Episode 79: Yukon Civil Air Search & Rescue Association

Our special guests are Randy Shewen and Jamie Tait. Randy heads up the Yukon chapter of CASARA, or Civil Air Search and Rescue Association. Operationally, CASARA works for the Canadian military. In addition to his volunteer work as an administrator, Randy is also a pilot for the organization, and uses his own plane to participate in searches. Jamie is a helicopter pilot based in Atlin, BC who works in conjunction with search groups when the need arises.

Flying in the Yukon and northern BC presents challenges unique to remote and sometimes hazardous terrain and weather conditions. For one thing, we don’t have radar up here, so planes can’t be tracked en-route. When they go missing, pinpointing when where is often impossible. Without radar, when a plane goes missing, there isn’t a screen blip that suddenly disappears and captures someone’s attention.

Some airplane wrecks in Alaska and the Yukon have never been identified. Many more planes are presumed to have crashed but have never been located. The pilots and passengers whereabouts are still unknown, many years later. The details and explanations of what happened may never be known.

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