Plane goes missing; search begins

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 August 2017, 11:24 by Denis Chabrol

Emergency teams were Sunday morning rushing to  an area just off Mahdia from where they received an emergency signal from a missing plane.

Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Retired Colonel Egbert Field said no contact has been received from a Cessna plane bearing registration marking 8R-GFM. “The police and army have been informed and they are now in caucus to move,” he said.

Owned by Air Services Limited, the plane is piloted by Captain Imran Khan.

Annette Arjoon-Martins of ASL told Demerara Waves Online News said planes and the company’s helicopter have been conducting aerial searches. She said ASL’s Chief Pilot was late Sunday morning briefing members of the Guyana Defence Force Special Forces before they leave for the area.

Arjoon-Martins said her domestic airline and police and soldiers were treating the efforts as a search and rescue operation.

Based on information provided, Field said an Emergency Locater Transmitter (ELT) signal was identified about two or three miles north of Mahdia. The plane was shuttling between Chai-Chai and Mahdia and, according to the GCAA boss, was scheduled to land at 8:47 AM Sunday but it did not land but the ELT signal was picked up at 9:08 AM

Other sources said the plane has not registered any further data on its Spot Tracker that  monitors the movement of aircraft every two minutes.  The sources said the terrain in that area is thickly forested and rugged. “It is dense jungle and actually you follow along the escarpment, all the mountains and you pass around Amaila Falls and the roads so let us hope for the best,” he said

Pilots hoped that the plane was able to land at Ewang or a river in the area.

Within the last month, there have been two plane crashes in the interior. One pilot died and another escaped with minor injuries.