Spotters are the search team’s “eyes in the sky,” responsible for visually finding the targets of a search operation. Most of our members are qualified as spotters, arguably the most important position to our missions and usually the first qualification attained by new members . Occasionally advanced training is available from CASARA to fly on military SAR aircraft from 442 Sqaudron, such as the CC-115 Buffalo.
Navigators must be aware of the aircraft’s position at all times. They help with the flight plan, advise the pilot on destination and ensure that all flight hazards are avoided. Navigators may be pilots (current or not) or non-pilots with training and/or aptitude for airborne navigation. Non-pilot members with an aptitude and interest in becoming search navigators can train to become navigators.
Fly the planes that help save lives in CASARA’s search and rescue operations. Pilots are required to have a private licence and at least 200 hours total and 150 hours PIC. However new Pilots are very rarely recruited to MIASARS for a couple of reasons. Due to the weights of 4 person crews, and our mountainous terrain, performance singles are preferred for local CASARA activities,. This means that pilots need to come with an aircraft to fly. And secondly, our limited budgets, combined with the math of currency requirements for existing pilots in the group, limit the number of hours available to be flown.