Join us and make a difference

Do you pay particular attention to news stories about people missing in the wilderness and think, “I wish I could help?”

You can.

If you love aviation and have a passion for adventure and helping people, we need you. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is looking for volunteers to offer their time, skills, ideas and energy. Volunteers are called upon to quickly locate and assist in a variety of situations where a trained quick response air search capacity is required. CASARA also has many other critcally important no flying opportunties as well.

On any given day, you could be:

  • searching for a hiker lost in the mountains;
  • searching for an ovedue aircraft;
  • searching for overdue boaters; or
  • spotting on a Canadian Forces Search and Rescue flight.

When you become a member of Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), you join more than 2,800 volunteers nationwide. We are the men and women who support the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on Search and Rescue missions as spotters on military search aircraft. We also provide pilots, navigators, spotters and aircraft when needed by the three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCC) in Canada.

We train all our volunteers to professional standards and all members are certified by CASARA.

Our unpaid professionals put in hundreds of hours annually to become as proficient as possible and ensure the highest level of service to those in need.


Working with CASARA

CASARA Ontario works closely with other search and rescue organizations to provide swift and efficient assistance to people who are lost or in distress. We are proud to partner with and provide assistance to the following groups:

Who We Are

CASARA Ontario is one of the founding members of the national organization. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, or CASARA, is a Canada-wide volunteer aviation association dedicated to the promotion of SAR Awareness 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, navigators, ground homing specialists, search coordinators and administrators. Members receive training in fields such as aviation safety, meteorology, first aid, survival awareness, search techniques and procedures.

Members in Ontario have access to approximately twelve aircraft. CASARA Ontario counts over 200 members in training and certified as pilots, navigators and spotters to fill the positions of a crew member. Yearly, CASARA volunteers devote over 19,200 hours to help in the aid of others in our province.


  • 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 benefits of membership in CASARA as a Search and Rescue (SAR) Resource are many.
  • Create awareness of flight safety and defensive flying practices across Canada.


  • Provide their time and expertise free of charge.
  • Provide an array of training equipment such as training Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT’s), ground to air radios, computer equipment/programs, telephone pagers, Global Positioning Systems (GPS’s) etc.
  • Provide SAR Coordinators during actual SAR missions and training exercises.
  • Provide aircraft and certified crew members such as pilots, navigators & spotters who can be used effectively on search operations and training missions.
  • Provide certified spotters on Canadian Forces aircraft.
  • Provide reimbursement for aircraft usage based on engine horsepower and fuel costs.
  • Provide insurance that covers Non-Owned Aircraft Liability, General Aviation, Personal Accident, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability and Composite Mercantile-Property.
  • Provide rapid response to locate missing aircraft or Electronic Locator Transmissions (ELT’s) in their own areas before Canadian Forces (CF) primary SAR aircraft can be airborne. This results in significant savings in aircraft hours and crew time for the Military and works well where time is so important.
  • Provide personnel to act as casualties while assisting the training of CF Base Trenton’s 424 Transport & Rescue Squadron.
  • Provide Search Headquarters at locations across Ontario during actual SAR missions and training exercises.
  • Provide interaction with provincial agencies to supply air support for ground searches.
  • Provide supplemental Introduction to SAR training to Air Cadets.

Apply here!