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Snowbirds pilot charged with sexual assault, no longer flying with the team

Maj. Steven Hurlbut from 431 Squadron was the 9 Jet Lead Solo pilot for the team
Maj. Steven Hurlbut from 431 Squadron was the 9 Jet Lead Solo and is facing one charge of sexual assault. Photo by archived RCAF web page.

A pilot from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team is facing one charge of sexual assault and is no longer listed as a member of the team.

Maj. Steven Hurlbut from 431 Squadron was the 9 Jet Lead Solo pilot for the team, according to an archived web page from the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was formally charged on June 17 by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service following an allegation of sexual misconduct that was alleged to have occurred in Barrie, Ont.

The Snowbirds had performances in Barrie June 10 and 11.

According to a release by the Department of National Defence, the matter will now proceed through the civilian justice system.

RELATED: Military investigates sexual misconduct allegation against Snowbirds pilot

According to DND spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande, as of last weekend, Hurlbut has been reassigned to non-operational duties at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. He is no longer listed as Snowbirds 9 on the official website of the Snowbirds and a release from the department noted the team will perform air displays as an eight-aircraft team, instead of nine, for the foreseeable future.

Hurlbut joined the RCAF as an air navigator and graduated from Royal Military College with a bachelor’s degree in physics, noted his biography on the archived government web page. He was posted to 407 Squadron in Comox on the CP-140 Aurora before returning to RMC for his master’s degree in physics.

He flew 36 combat missions in Iraq and Syria as part of Op IMPACT in 2014 and 2015.

Hurlbut joined the Snowbirds in 2021 and brought more than 2,200 hours of military jet flying experience to the team.

The Snowbirds are set to perform in Gander and Conception Bay South, N.L. in the latter half of June prior to a performance on Canada Day in Nova Scotia.

- With files from Canadian Press

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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