CASARA Ontario held a very successful SAREX and Eval in the Temiskaming area over August 18-20,2023. Thanks Marc Ungar for creating this for us.


Adam Hill of CASARA London fame has put together two fantastic stores to purchase official CASARA kit for our mmbers. Adam has also created a Supporting store for those who wish to support CASARA. All monies recieved above the cost of the items and shipping will be retuurned to the zones to help support them financially. The link to the store is The password is the same one you used to access the members section of the site.

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.

‘This training is essential’: RCAF Air and Marine Search and Rescue training continues in Elgin County

Click here for the story

CASARA Niagara along with assistance from CASARA London recently conducted cold weather testing of our RPAS capabilities. Members from the RCAF were also in attendance. Checkout the article from the NOTL Local below.

Article by Randy Klaassen, Courtesy of the NOTL Local


On the morning of July 24th, 2021, an aircraft (a PA-24 Piper Comanche) from CASARA Ottawa was engaged in training exercises just east of Ottawa. During the exercise they heard a MAYDAY call from an aircraft in distress. The distress aircraft had encountered an engine failure and advised it was going to conduct an off-airport landing.

The CASARA crew immediately contacted Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton (JRCC) to report the MAYDAY radio transmission.  JRCC tasked the CASARA aircrew with a search pattern to a possible location as confirmed by an Emergency Locator Beacon (ELT) 406 Mhz hit recorded at Canadian Mission Control Centre (CMCC) CFB Trenton.  The satellite signal indicated the potential crash site was near Lac Forant, Quebec which was 100 nautical miles northwest of the CASARA training area.  Joining the search were two RCAF air assets, a CC-130H Hercules and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 424 Sqn based at CFB Trenton

As the CASARA aircraft approached the crash location they were able to electronically home to the downed aircraft’s exact position with their specialized aircraft-mounted homing equipment.  

Once overhead, a communications link on VHF radio with the downed pilot was attempted with no response.  Out of cell phone range, the quick thinking crew knew that they could communicate through the NavCanada Montreal Area Control Centre (ACC) to relay their position to JRCC which allowed the 424 Sqn aircraft to quickly arrive at the crash scene for the rescue. 

The CASARA crew remained on scene flying overhead until RCAF aircraft arrived to begin rescue operations.  The Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) from 424 Sqn Trenton were hoisted down from the Griffon helicopter to render medical assistance to the downed pilot who was subsequently hoisted onto the Griffon helicopter and flown to Pembroke Hospital.  She was released from hospital later that day and has expressed her heart felt thanks to the Search and Rescue Crews.

Congratulations to CASARA Ottawa air crew and ground support for their professionalism and a job well done!

“That others may live”

Below is the flight path of the CASARA aircraft…

Below is an image of the crashed aircraft as taken from the Griffon.


On Saturday, July 17th the members of CASARA London had a BBQ at St. Thomas airport to thank Joe Santschi for his 31 years of dedicated service to CASARA and London Air Patrol. Joe was a member of the London Air Patrol 2 years before CASARA was even born. In his tenure, Joe has been in many roles including Spotter, Electronic Search Specialist, Navigator, Search Coordinator and others. Perhaps one of Joe’s most important roles has been the night shift Dispatcher, being the person that gets wakened up in the middle of the night by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) when a call for assistance comes in. He has held that role for the last 25 years. Joe’s dedication to Search and Rescue had him volunteering several hundred hours each year and would not have been possible had it not been for his very supportive wife, Norma. Over the years, Joe has been trained in winter survival and water egress training and has taken many members under his wing to inspire the next generation of CASARA London volunteers. Thank you for upholding the search and Rescue motto “that others may live” for over 3 decades.

Your friends at CASARA London/London Air Patrol

“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. 

Courtesy of The Local from Feb 4th 2021. Niagara on the Lake


Please keep sending in your photos. I will add them as I receive them.

