Military search and rescue (SAR) teams from two different squadrons recently carried out joint exercises with two volunteer SAR organizations in Cranbrook; CASARA (Civil Air SAR Assn) and Cranbrook Ground SAR. The two Cranbrook SAR teams set up scenarios on the ground.
On Feb 12 a Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg participated in a joint exercise involving a crashed aircraft scenario. An ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) was activated on the training frequency to simulate a signal from a crashed aircraft.
The cockpit crew of the Hercules aircraft, the primary search aircraft for Central Canada, used onboard radio direction finding equipment to pinpoint the location of the simulated crash site while onboard SARTechs (SAR Technicians) spotted a visual target confirming they were at the crash site.
The crew then parachuted radio equipment to talk to one of the “survivors” of the crash. The SARTechs then parachuted to the site with medical gear and conducted a medical evaluation. A week later on Feb 19 a crew on a Buffalo aircraft (the primary search aircraft for Western Canada) undertook a similar simulation involving an all-terrain vehicle that hit some trees seriously injuring the driver.
Allister Pedersen, Cranbrook CASARA Training Officer noted, “It is truly amazing to see these airmen pinpoint the low powered emergency beacons like ELTs, drop equipment to survivors and then parachute to within a few meters of the injured subjects when the aircraft are traveling in excess of 85 knots (170 km/h)”.