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Hercules spotted flying Penticton’s skies

The plane, and several parachute jumps, were captured by local photographers
One of the Canadian Armed Forces’ search and rescue model Hercules C-130H’s was captured by locals in Penticton where it has recently been seen training. (Paul Day - Submitted)

One of the Canadian Armed Forces C-130 Hercules planes has been spotted in the skies above the South Okanagan.

Residents have seen the plane flying low over Okanagan Lake, as well flying above the Similkameen Valley.

The plane is one of the most commonly used military transports, and a variant of the plane is also used for rescue operations.

The version of the plane spotted in Penticton bears the hallmarks of the 130H, which is the version used primarily for search and rescues, with a range of more than 7,200 kilometres and the ability to operate on short, unpaved runways.

Parachute jumps were also captured by local photographer Mike Biden as the plane and those onboard trained in the area of Penticton Airport.

The eight RCAF Hercules 130H planes for search and rescue are based in Trenton, Ontario; Greenwood, Nova Scotia; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Based on the numbering visible in photographs, the plane spotted in Penticton is 335, which entered service in 1985 and rotated through multiple bases, as well making visits to the U.K. in 2005 and 2006 according to the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum.

The plane was also deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in December, 2009.

READ MORE: Take a historic ride inside iconic Second World War Planes in Penticton

The plane was spotted in Keremeos on Nov. 8, and resting on the tarmac of the Penticton Regional Airport on Nov. 14.

The region played host to low-flying helicopters for training in September when the city hosted the Vancouver-based Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team (HUSAR) and other SAR teams from across Western Canada.

READ MORE: It’s only a drill: Penticton to host emergency-response exercises

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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