The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association had a training session on October 27 where they used the yellow CC-115 Buffalo aircraft.
All search and rescue activities involving aircraft or marine incidents is the responsibility of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is an umbrella organization for civilian volunteers to assist the military.
Rick Beatty, CASARA Coordinator and Vanderhoof Area Air Deputy, was involved in the formation of the Nechako Valley Search and Rescue, the ground team for the region, and has been heavily involved in search and rescue in the region.
“On a yearly basis, the military brings an aircraft through, but this is the first time they’ve been in Vanderhoof, the first time we’ve had a big enough group, they take spotters up just to basically make sure they’re up to standards that they need to have in a military aircraft and get a little practice so they’re not totally rusty,” said Beatty.
“Normally they’re up in civilian aircraft so once a year they bring the military aircraft through and let people get experience,” said Beatty. “So that in the event they get a search where they need extra spotters, they have them available.”
About 13 people went up in the plane on Sunday for an hour of training, the exercise keeps the pilots, navigators, and spotters up to date on their training.
In any 12 month period, each crew member needs to have a certain amount of hours. Spotters need two flights of at least an hour, navigators need four flights of at least an hour and pilots need six flights of at least an hour as well as 18 hours of other flying PIC.