All About Us
The mission of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is to support Canada's Search and Rescue (SAR) program and to promote aviation safety.
The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) will continue to evolve and support the Canadian Search and Rescue (SAR) and Aviation Safety Programs through leadership, continuous training of its volunteers and education of the general aviation community.
The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, or CASARA, is a Canada-wide volunteer aviation association dedicated to the promotion of Aviation Safety, and to the provision of air search support services to the National Search and Rescue Program.
Membership is open to aircraft owners and pilots, as well as to those who wish to receive training as spotters and navigators. Members receive training in fields such as aviation safety, meteorology, survival awareness search techniques and procedure’s
In April 1986 CASARA incorporated independent provincial and regional groups that were formed before to form a National Organization. Presently, CASARA operates in all thirteen (13) provinces and territories and has access to approximately 375 aircraft and has 2596 certified pilots, navigators and spotters to fill the positions of crewmember. Yearly, CASARA volunteers devote over 188,000 hours to help in the aid of others.
CASARA consists of provincial links in BC, AB, SK, MB, ONT, QC and Nova Scotia. Many provinces are divided into sectors and Alberta is no exception. Alberta has several zones of which Lethbridge is the newest.
Welcome to CASARA Lethbridge
Beginnings: Fall 2010
CASARA Lethbridge began as a Resource Sector of Calgary Zone 2.
This all began with contact being made at a Fly-In breakfast in Medicine Hat. Larry Oddan and Martin Nordstrom flew from Coaldale and met the reps from CASARA Calgary that were in for the day to promote CASARA. Martin also served on the executive of the Lethbridge Sport Flyers a local flying club and suggested the club invite CASARA to speak to the club at a monthly meeting. The invite was sent and CASARA Calgary responded with an excellent presentation of what they do. This was the catalyst that resulted in 12 LSF club members including Martin and Larry deciding to take the training to become spotters for CASARA.
Our First Training Day June 18, 2011
On Friday evening June 18, the first training event was held for the new Lethbridge CASARA trainees. CASARA Calgary held a three hour informational class and introduced many of us to CASARA for the first time. Thirteen individuals went through the class with the plan to do two hours of flight training the next day. Excel Flight School (Roland Morton) donated the use of his classroom for the training evening.
First Training Flight June 19, 2011
The day started at 9:45 am with three teams of two "spotters in training", a navigator and pilot soon in the air and off to the various targets and ELTs. In this two hour flight the new spotters put into practice the lessons of the previous evening and did their best to locate the ground targets. There were three target areas and two ELTs to find. The ELTs or Emergency Locator Transmitter is a radio beacon carried aboard all certified aircraft in Canada.
The training day also consisted of ground location training as well. Two vehicles with the remaining trainees were dispatched from the Lethbridge Airport with equipment used to locate the target ELT's. The morning teams located both ELT targets and all including the flights returned to the Air West hangar for lunch and debriefing. In the afternoon the ground teams took the air training and the Air team took the ground training.
Twelve individuals were put through the training exercise and are well on their way to becoming fully certified CASARA spotters. By the end of June, Lethbridge had 12 certified and current Spotters.
2012 Lethbridge starts to train Navigators
By April - Lethbridge has 6 Navigators in training, 12 current Spotters and 9 Trained Military Spotters
By Oct - Lethbridge has 3 Navigators in training, 3 certified Navigators, 13 current Spotters and 9 Trained Military Spotters
2013 Lethbridge starts to train Pilots
By July - Lethbridge has 6 Navigators, 17 Spotters and 9 Trained Military Spotters
In Sept - Lethbridge begins to train a Pilot - the currents stats is 6 Navs, 17 Spotters and 9 Trained Military Spotters
2014 History Remade
By Feb stats Lethbridge has 1 certified and current pilot, 3 certified Search Coordinators, 6 Navs 3 current, 16 Spotters 8 current and 9 Military Spotters
April 1 - History remade – Lethbridge receives Zone status, forms an executive board and begins to administer its own budget
May 25 - Lethbridge starts flying a second pilot
Oct 25/2014 - Lethbridge passes the Zone Evaluation conducted by representatives from the Dept. of National Defence and becomes a fully operational Zone with all the required training, personnel and equipment needed to administer an actual Search and Rescue mission.