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CASARA Ontario awards for 2023

CASARA Ontario awards for 2023


A major search, T2023-00173 C-GMVB, was called by the RCAF in March 2023 for a plane missing between Nakina and Fort Hope. Thunder Bay was identified for the Advance Task Force (ATF) deployment.
The leadership of NOASARA readily offered its ample and well resourced premises as the base for RCAF and CASARA assets (Hercules aircraft, Griffon and Cormorant for the RCAF and CASARA aircraft and crews from Niagara, Winnipeg and Regina), along with those of the Ontario Provincial Police, Coast Guard and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In addition to providing all the space and amenities needed for such a complex operation, the entire membership of the zone stepped up to the plate to provide support in the office in any capacity required, on the helicopters and fixed-wing as spotters.
As assistant search master, Mr. Jim Geils played a crucial role in the coordination of everyone’s efforts.
The RCAF was most appreciative of NOASARA’s contribution to the conduct of this major search.  Their success also reflected very positively on our entire organisation.


Mr. Cooper is a long-standing member of CASARA and has been, for the last ten years, acting as training officer for the Zone.  In that capacity, he has organised and delivered training at the Zone monthly meetings.  More importantly, he has very carefully monitored members currency and identified what each and every member needs to stay current.  He has also prioritized those in need of currency in various SAREX’S, while ensuring trainees got the classroom and practice time they require to achieve certification.

Mr. Cooper owns his own plane, which he fitted with a homer. In that regard, he has achieved uncanny abilities to use it very effectively.  He is now in the process of fitting his airplane with camera mounts for use with the new technology being introduced.

As a very major achievement, Mr. Cooper was PIC in the successful search for a missing aircraft two years ago.

Finally, he has and continues to play a very important role in the development and upkeep of TMMS.


“30 Years of Search and Rescue Adventure”

Written by Randy Klaassen

Niagara local, Shane Barton, was recognized for his 30 years as a search and rescue volunteer. Recently Barton was presented an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, for 30 Years, and lately Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Niagara awarded him with a 30 Year Wing pin. 

Barton’s involvement with search and rescue began in 1979 with a ground organization. It was later at a Hamilton Airshow he learned of CASARA Niagara. When asked, Barton said, “My involvement with CASARA has been diversified, to say the least. I started as a spotter and progressed with learning aviation communications, navigation and safety.” As a member of CASARA Barton has flown as a spotter, served with ground searches, and as a driver for the unit’s mobile command vehicle. 

Behind Barton’s many searches he has spent thousands of hours training. “It has been a great adventure serving with CASARA Niagara, where I’ve had opportunity to learn more each year, as technology and skills evolve. I’ve really enjoyed serving with other crew members, and engaging members of the public on enjoying outdoor activities safely.” 

While CASARA volunteers are aviation focused, they are also called upon to assist with searching for persons missing on the Lakes, lost hikers, and other situations of people in distress. 

CASARA Niagara has headquarters and training facility at Niagara District Airport, operating two aircraft and a mobile command vehicle. As a charitable organization the volunteers depend on donations to maintain their operations. Deemed “An Essential Service,” and using COVID protocols, CASARA volunteers have been actively training for the upcoming spring season. 

Receiving his awards, Barton told his crew members, “It’s an honour to receive this 30-year pin, and I hope there is a 50-year pin, because I plan on serving for a long time to come.” 

For more information on CASARA Niagara, check the website,


Attached photos; credit: Randy Klaassen, CASARA Niagara, Training Officer. 

Jim Graydon

Our dear friend, Jim Graydon, long time member and former New Liskeard Zone Director, has passed away today, Thursday May 20,2020. There will be more information as it becomes available. Please click on the attached link to view Jim’s obituary.

Congratulatons to Zone 08 New Liskeard on their very successful training weekend!

Congratulations to Zone 08 New Liskeard on their very successful training weekend!

On the weekend of August 23-25th, Zone 08 New Liskeard took part in a major training exercise. Check out the article reprinted with permission and courtesy of the Temiskaming Speaker.