Fight engineer kept secret helicopter journal

An eerie message from the grave today, from one of six crew members killed in Friday's helicopter crash in Quebec. Master-Corporal David Gaetz, a flight engineer, kept a secret journal of problems on the helicopter.

He'd told his family to open and read the log after his death. His father-in-law says Gaetz knew the helicopters were in bad shape and had tried to do something about it.

The aging armed forces helicopters were supposed to be replaced by the EH-101 helicopter, but the Liberal government cancelled that deal after its election in 1993.

Defence Minister Art Eggleton says the government's decision to put off new helicopters did not contribute to this latest crash.

He says even if the government had bought the EH 101 helicpters they wouldn't be in service yet.

Six crewmen aboard a Canadian Forces Labrador helicopter died when it crashed in a wooded area in Eastern Quebec late Friday. They were members of the 413 Squadron from Canadian Forces Base Greenwood in Nova Scotia. They were returning from a medical evacuation operation in Sept-Iles, Quebec.

The crash occurred near Marsoui, in the Quebec's Gaspe region, about 400 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

Witnesses say they saw an explosion before the helicopter crashed. The cause of the crash is not known.