[www.inewsguyana.com] – Senior Members of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) along with police ranks are looking to continue into the night an ongoing search for the Trans Guyana Cessna Caravan aircraft that went missing along with its Canadian born Pilot, Blake Slater and the Cargo Loader on Saturday morning (January 18).
Six aircraft including two helicopters and four Cessna Caravans, nine Special Forces Officers and nine crew members are involved in the Search Mission.
According to Head of the GCAA, Zulficar Mohamed air search will have to seize once night falls. He assured however, that all ground forces will continue their search during hours of darkness.
Mohamed told a media conference late Saturday that they have managed to plot a possible site where the aircraft may have gone down, which he noted is densely forested. He said if their indications are correct, the aircraft along with the two individuals could be some 10-14 miles from Olive Creek where the aircraft had taken off, minutes before a distress call was heard.
The GCAA Head said that it is highly likely that the missing aircraft did not suffer any major impact since the emergency locator transmitter was not triggered. He said it could be triggered manually but remains clueless as to why the Pilot or Cargo Loader has not done so. Only when this transmitter is triggered then the aircraft’s location can be positively identified.
At about 10:50 Air Traffic Control received a message from another aircraft indicating that Trans Guyana Airways 700, Cessna Caravan on a shuttle operation between Olive Creek and Imbaimadai was going down. Several calls were immediately made by other aircraft but were all unsuccessful.
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) was immediately activated by the Air Traffic Control Centre. The GDF, Police, Minister Benn and GCAA and CJIAC staff reported to the RCC.
The RCC dispatched the GDF Special Forces with Search and Rescue Units – one Cessna Caravan from Trans Guyana Airways two helicopters from GDF and Air Services Ltd.
Based on the last spot tracker information along with coordinates from the aircraft prior to going down, an area of interest was plotted and crews were briefed in the RCC. The area identified is in the remote, densely forested area in the vicinity of Olive Creek, mid Mazaruni.
The Trans Guyana Cessna Caravan departed at 13:10 with three crew members and eight Special Forces Officers along with equipment and survival kits. The helicopters also departed around the same time. They arrived at Olive Creek at 14:15LST and 14:52LST.
Another aircraft from ASL joined the aircraft on the search mission.
A Trans Guyana Caravan aircraft bearing registration number 8R-GHS went missing along with its Canadian Pilot, Blake Slater and the Cargo Loader on Saturday morning (January 18).
The GCAA head said with the systems in place the aircraft had to be up-to-date with its serving and in accordance with all safety regulations.