Helicopter Search & Rescue, Part 2 – Military Operations – February 22nd 2022 – 12PM EST


In the first part of this series put on by the Montreal-Ottawa Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society, we saw how vertical flight technology is being deployed by private companies, volunteer SAR operations and provincial police. For the second installment the Canadian Armed Forces will give some case studies of the work they have done to save lives on Canadian soil and in Canadian waters.

Representatives of both the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax and the DND Squadron 424 will be on hand to share stories from the field, saving lives in some extremely challenging conditions and situations.

Captain Stephen C, Park, Canadian Armed Forces – Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax

Captain Stephen C. Park joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002 and transferred into the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 2010.  A CC-130H Hercules Air Navigator by trade, Park has participated in countless SAR operations both in the air and as a coordinator. Over the last year, Captain Park has become the Deputy Officer in Charge of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, NS, where he oversees the aeronautical search and rescue operations of approximately 4.7 million square kilometers of rugged Canadian wilderness, coastline and vast oceans.

Major Rich Gough, Standards Officer, 424(T&R) Squadron, Canadian Armed Forces

Major Gough attended the Sault College Aviation programme where he received a commercial multi-IFR pilot’s license prior to joining the RCAF in 1992. After training he was posted to 413 Sqn in Nova Scotia on the CH-113 Labrador Helicopter in 1997 which he logged approximately 1500 flight hours with before transitioning to the CH-149 Cormorant with 103 Sqn in Gander, NL. In 2006 he transitioned again to the CH-146 Groffon as part of OP STARFISH.

Currently serving as Squadron Standards Officer for RCAF Squadron 424, he has been deployed from Trenton, ON to Afghanistan throughout a 30 year military career where he flown close to 500 rescue missions and, at one point he held the record for the farthest MEDEVAC off the coast at 317nm.