CF-PJO low and over at Brouwer Field

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CASARA National Newsletters

CASARA National has begun to put out a periodic newsletter to all members. Check them out here.

The Military SAR machine – complex and dedicated

Checkcout the article by Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Grieve, SAR advisor to the commander of Canada Joint Operations Command (CJOC).



RCAF rescue 2 people off island after canoe capsized in Algonquin Provincial Park

Check out the link here to read the story by Global News.

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.

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Every year we gather up the best photos from across Ontario and publish them here for your enjoyment over the holidays. It demonstrates the ongoing contribution of CASARA and the individual dedication of all our members.

“That others may live”

This is a work in progress so please continue to send in your photos!

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.


It was another very successful weekend in St. Thomas as CASARA London hosted what has become a bi-annual event with zones from Niagara, Ottawa, London and Edenvale. The focus of this exercise has been two-fold. Interoperabilty between CASARA and our other SAR partners including the CCGA, RCAF Local EMS and Fire as well as our amateur radio partners. Secondly, it provided an opportunity for all zones to share best practices and some comaraderie in a non-actual setting. We have seen many of our fellow CASARA members recently however it has usually been on an Actual search. This weekend gave everyone a chance to catch up.

Enjoy the photos below…

Mass briefing
Andre, Jen and Wayne. Notice the new paint job!…on the plane.
CF-PJO, heads up!
ForeFlight’s new Track Log tool, no cheating on speeds and altitudes now!

Breakfast at A&W…. so good!

Business end of C-FTES 337G Skymaster

Sunset over St. Thomas CYQS

by Eric Cline


The Northwestern Ontario Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA Thunder Bay) had a role in CHINTHEX 2019 – May 06 -10. For the second consecutive year 435SQN based in Winnipeg, MB held its spring training exercise (CHINTHEX) in Thunder Bay and area. NOASARA members had many unique opportunities to participate in various activities ranging from flying intercepts, spotting from one of many CC130 Hercules, and portraying casualties for the MAJAID. New and returning members alike were impressed with the variety of airborne taskings – spotting during an intercept, assisting a disabled boat, and spotting and assisting in the dropping of nine SARtechs and Rescue Jumpers for the MAJAID. Each event offered some new experiences and provided new and updated skills and tips. Participation in events such as this helps update skills and increase our interagency operability. Regrettably this year NOASARA was the only CASARA unit involved as many of the Prairie and Northern units found the travel time too long.

Also participating in the event were air and support crews from 435SQN (Winnipeg) with 2 CC130, 424SQN (Trenton) with 1 CC130, 439SQN (Bagottville) with a CH-146 Griffon, and from south of the border; USGC Traverse City MI with a JayHawk helicopter, USAF 39 Rescue SQN (Florida) with a C130 and 304 Rescue SQN (Portland Oregon) with para-rescue jumpers. Additional participation came from CF SkyHawks demonstration team, and Ornge.

Working alongside and around all these rescue professionals, many great connections were made and skills improved. This high profile event has also helped with member recruitment. NOASARA looks forward to working with these groups in the future. 

A Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technician parachutes to a simulated plane crash during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 8th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging
Air Search and Rescue Association member, Bobbi Fisher searches for simulated casualties on a CC-130 Hercules aircraft during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 8th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging
United States Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Para Jumpers and Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technicians carry a simulated casualties on a litter during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 7th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging


Sudbury wins the team award for 2019
Cheryl Kuss wins the Individual award for 2019. Her husband Dan has graciously accepted it on her behalf.


From Friday afternoon June 7th to Sunday morning June 9th the Ontario Executive has been busy digesting the past year and planning for the year ahead at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Center in London, Ontario. The business of SAR is very similar to any other corporation. Once a year the zone directors, executive, officers, our OPP liaison and our military gather for two days of intense meetings and collaboration all designed to support our members.

By Glenn Osmond.

