Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald


RMC Class of 2007, general sciences

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

Double click on the photo to enlarge slideshow

Brenden ‘BMac’ Ian MacDonald


‘To most people the sky is the limit,
to those that love aviation,
the sky is home.’


Age 35. Passed away on April 29 doing what he loved, flying helicopters in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations. Born in New Glasgow, he was a loving husband to Amanda (Ernst) MacDonald; devoted father to Brody 6; Cameron, 3; and Taylor, 19 months; son to Peter and Lynn MacDonald of New Glasgow; brother to Lieutenant (N) Megan MacDonald of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Captain Evan MacDonald (Lieutenant (N) Noelani Shore) of Victoria, B.C.; son-in-law to Gerry (Ingram) and Lawrence Ernst; and brother-in-law to Ashley Ernst.


Born with the love of flying, he decided in Grade 4 that he was going to be a pilot. As a member of the 397 Trenton Royal Canadian Air Cadets he worked tirelessly to obtain his glider pilot’s licence at the Regional Gliding School in Debert and his power wings certification in Shearwater before he was old enough to drive a car. After graduating from New Glasgow Regional High School, his passion for aviation led him to the Royal Military College of Canada where he graduated with a Chemistry degree in 2007 around the same time that he met Amanda.


After graduation, Brenden and Amanda started their life together in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where Brenden underwent Royal Canadian Air Force pilot training. After earning his coveted pilots wings, he and Amanda returned home and settled in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia where Brenden joined the 12 Wing Shearwater maritime helicopter community and started working on CH-124 Sea King helicopters which later transitioned to the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.


When he was not flying aircraft, Brenden was a motorcycle enthusiast that attended several Wharf Rat Rally’s in Digby, volunteered as road captain for the Halifax Ride for Dad, and served as past President and Vice President for the Battle of the Atlantic Unit of CAV Motorcycle Association. A fan of tattoos, craft beer, and heavy metal concerts, Brenden was also a backyard mechanic that loved rebuilding old cars while listening to rock music.  He worked endless hours with his father building his first vehicle, a 1977 Ford Bronco. Brenden had a passion for life.


He was an incredible husband, friend, brother, son, and he was the best father anyone could ask for. His love of family far exceeded any other aspect of his life. He had a charisma that drew people to him; yet he was quite humble and would lend a hand wherever he could. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents Irene and Harold MacDonald and maternal grandfather Alford Ian Fraser of New Glasgow and by Amanda and Brenden’s first fur babies, Diesel and Oakley.


‘Brenden is a true hero and because of his sacrifices he will be honoured eternally for it.’