Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air) is an aviation association that assists the Canadian Forces during search and rescue missions. Should an airplane go down in BC, PEP Air would respond. The Northeastern zone covered by the local PEP Air association runs from Quesnel to the Yukon border, and from Vanderhoof to the Alberta border. They work closely with the Transport and Rescue Squadron (SAR) in Comox.
Yesterday, PEP Air and 442 Squadron teamed up for a training exercise.
“PEP Air members will be assisting the 442 Squadron out of Comox,” says Lou Dery, the Deputy Zone Commander/Search Coordinator for PEP Air. “They will be bringing the Buffalo in and we will be assisting them to do an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) homing. We will be giving them a target as well, and hopefully some ‘injured members’. They will be parachuting down to assist those members once they find the target.”
It was a successful mission. One that will help a 442 Squadron pilot become an Air Craft Commander, while allowing the SAR Technicians to practice parachuting in different locations.
“Every day we are on standby we do some type of training,” says the Deputy SAR Tech Leader of 442 Squadron, Sgt. Paul Lloyd, “but an organized exercise like this takes a bit more work, you need to have some ground support like the CASARA folks here that are helping us out.”