Cst. Michael J. L. Doucet
RCMP Cst. Michael J. L. Doucet, 26
Cst. Doucet was engaged at Kamloops, British Columbia on January 17, 1975. Prior to joining the RCMP, he served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1971 to 1975.
After training at Regina Depot Division, Cst. Doucet was posted to the Jacquet River Detachment, which was a Moncton, New Brunswick sub-division. In July 1978, he was transferred to the Moncton Drug Section. It was while serving here that he was killed.
On Saturday, August 18, 1979 he and civilian pilot Charles Roux took off from the Moncton Flying Club at 12:30 pm in a rented Skyhawk II Cessna. The RCMP sometimes uses airplanes as surveillance craft in undercover operations or in cases where large sums of money are involved. On this occasion, the airplane was being sued to provide air surveillance for a drug bust. As the drug deal developed, their plane flew overhead, acting as a spotter for RCMP cruisers that were in ground pursuit of two local Kent County suspects. It was a difficult assignment for St. Doucet. At least five times throughout the flight, he became airsick. He was asked several times from the ground if he could keep going. The constable replied that he could.
About 3:40 pm, the arrests were made on the ground and shortly after that, it was observed that the Skyhawk airplane seemed to be in difficulty. It started to circle and then disappeared into the trees. One of the witnesses who saw it crash said: “The plane made two circles, coming in very low. When it came down again, I never heard the motor again.”
“We’re too low!” were Cst. Doucet’s last words heard over the radio of officers on the ground. Then the light plane clipped the top of the treetops and nose-dived into the ground between two spruce trees.
The first rescuer to reach the crash site in the thick woods north of St. Antoine found Doucet’s lifeless body lying ten feet outside the plane. It was covered with gasoline from the plane’s ruptured tanks. Within seconds, two RCMP officers arrived and quickly pulled Cst. Doucet’s body away from the aircraft. They could hear the pilot, Charles Roux, still moaning in the cockpit, but he too succumbed before they could remove him from the aircraft.
No one really knows what went wrong with the aircraft, but witnesses seemed to think it had experienced motor trouble. There was also some strong opinion that the pilot had taken the plane too low. It certainly appeared to be flying lower than the 3,000 foot minimum for surveillance aircraft. No foul play was suspected.
Cst. Mike Doucet was a single man and was survived by his parents. There was a large number of his police comrades at his funeral. After the service, his remains were interred in the St. Michel Cemetery at Three Rivers, Quebec.
IN THE LINE OF DUTY – The Honour Roll of the RCMP since 1873.