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GUYANA: Search for missing plane narrowed to “area of high probability”

Last Updated on Monday, 29 December 2014, 18:30 by GxMedia

Several members of the GDF Special Forces who are part of the Search and Rescue Mission.

Rescuers Monday narrowed their search for a missing light aircraft to “an area of high probability” in Guyana’s jungle, well-placed sources said.

The area was identified after members of the search and rescue mission interviewed miners and other persons in the area.

A number of them were taken aboard aircraft to help the search and rescue mission pin-point the area that the Britten Norman Islander went down around noon Sunday. Eventually, they concluded that the area where the plane would most likely be found is closer to Karisparu in Region 8 (Potaro-Siparuni).

Aboard the twin-engine plane were Captain Nickey Persaud, 27, and cargo loader, David Bisnauth. Owned by Air Services Limited (ASL), the plane was shuttling cargo from Mahdia to Karisparu when Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) lost contact with the pilot.

Sources said that while Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Special Forces soldiers were on standby, they would not be deployed on the ground until the plane was spotted. Persons knowledgeable about the terrain said it would take 100 metres per hour on foot in the “virgin forest” there.

While the search and rescue mission was ready to resume its operation early Monday morning, sources said that they were initially grounded by bad weather.

The Guyana government has activated its Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) at the Air Traffic Control Tower,  Timehri. Resources from the GDF, Civil Aviation and the private sector have been marshaled in the now more than one-day old operation to locate the aircraft and the men who were aboard.

If there is no trace of the plane, the search would be called off  for the day at sunset and resume at sunrise on Tuesday.