Girls Take Flight

On April 27, 2019 several members from the CARES Niagara Zone based out of St. Catharines maintained a CASARA booth at the “Girls Take Flight” event at the Oshawa Executive Airport. Original plans to also have a static display (C182 – PJO) on the apron had to be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
The Zone used the opportunity as a SAR Awareness event to raise the profile of CASARA and our role within the SAR community. Also, not unlike the aviation industry in general, female participants are under-represented in CASARA so the occasion was also used to promote our efforts to attract and retain more female members. This event served both goals. 
Organizers reported just in excess of 1,000 attendees at the event. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 people dropped by the booth to either collect literature on display and/or to ask questions about the organization. It is estimated at least twenty-five people expressed a keen interest in learning more about the organization with the possibility of joining, some of whom were female. At least twenty parents introduced their daughters to SAR.
It is also worth noting that our location beside the Canadian Forces Recruiting booth and the Air Cadet Gliding programme also proved useful in drawing attention to the booth and served to highlight the strong association with our military partners. 424 Squadron had a static display (Griffon) on the ramp throughout the day. The Griffon crew, Captain Stef Pouliot and Major Chris Herten, took some time early in the day to drop by and say hello.
CASARA members who attended felt the event was certainly time will spent in serving one of our mandates – promoting SAR awareness and the organization in general to all who attended, particularly young women who were considering a career in aviation.

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From February 1st to 3rd. Zones from London, Niagara and Edenvale took part in BUSHEX 2019. This was a winter survival training course put on by members of 424 Transport and Rescue Sqn. Trenton and members of 1RCR from the London area. Click here to see the video.

Special thanks to Capt. Marty Zimmer for allowing 424 Sqn. to participate. Sgt. Daryl Jambrich, Canadian Army Lt. Nathan Third and 2Lt. Taso Bujouves for teaching the course, Adam Hill of CASARA London for organizing and CASARA London for hosting the event. Finally, Wayne Harvey of CASARA London for creating the awesome video above.

Sgt. Jambrich describing how to properly construct a firewall.
A proper lean too


Seldom a day goes by when we are not exposed to some form of phising email or other similar attempt to gain access to our personal and private information. In the wrong hands this information could be used to harm CASARA, its members as well as our Forces partners. Please look to the following guidelines when interacting with email.

1.Always scrutinize the addresses of both your incoming and outgoing email.

2.Do not “REPLY TO ALL” unless it is necessary (especially with military addresses).

3.During a JRCC tasking, your emails can become DND property during an investigation.

4.During a JRCC tasking, do not publish any information on your Social Media Account.

5.Never distribute information or pictures of a SAR case to anybody except JRCC/SM.

Protect your identity 

Identity Theft 101

Negative effects for victims of identity theft:

·         Financial – challenges with restoring your credit (act quickly to limit impact),

·         Emotional – stress, fear, anxiety, depression,

·         Physical – fear for physical safety, inability to focus, heart and stomach issues, inability to work,

·         Social – could affect personal relationships due to stress.

1.Toujours réviser les adresses courriel

2.Ne pas “RÉPONDRE À TOUS” si cela n’est pas nécessaire (spécialement avec des adresses militaires)

3.Pendant une tâche du CCCOS, vos courriels peuvent devenir la propriété du MDN pendant une enquête

4.Pendant une tâche du CCCOS, ne publiez aucune information sur vos médias sociaux

5.Ne distribuez jamais des informations ou des images d’un cas SAR à qui que ce soit, à l’exception du CCCOS ou MR.

Protégez votre identité

Vol d’identité 101

Effets négatifs pour les victimes de vol d’identité:

·         Financier – défis liés à la restauration de votre crédit (agissez rapidement pour limiter l’impact)

·         Émotionnel – stress, peur, anxiété, dépression,

·         Physique – peur pour la sécurité physique, incapacité à se concentrer, problème de cœur et d’estomac, incapacité de travailler,

·         Social – peut affecter les relations personnelles en raison du stress.

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