Did you see the military-looking helicopter circling above Squamish over the last few weeks and wonder what it was doing?
Turns out it was a CH-148 Cyclone, according to Lynne Patterson, public affairs officer for Canadian Armed Forces 12 Wing. The organization is headquartered in Nova Scotia, but also has a squadron in Patricia Bay, B.C., near the Victoria Airport.
"The helicopter was from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, in Patricia Bay, and the aircrew was on a proficiency exercise conducting hoist training, visual flight rules navigation, and approaches into the Squamish airport," Patterson told The Chief in an email.
Aircrews from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron regularly fly up Howe Sound to Squamish airport and then onward to fly practice approaches into the helipad at Whistler, she added.
"Aircrew fly an approach-to-land based on the prevailing conditions of the day. They do this regularly at landing pads and airports throughout the region as a way to develop and maintain pilot knowledge, skills, and abilities — and to ensure readiness should they be called upon to conduct search and rescue or medical evacuation tasks in the area."