55 years of service: Last operational flight of iconic CC-115 Buffalo aircraft – BC News

After 55 years of service, the last operational flight of the CC-115 Buffalo aircraft took place on Friday.

The last flight of 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, based at 19 Wing Comox, was not unique. Like countless times over the past few decades, the flight involved airborne search and rescue standby training, involving parachute jumps and the dropping of emergency equipment as the aircraft visited locations around the Vancouver Island.

The CC-115 entered service in 1967 with the Royal Canadian Air Force ever since. It first served as a general-purpose transport aircraft and was flown by several United Nations missions abroad.

On August 9, 1974, a CC115 Buffalo (CC1155461) was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles while on United Nations duty supporting peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. All nine CAF members aboard were killed, making it the greatest loss of life in Canadian peacekeeping history.

“As the Royal Canadian Air Force, we have incredible respect and a deep sense of pride for the crews, maintenance and support personnel who have dutifully served alongside the CC-115 Buffalo aircraft over the 55 years,” Lt. Gen. Al Meinzinger said. , Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“These incredible teams, and the ‘Buff’ itself, are known to have operated in many challenging operating environments. Their stories and commitment to operational excellence will be etched in history books, and as we bid farewell to The Buff, we will always remember those brave members lost in 1974.”

The aircraft would later be converted to a search and rescue aircraft, serving exclusively in the West Coast region.

The Government of Canada is acquiring a fleet of 16 CC-295 Kingfisher aircraft to replace the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules aircraft in the fixed-wing search and rescue role.

Three CC-115 Buffalo aircraft will be retained by the Department of National Defense as historical artifacts. The remaining aircraft have been or will be transferred to museums or used as training aids.

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