September 23, 2020
First Operational SAR Airbus CC-295 Arrives in Canada
The first operational version of Canada’s newest Search and Rescue aircraft arrived in Gander, Newfoundland last week and by the time you read this has probably arrived at its home base of Comox on Vancouver Island. The aircraft, the first of 16 operational versions, arrived in Canada after a flight from Seville in southern Spain, the site of the Airbus factory which manufactures this line of aircraft.
Earlier this year eFlight reported the arrival of a C-295 in SAR colours at 19 Wing Comox. However, that aircraft is not fully equipped for SAR roles and will not be flying missions. Instead, it is being used for training maintenance personnel and is registered as a training asset.
The yet-to-be-named CC-295 is the aircraft replacing the venerable CC-115 Buffalo, a familiar sight on Canada’s West Coast, and a very welcoming sight to those aviators spotted by its crews. Although the CC-295 will not be able to fly as low as the Buffalo was able to, it’s transit time to search areas will be shorter, it can be deployed in weather conditions that might have left the Buffalo grounded and its array of sophisticated sensors will allow its crew to ‘see’ their search targets sooner and more easily.
Bases where the CC-295 will be assigned include, in addition to Comox, 17 Wing Winnipeg (Man.), 8 Wing Trenton (Ont.) and 14 Wing Greenwood (N.S.).
Delivery of the remaining aircraft will take longer than originally scheduled as the Seville factory was shut down during much of the pandemic lockdown in the spring. Delivery could be delayed even further should Spain enter another COVID-19 lockdown.
Photo credit: Airbus