Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H rescues downed pilot

Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H rescues downed pilot

Part of protecting people in critical situation is about having the right equipment ready to deploy when called for, including coming to the rescue of a pilot of a small aircraft that downed in the remote Canadian wilderness.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H we directly support came to the rescue of American pilot, Matt Lehtinen, when the engine failed on his white Cirrus SR-22 and ditched in the Quebec forest.

The crew of the CC-130H dropped a radio so he could contact the Search and Rescue team.

Matt documented his survival in the hope that it could be helpful to others in life-threatening situations and posted it onto his YouTube channel.

He was flying from Waybush, Newfoundland, on route to Quebec City in August 2019, when he had engine problems and his plane plummeted into a remote area of the Quebec forest, 25 miles from the nearest airport, which was nearly impossible to reach by land.

Lehtinen, 37, sent out an SOS on his GPS and started a fire to create enough smoke to signal emergency help, which eventually came from the RCAF.

After scrambling to get to the radio that was dropped by the CC-130H he contacted the SAR helicopter and the team saved him. He was stranded for five hours and it could’ve been a lot worse had he not had the ability to send out an SOS.

Lehtinen said:

“I quite possibly would have been there for many days and I did not have the supplies to survive. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who was involved to rescue me.

"Similar rescues like this happen many times every year in Canada. However, it’s very rare to have a vlog from the survivor’s perspective of being in a critical situation. It’s a marvellous story and a true testament to how our work can help to “protect people in critical situations”.