A Royal Canadian Air Force crew was in the area this month familiarizing itself with northern geography and conditions while providing civilian spotters with the chance to practise their training.
The crew, flying a Buffalo aircraft, was from the search and rescue 442 Squadron search at Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island.
“It’s a good opportunity for the crew to get to know the area and its features in case they are ever called upon,” said Captain Reid Trevor Reid from Comox.
“With the civilian spotters, they can also gain knowledge of flying conditions and where pilots might go if they are on a search.”
Lynn Van Cadsand from Smithers, the zone commander for the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) which supplied two civilian spotters for the Buffalo crew, described the experience for the spotters as invaluable.
Part of the training included a staged search which began with having to hone in on an emergency locator transmitter followed by spotting a simulated crash location on the ground, said van Cadsand.