- Our Town
Local SAR aviators are tops in Western Canada
A local air crew was named the top aviators at a recent training exercise featuring 19 aircraft and personnel from across Western Canada and the Territories.
Last weekend, pilot Dan Shynuk and navigator Allister Pedersen, along with spotters Louise Shynuk and Grant Tulloch were honoured with the title at the conclusion of a three-day Western Canada SAREX (air search and rescue exercise) in Camrose, Alberta.
The foursome are part of a volunteer B.C. PEP (provincial emergency program) that is associated with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA). CASARA provides aircraft and crews who support the Canadian military in missing aircraft searches as well as assisting the RCMP and ground SAR crews for missing person searches.
In an era of declining federal funding, Cranbrook Air SAR has been able to advance their knowledge and training through funding the Columbia Basin Trust to not only successfully compete in the Western Canada SAREX, but to also provide a fast and effective response for air search requests in B.C.
Cranbrook SAR is a team effort with volunteer pilots, navigators, spotters and ground support along with help from the CBT, the city of Cranbrook and the B.C. PEP air director Alton King, who resides in the area.