cockpit of a plane," he said
"There was a delay. To keep kids happy the stewardess took him up and sat him in the chair in the cockpit."
MacSween and wife Karen are texting and messaging their son daily and also travelled to Australia to visit him, his wife Allison and children Madeline, 5, and Levi, 2.
Did you know?
• Growing up Mike MacSween joined the Whitney Pier air cadet squadron, where he got his pilot's licence. After graduating from Breton Education Centre, he attended the Moncton Flights Centre and received his commercial pilot licence.
• In 1998, Michael joined the Canadian air force. Following his training, he was stationed at CFB Greenwood.
• Mike is posted in Australia as part of a three-year exchange program with the Royal Australian Air Force.