by KAREN LONGWELL
Albert Daily Herald - August 13, 2007
Fred Carey, a
CASARA volunteer pilot from Vancouver, says it is good to go to areas
with different landscapes for training in search and rescue. Herald
photo by Karen Longwell If anyone saw a few planes in the sky
over Prince Albert during the weekend, they were probably watching a
search and rescue exercise in action.
The Civil Air
Search and Rescue Association, a volunteer organization, chose Prince
Albert as the site of the largest-ever annual Western Canada Search
and Rescue exercise.
As of Saturday
afternoon there were 20 planes and more than 130 CASARA volunteers
from as far away as Vancouver and from places in the North West
Territories at the event, CASARA Saskatchewan provincial president
Frank Schuurmans said. This is the first time this type
of exercise has been held in Prince Albert. The city was chosen for
its varied typography - bush, river and prairie, he said.
Air hanger was a buzz of activity with pilots, ground personal,
navigators and flight planners on Saturday. There were seven
different search and rescue scenarios in the day and four night
scenarios set up around Prince Albert.
including a pilot, a navigator and two spotters - head out in the
volunteers' planes. The spotters look for a specified object like
plane wreckage or an actual person placed in the area to play a
training event has been in the works since last August. Organizer and
zone commander for Prince Albert Bill Brown, a 16-year member, said
despite poor weather on Friday, the event went very well.
"(Friday) morning we had our doubts with that weather but this
afternoon it started to change," Brown said on Saturday.
The weather was clear Saturday afternoon and Sunday making it better
for flying and conducting the search and rescue exercises.
"The whole idea (of the event) is that we are prepared and ready
for any circumstance that may arise," said Brown adding that it
is good to work with volunteers from across Western Canada. "This
is an opportunity to work together."
the search and rescue capability of Canadian Forces and also will
work with RCMP in search efforts in some regions, Schuurmans said.
All the western provinces sent representatives, he said. Pilots flew
in various types of aircraft single engine to twin engine.
Piontek from the Yorkton zone who has been a member of CASARA since
1989, said the exercise is useful. "This gives us a chance
to meet members from other zones and provinces and find out how
everybody does it and kind of compare notes," Piontek said.
"It's a learning experience too." There are chances to
learn about new technology, he added.
Pilot Fred Carey
from Vancouver said he was glad to have to opportunity to practice
searches in a very different landscape from what he is used to.
This year's SAREX is being held at CYPA Prince Albert
in the heart of Saskatchewan's Parkland and mixed farming area.
To the south lies the Prairies and to the north, Canada's best kept
secret - forests, rivers and lakes by the thousands.
Cultivation ends 20 miles north.
Prince Albert is a bustling city of some 40,000 people
with its beginnings going back into the fur trade days and its future bright.
CYPA, Glass Field, is a small non-controlled airport
with 24-hour flight service radio. Full services are available
during normal business hours and by call-out after hours.
Participants should arrive before 17:00 local Friday,
August 10. Fuel is available at TransWest. Parking and
greeting is in the General Aviation Area. Bring your own
tie-downs. Parking is free. Transportation to the Prince
Albert Travelodge will be available from the "Pilots Shack"
in the General Aviation Area.
Accommodation and Registration will be at the
Travelodge, where we have blocked off 64 rooms. All meals will be at
the Travelodge including the Saturday Night banquet. Noon
lunches will be in the TransWest Air cafeteria.
Due to a shortage of space at the airport, briefings
will be initially carried out at the Travelodge as well.
Shuttle and Bus service will be provided between the hotel and the
airport throughout the exercise.
The SAREX itself will include Friday night flights for
those who wish. Supper is at 1800 Local time, followed by
Briefing at 19:00 Local, with Navs completing their assigned taskings
after the briefing. The first crews will be transported to the
airport to arrive at 07:00 local with flights commencing at 08:00.
We have developed five different scenarios covering
our varied topography including all of the search patterns in the
Spotters' Handbook. However, we have not, so far, found a mountain.
Nav work will continue at TransWest Air and will be
expedited where required. Flights will normally be 1.5
hours. All flying is to be completed by 17:00 local, with the
banquet set for 19:00.
Sunday will be a repeat of Saturday, ending at
noon. This SAREX is not a competition but a Training
session for all levels of proficiency. There will be prizes for
specific tasks etc., but no over-all trophy.
We anticipate having two American
Civil Air Patrol 182's and Crews joining us as well to add to the excitement.
435 Squadron C130 Herc will be
involved, doing two lifts Saturday and two lifts Sunday. ELT
Ground Homing training will be ongoing throughout the exercise for
Be sure and bring your VNC
1:500,000 with you, plus your Homing equipment and Nav Supplies.
1:250,000 charts will be provided, as will a GPS for Ozi downloading.
This is just a thumbnail of what
we plan. Other info will be provided ongoing, and a full Kit at
Registration will be supplied.
Adjustments will be made and total
details posted as we go.
Registration deadline is July 20, 2007.
Room reservations have been made
in a block for CASARA at the Travelodge Prince Albert, 3551 - 2nd
Ave. West. Telephone (306) 764-6441 Fax 306-763-8250.
Guest rooms based on double occupancy
1 - King $75.00 23 rooms
- 2 -Queen $80.00 24 rooms
- Suite with 2 Queens
$90.00 17 rooms
- Plus 6% GST and 5% PST
The hotel has Hi-Speed wireless.
All meals will be at the
Travelodge. Noon lunches at TransWest cafeteria.
There will be a $70.00 per person
charge due at registration to cover all meals. Meal tickets
will be provided and adjustments made where necessary.
All rooms will be assigned via
MARVIN ERICKSON - telephone
306-764-2080 email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Concept of Operations
- Serivces Support
- Command Signals
Contact the following for more information on the SAREX
CASARA Sask Zone 4 Commander
RR #3 Site #2 PO Box 5
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Home 306 922-5316
Cell 306 981-8412
Car 306 960-3206
Deputy Zone Commander
Western Canada SAREX - Assistant
1427 River Street East, Prince Albert, Sk.
Home & Fax 306 764-0477
Cell 306 961-1838
Contact the following for Tourism Information of the area
Prince Albert Tourism
3700 - 2nd Avenue West
Prince Albert, SK S6W 1A2
Toll Free 1.877.868.7470
Northern Saskatchewan Tourism
for regional tourism information
Northern Sask Tourism Inc.
Shell Lake, SK S0J 2G0