In our Aug/Sept issue, Rob Erdos muses on float flying and we discuss night aerial firefighting. Plus: Air Canada in the pandemic, KF Aerospace at 50 and Canadians in the Battle of Britain.
Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Max, was tragically lost in the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crash while proudly serving Canada aboard HMCS Fredericton in support of Operation Reassurance.
Max was a genuine and patient soul; his authenticity and approachable demeanour instantly drew people to him. He had the time of day and then some for every person who crossed his path and was ready to help in any situation without hesitation. Life was instantly better with Max around – with his infectious smile, bright eyes, and playful manner you could not help but smile along with him. He loved connecting with people through sport and gaming. A superb athlete, Max enjoyed soccer, sprinting, cycling, skiing, badminton, ping pong and all outdoor activities. He had a rare ability to teach himself anything and was always eager to share his knowledge in the humblest way – a favourite was showing others how to solve a Rubik’s Cube or how to make the best cup of coffee. Max’s research skills were legendary and fed his unrelenting curiosity. He relished in finding answers to every question he came across, and it was known to look no further if an answer had come from him. That was Max, pursuing excellence in everything he did, no matter how small or large.
In his too short time with us, Max distinguished himself as an integral member of the Canadian Armed Forces and Maritime Helicopter community in his profession as an Air Combat Systems Officer. He was also an accomplished academic, graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering) and Dalhousie University with a Master of Science (Oceanography). His intelligence, dedication, and leadership were invaluable assets to our world.
Max was a loving and unfailingly supportive husband, son, and brother. He was a cherished member of his extended families and a dear friend to many. The loss of Max has left a devastating hole in the lives of all those who were fortunate to know him, and we know this immeasurable pain is felt by all those affected by the tragedy. We extend our unconditional love and support to the families and friends of Brenden MacDonald, Kevin Hagen, Matthew Cousins, Matthew Pyke, and Abbigail Cowbrough.
To friends, colleagues, the CAF community, and Canada as a whole, we thank you for the overwhelming support you have provided. It has guided us through these past days and will continue to guide us through the difficult times that lie ahead.
To Max – you were taken too soon and had so much left to offer, we love you very beaucoup, à la folie, forever and always, xox.
Kathryn, Max’s Wife
Maxime was 29 years old, the eldest of a family of five children. He has three brothers and a sister, the youngest of the family. He really wanted to have a sister.
Maxime was a child who loved spreading joy and happiness around him. He was always in a good mood and was an extraordinary listener. He never spoke badly of anyone. He always stayed neutral. He was very flexible and had the ability to make each person feel special. He always looked for the best in everyone and was often able to coax them out of their comfort zones. Maxime knew how to be reassuring. Maxime was pleasant and took good care of others. He was able to adapt to any situation.
Maxime was always a curious child from a very young age. No question remained unanswered. He came back to a subject frequently to obtain an answer. I affectionately called him “Mr. Why?” because he would want to know why this and why that.
From a very young age, Maxime developed a passion for sports, soccer and running, and he was even a ping pong champion. To relax, he took his Rubik’s Cube, which was always close at hand. Whether the cube was 3×3, 4×4, 5×5 or 8×8 and regardless of the shape or complexity of the cube, he was always motivated to succeed. He excelled at doing this and could even do it with his eyes closed.
When he was a teenager, Maxime joined the 817 Général JV Allard, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in the Central Quebec region, in Nicolet, Que. The Air Cadets instilled in him a taste for discipline, routine and a sense of duty. Above all, they taught him that he should never give up his dreams and that, yes, flying was possible.
The Canadian Armed Forces was the next step in his life. He enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada, first in St-Jean. He chose his military trade as a pilot and then as a navigator. He began his studies there in aeronautical engineering. He was fortunate enough to obtain several promotions afterwards. The college also gave him the opportunity to make friends for life.
Maxime continued his university education in Kingston, Ont. Since Maxime had strong leadership qualities, he also earned many promotions. It was in Kingston that he met his sweetheart, Kathryn, who would become his wife in 2014. There he obtained his degree in aeronautical engineering and his commission.
He was stationed in Comox, B.C., and then Winnipeg. He had been based in Halifax with his wife Kathryn for the past six years.
Maxime was intelligent and had a thirst for knowledge and learning. Nothing stopped him. In 2019, he completed his Master of Science in Oceanography at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Several of his colleagues were very surprised by the fact that he wrote his thesis in English, his second language, because the research must have been very difficult and his thesis was very high calibre.
When Maxime knew he was leaving on HMCS Fredericton in support of the Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, he was very happy. He was going with his crew, his brothers from the CH-148-822 marine helicopter unit. He was proud of his first mission, felt useful and wanted to put all his knowledge, training, energy and talent to good use.
As a mother, I was not reassured. True to himself, Maxime said to me “Don’t worry, there is not really any danger. You’ll see, I’ll be back in six months even before you realize I’m gone.” His desire was so strong, I could feel it. I knew he was trained, highly trained, and I felt he was ready for this adventure. Despite the insecurity and the fear of the future, I knew that Maxime would go. He always went through with everything he set out to do.
Maxime would have celebrated 12 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces this summer. I am proud of the man he became. He had the opportunity to do what he wanted to do most in the world, fly. He left us, surrounded by his second family, in the esprit de corps that makes fighters so tight knit.
I love you so much Maxime, I could never forget you. You will always have a special place in my heart and my mind. Watch over us, your brothers and your sister, Kathryn and her family, all of our family, as well as your friends.
Have a good trip beautiful man! We will always, always remember you!”
Marie-Claude, mother of Captain Maxime Miron-Morin
My son Maxime, the eldest of the family, always took care of his three little brothers and his sister. At a young age, he already enjoyed good relationships and teamwork. He was also very physically active and also liked to play video games.
Native of Bécancour, Québec, in the Parish of Sainte-Gertrude, he attended l’École Despins and then attended high school at Saint-Léonard d’Aston. He was also part of the 817 Squadron J.-V.-Allard air cadets. He then studied aeronautical engineering at the Royal Military College, and also married his wonderful wife Kathryn, who also serves in the Canadian Armed Forces.
He died as he lived, doing what he loved; travelling, being outdoors, having fun, being part of a family with the same interests and helping those in need.
Jean Morin, father of Capt Maxime Miron-Morin.