Successful search and rescue (SAR) operations depend on, among other factors, having the right capabilities at the right time. SAR Technicians use many different kinds of equipment to do their job, but they rely on aircraft to transport them where they need to go to save lives. Here are, in no particular order, the aircraft that Canadian SAR Technicians use in their everyday work.
The CC-115 Buffalo plays a critical role in supporting life-saving search and rescue missions. Its agility and all-weather capabilities are well suited for the rough and mountainous terrain on Canada’s West Coast and in northern operations.
The Buffalo is a utility transport aircraft that can take off and land on the most rugged strips as short as a soccer field. It serves a vast territory from the British Columbia / Washington border to the Arctic and from the Rocky Mountains to 1,200 kilometres out over the Pacific Ocean.
The CC-130H Hercules is primarily used for search and rescue operations. While it also carries out transport missions, its main focus is saving lives through the Canadian Armed Forces’ search and rescue mandate.
It has a range of more than 7,200 kilometres and can transport approximately 80 passengers, operate on short unpaved runways and fly in severe weather conditions. These capabilities make the CC-130H an excellent aircraft for search and rescue operations over the vast span of Canada’s central and northern regions.