SAR Captain

In support of current ventures, and while continuously seeking new business opportunities, Cougar Helicopters Inc. adheres to the highest principles for safety and efficiency, exceeding industry standards and expectations for the safe transportation of passengers and the conduct of Search & Rescue operations. We place value on: strong leadership; a trained, empowered and competent workforce; open and respectful communications with employees, customers and suppliers; and delivering on our priorities.


We operate a fleet of modern Sikorsky S92 helicopters in both offshore passenger transportation and Search and Rescue (SAR) roles. We operate out of a state-of-the-art heliport, hangar and dedicated SAR facility, which has a proven 24/7 365 response posture of being airborne within 20 minutes. The world class training our flight crew receives is completed in one of the most advanced flight simulators provided by CAE which is located in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. Cougar Helicopters is a recognized and respected leader among helicopter operators throughout the industry and always remains proactive in the advancement of flight safety.


Cougar Helicopters Inc. currently has an opportunity for a Search & Rescue (SAR) Captain. The SAR Captain (Pilot-in-Command) is responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft they command, for the safety of all persons on board, operational control and complying with the company flight following procedures during flight time. For this purpose, they will have final authority for the disposition of the helicopter during the time in which they are in command.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide a first response capability to commercially contracted customers in accordance with contractual requirements. Potential first response missions can include but are not limited to:
    • medical rescue flights from a platform/installation, drilling rig, tanker at sea, or work/seismic vessel;
    • location and recovery of personnel in case of a helicopter ditching or vessel in distress;
    • providing immediate evacuation assistance to an installation, platform or vessel in distress;
    • locating life boats/fast rescue craft and recovery of the personnel;
    • assisting vessels in distress with air deployable equipment;
    • medical aid as determined by contract.
  • Aircraft operations associated with providing air search and rescue (SAR) utilizing helicopters to locate lost, stranded, and/or abandoned individuals who may or may not be injured or in need of medical attention.
  • Operation of the aircraft, the safety of the crew members, and all flight decisions once in the air.
  • Ensure the crew has been authorized for the mission, the aircraft is airworthy, and the hoist has been inspected and tested for flight.
  • Whenever a helicopter is used for ambulance flights, the SAR Captain will ensure that a Company Rescue Specialist and/or a company approved attendant accompanies the patient.
  • Maintain a highly professional image in both conduct and personal appearance.

Safety and Quality Responsibilities

  • Practice, actively promote and monitor workplace safety;
  • Be familiar with and comply with the Cougar SMS and HSE policies and procedures;
  • Be responsible for knowing, understanding and complying with the workplace requirements for Cougar’s day-to-day operations and ask for assistance when unclear about a workplace process to complete a task safely;
  • Report hazards: If an employee encounters an unsafe or harmful condition or situation or if they are unclear if a task is safe, the employee is responsible to report this immediately to their supervisor or through the Cougar Safety Hazard Observation Program (S.H.O.P.); and
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Minimum Qualifications

  • Valid Canadian ATPL (H);
  • SK92 type rating;
  • Valid Category 1 medical;
  • Accident free in past 2 years;
  • Previous experience on large multi-crew helicopters;
  • Minimum 3000 hours flying helicopters;
  • 1500 hours Captain (Pilot in Command) on multi-engine helicopters including 500 hours Captain (Pilot in Command) on SK92 and 250 hours instrument flight time;
  • At least 1 year offshore experience in the northern hemisphere;
  • Operational IFR/IMC helicopter experience in the oil and gas industry;
  • A search and rescue background required;
  • Previous NVG experience considered an asset;
  • Controlled Goods Approval or must qualify for Controlled Goods Clearance;
  • High level of proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite of products and various internet applications;
  • Valid Canadian passport and ability to travel both domestically and internationally;
  • St. John’s residency is preferred;
  • Must pass pre-employment Drug and Alcohol screen;
  • Satisfactory criminal records check; and
  • Ability to obtain the requisite qualifications for travel to an offshore platform.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • A persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent public speaking skills;
  • Language of work is English;
  • Demonstrated professionalism with the ability to exercise good judgment and diplomacy;
  • Decision making and crew resource management skills;
  • Ability to work in a team environment; and
  • Demonstrated knowledge of company Operations Manuals, directives & Memos as well as Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS).


Cougar Helicopters Inc. in an equal opportunity employer offering a competitive compensation and benefits program. Interested parties click here Captain, Search & Rescue - St. John's, NL - to apply.

Posted: October 4, 2022

Reports To: Chief Pilot

Hours Of Work: 12 Hours Shift (21 on / 21 off)

Deadline: October 18, 2022

Apply Now

We greatly appreciate your interest in Cougar. Because of the large volume of applications that we receive, it is impossible for us to speak with every candidate personally. After review of our staffing requirements and matching the candidate credentials, the most qualified candidates will be contacted for interviews.