The CC-115 Buffalo flew its last operational mission earlier this week ending one of the longest aircraft deployments in the RCAF’s history. The Buffalo flew for 55 years, doing everything from flying NATO resupply and troop missions to supporting humanitarian aide in Canada and abroad. It ended its storied career as the main fixed wing search and rescue aircraft for the challenging mountains and sea coast of B.C., Alberta and parts of the North. “‘The ‘Buff’, a utility transport aircraft, has the ability to take off and land on the most rugged strips as short as a soccer field,” the RCAF said in an online statement. “It has played a critical role in supporting life-saving search and rescue missions.”
The Buff was designed and built in Canada by De Havilland and was a technological leap for aircraft of its type in the 1960s. It ended its tenure in typical fashion on a mission off the West Coast. “The final operational flight took place out of Canadian Forces Base Comox on January 15, 2022,” the RCAF said. “As part of this last flight, the 19 Wing crew flew a Search and Rescue (SAR) patrol over Canada’s western-most coast and the Pacific Ocean.” Most of the fleet has been flown to museums across the country.