RCAF & SAR partners continue search for missing helicopter in Northern Ontario

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and its search-and-rescue (SAR) partners are continuing a search for two people onboard a helicopter that went missing between Sudbury and Kapuskasing, Ontario. The major SAR operation is being coordinated out of Timmins Victor M. Power Airport, in Timmins, Ontario.

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Two RCAF Bell CH-146 Griffons and a Canadian Coast Guard Bell 429 prepare for a search in the Timmins, Ontario, region on March 10, 2019. Corporal Zebulon Salmaniw Photo
Two RCAF Bell CH-146 Griffons and a Canadian Coast Guard Bell 429 prepare for a search in the Timmins, Ontario, region on March 10, 2019. Corporal Zebulon Salmaniw Photo

The operation has identified several leads that are being followed up, including various cell phone towers that picked up the signal of the phone onboard the helicopter during its flight. This has enabled SAR personnel to reduce the search area and focus on key points.

The aircraft involved in the search include two Lockheed CC-130 Hercules aircraft and two Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, based out of 8 Wing Trenton; a CC-130‎ Hercules from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, based out of 17 Wing Winnipeg; a CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 439 Combat Support Squadron, based out of 3 Wing Bagotville; a Lockheed CP-140 Aurora from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, based out of 14 Wing Greenwood; a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter; and a civilian air search and rescue association aircraft.

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The missing helicopter is a grey Robinson R66 with white and orange trim, and it left Sudbury on March 4. Members of the public are encouraged to call 705-268-2608 ext. 234 if they have seen a helicopter matching the description, or if they see signs of a possible crash site. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an active search area is heavily restricted, as it significantly affects the SAR teams’ abilities to safely carry out their mission.

 

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