Air search and rescue organization looks for new members

The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) will be welcoming seven new members soon and asking anyone else who cares to join to come out and get trained.

The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is now looking for new members.

The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is now looking for new members.

The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) will be welcoming seven new members soon and asking anyone else who cares to join to come out and get trained.

CASARA is a volunteer aviation association that runs across Canada. It’s primary goal is aviation safety and aids in searches for lost planes.

“If a pilot goes on a flight, they must do a flight plan. If he doesn’t arrive, they assume he has gone down. They notify CASARA in the area and we go up and do a search. If we find him, a ground crew goes down to the crash sight, but if it is an area that a ground crew can’t access then the Buffalo comes in,” says Kendall Duce.

The Buffalo Search Airplane is a large plane that has site technician’s who will jump out in order to access the crash sight.

Golden’s CASARA crew does a practice round every month in order to train spotters and navigators. A spotter must have three hours of academic training and two hours of flight time per year to be certified. In order for a navigator to be certified, they must have four hours training and four flights.

“Navigators do spotting and record keeping,” says Bernie Scheisser, one of two Golden pilots for CASARA, “a spotter tries to see if they can see anything on the ground. When doing a search, we fly with six spotters, three lined up on each side and every twenty minutes they switch who is spotting. This way they stay alert.”

Being part of CASARA is not largely time consuming and is mostly a matter of being certified and ready. “It takes a lot of people to make sure everything is ready. There could be 40 people certified, but not all those people can always leave when a search is called in. So it is important for us to have a lot of people certified.” Says Duce.

In reality, Golden does less than one search a year although Schiesser says he has done searches around Kamloops, Revelstoke and Pemberton.

“We search in quadrants, usually 60×60 square km. We search that area. Because we are in the mountains, it’s more likely that we would search one valley and another group would search another valley.”

On May 9, there will be an academic training day in Golden to train seven new people who wish to volunteer with CASARA.  The 15th will be a flying day for those involved. If anyone else would like to join and begin training with CASARA on the 9th, call Kendall Duce at 250-344-7055.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Members of the Swansea Point Fire Department will be out with their trucks collecting food items on December 13. (CSRD photo)
Rural Shuswap fire departments gearing up for food banks

Food drives are planned in Silver Creek, White Lake and other communities

Morning Start: Grapes light on fire in the microwave

Your morning start for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Okanagan College students Michael Ochoa and Tallin Gregoire, both members of the Okanagan Indian Band, raised the Okanagan Nation Alliance flag on July 16, 2019,  outside the Vernon campus. (Karissa Gall photo)
First Nations reconciliation personified at Okanagan College

President Jim Hamilton’s foresight has opened post-secondary education doors for Okanagan College’s Indigenous students

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

This year’s Candlelight Vigil, United Against Violence Against Women, on Dec. 6, 2020 will not be in person at the campuses of Okanagan College due to COVID-19, but people will be able to gather online to watch a video presentation and light a candle in remembrance. (Image contributed)
Violence against women in North Okanagan-Shuswap to be remembered online

Participants in virtual vigil Dec. 6 asked to light a candle and post photo on social media

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

Most Read