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Watch: In-training 'Herc' swoops to near ground level near Rapid City

Posted by Adam in Local News, 12/7/2019

Folks in Brandon and area have become quite accustomed to the presence of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-130H-Hercules aircraft at times making use of airspace in the area. 

Originating from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Winnipeg, the nearly 100 foot long, 82,000 pound aircraft are used in search-and-rescue missions throughout Central and Northern Canada. 

Earlier this week at least one Rapid City-area resident got about as up-close-and-personal of a look at one of the Squadron’s distinctive ‘Hercs’ in action as one can get without being the subject of one of those missions themselves.  On Wednesday afternoon while working outside about a mile North of town, after noticing one of the aircraft circling overhead a handful of times the phone camera started rolling and captured this video that was shared with me out of curiosity...

According to an RCAF spokesperson, the aircraft’s crew was taking part in practice of a simulated radio drop as part of a training sequence that’s carried out away from cities, towns or populated areas. Done at just 150 feet above ground level, the planned procedure simulates a real-life situation whereby radio contact would be established with a person in distress. It would be followed by a simulated bundle drop, then if needed a live jump by Search and Rescue Technicians. 

The video gives the perception of the aircraft coming even closer to ground level, though I understand the exercise in this particular case was conducted over a valley. 

In November, South Brandon got a particularly close scheduled brush of its own with a CC-130H of its own as part of a flyover at 500 feet in conjunction with a ‘No Stone Left Alone’ ceremony. 

To-date in 2019, 435 Squadron has undertaken 57 missions of the search-and-rescue variety including one that would have looked not unlike this training run where a radio bundle was dropped to a missing fisherman on Lake Winnipeg as part of an eventually successful rescue effort. Calls for assistance to 435 Squadron come via the Joint Regional Coordination Centre in Trenton, ON following requests initiated from a variety of civilian agencies. 

More on the CC-130H itself can be learned at:
http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/aircraft-current/cc-130.page

Video: User-submitted
Photo: RCAF

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