RCAF Pilot Reprimanded For Flying To Cell Service

The RCAF has reprimanded a pilot for running a personal errand and using a few thousand pounds of Jet A in the process while at work. Capt. Nathaniel D’Arcy was commanding a CP-140 Aurora on a training exercise off the West Coast on May 17, 2019 when he realized he hadn’t checked in for a commercial flight he had booked for the next day. He broke off the exercise and flew 25 minutes to Tofino where he could get a cell signal and pick his seat on the airline. The plane, presumably flown by the first officer, orbited the area for seven minutes while D’Arcy completed his check-in. The departure from the exercise caused the crew in the back extra work and some of them complained to senior officers. D’Arcy pleaded guilty to conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

Military Judge Cmdr Martin Pelletier said D’Arcy broke faith with his crew with the actions and wasted taxpayers money in the process. “He eroded the respect and trust of leadership in his whole crew,” Pelletier wrote in his judgment. “Any crew under his leadership would have been ineffective,” he added. He decided against imposing a monetary fine but the reprimand is a big stain on an otherwise good service record for a pilot who flew missions over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Impact. Military Prosecutor Maj. Marc-André Ferron said the reprimand is a big deal. “We have to understand the reprimand is a serious punishment in this context,” he said. “When you look at the scale of punishment, the reprimand is higher than any fine. This is not a minor punishment.” He could have been kicked out of the military and gone to prison for up to two years.