The CC-115 Buffalo aircraft’s final operational flight by 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron based out of 19 Wing Comox took place Saturday.
The flight travelled around Vancouver Island and featured search and rescue standby training including parachute jumps and parachuting of equipment.
“The CC-115 Buffalo entered service in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1967 and has been used for search and rescue operations since 1975,” said 19 Wing Commander Lt.-Col. Rhonda Stevens. “Canadians, especially on the West Coast, will recognize the aircraft for its distinctive search and rescue paint scheme that was likely a welcome sight for many requiring life-saving rescue throughout its distinguished service. A special thank you to all those who served on this aircraft; for your remarkable expertise and professionalism. Buffalo crews and maintainers have a lot in common with their aircraft, as they are both known for being hardy and resilient!”
The Department of National Defence is keeping three CC-115 Buffalo aircraft as historical artifacts.
The other aircraft are being used for training or will be put in museums.
“In the Royal Canadian Air Force, we have an incredible respect and strong sense of pride for the aircrew, maintenance and support personnel who have dutifully served alongside the CC-115 Buffalo aircraft over the past 55 years,” said Royal Canadian Air Force Commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger. “These amazing teams, and the “Buff” itself are known to have operated in many challenging operational environments. Their stories and commitment to operational excellence will be etched into storybooks, and in bidding farewell to the “Buff,” we will always remember those brave members lost in 1974, who perished while the aircraft was operating overseas on a peacekeeping mission with the United Nations.”
The federal government is obtaining a fleet of 16 CC-295 Kingfisher aircraft to replace the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules aircraft in the search and rescue role.