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Search and rescue operation launched in Guyana for missing aircraft
Published on January 20, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- A search and rescue mission has been launched for a Trans Guyana Cessna Caravan 700 aircraft that went missing on Saturday morning along with its Canadian born pilot, Blake Slater and a cargo loader.

After the control tower received a distress call indicating that the aircraft was going down, several calls were immediately made by other aircraft but were all unsuccessful.

GCAA’s Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) was immediately activated and Special Forces from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and search and rescue units were dispatched.

The search and rescue team included six aircraft (two helicopters and four Cessna Caravans), nine special forces officers, and nine crew members. They are armed with survival kits and other vital equipment. The aircraft is believed to have crashed in a densely forested area.

Head of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Zulficar Mohammed, said that the search and rescue crew that are on the ground are also talking with residents of the area who may have seen or heard the aircraft going down.

The search was called off for the day at around 6:00 pm on Saturday due to poor lighting, but was due to resume early Sunday morning. Nevertheless, an aircraft was due be deployed to overfly the area of interest on Saturday night to look for any signs of the missing aircraft.

The aircraft is fitted with all of the appropriate emergency equipment including an emergency locator beacon. However, a check with the US Mission Control Centre (USMCC) from which information concerning aircraft ELT signals is transmitted, found that they have not received any signal from the aircraft’s beacon.

The RCC said it will continue its operations until the aircraft is located and additional personnel will also be deployed from the coast to assist with the search. When the aircraft is located, an extraction operation will commence.
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