CF-18 Demonstration Team pilot

Captain Matthew Kutryk

Captain Matthew Kutryk was born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, and spent most of his early childhood in Whitehorse, Yukon. He later moved to a farm near Beauvallon, Alberta, graduating from Two Hills High School in 2002.

Inspired to fly by his first airshow experience at Cold Lake, Alberta, in the late 1980s, Captain Kutryk was eager to join the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program: first with 551 Whitehorse Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (RCACS), and later with 341 Mundare RCACS. As an air cadet, Captain Kutryk earned his glider pilot’s licence in 2000 and his private pilot’s licence in 2001.

He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and spent his summer months fighting forest fires with an Alberta Wildfire Helitack Crew based in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. 

Captain Kutryk joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2006 and, in 2008, began military flight training in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and later in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 2010, he was selected to fly fast jets and moved to Sheppard Air Force Base at Witchita Falls, Texas, for training. He graduated in May 2012, realizing a life-long dream of receiving his RCAF pilot’s wings.

He returned to Canada as a student at 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake for operational training on the Hornet. He completed his training in 2013 and was then posted to 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec. 

Captain Kutryk has actively trained throughout Canada and in the United States with the Hornet, and has served on NORAD missions across Canada, including the High Arctic. He is currently a section lead and fighter electronic warfare instructor with 425 Squadron.

“Being selected as the pilot for the CF-18 Demonstration Team is an incredible honour, especially on such a significant year for Canada,” said Captain Kutryk. “I am excited to travel all across Canada and the United States to show the skill and professionalism of the Royal Canadian Air Force. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the team of highly dedicated professionals that support the team and make our performances possible.”