While today’s search for the Britten Norman Islander that went missing shortly after takeoff last week Sunday yielded no results, hopes are high as a Canadian Aircraft equipped with a magnetic reader joined the search.
We have a Canadian-registered Twin Otter doing aerial surveys and they have specialized magnetic detection equipment on board, Annette Arjun Martins who is the General Manager of Air Services Limited, which owns the Missing Air Plane, told Stabroek News.
She explained that the plane was in Guyana undertaking works for oil exploration company CGX and its members were approached by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) asking for its services to aid in the search for Captain Nicolas Persaud, Cargo Handler David Bisnauth and the Aircraft.
The company agreed to give a helping hand and today began assisting in the search.
“The equipment they are using will pick up magnetic stuff on the ground so that helps a great deal,” she said.
Both the GCAA and ASL extended their gratitude to CGX and the Canadian Crew for their services.
Arjun Martins says that she remains optimistic that the crew will be found soon as the teams deployed on the ground are nearing the areas of interest. “The Special Forces and specialists who were on the ground yesterday and today are zoning in even tighter…we will continue tomorrow and I remain optimistic,” she posited.
A 26-member group was dispatched via helicopter yesterday into an area deemed to be of high interest, bordered by the North Fork and Blackwater rivers. The area was determined based on reports of sightings in an area above the highest peak, east of Deer Creek. This area is approximately 10 miles southwest of Mahdia.
The group, consisting of persons from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Special Forces and line cutters from St Cuthbert’s Mission commenced their ground searches early this morning in hopes of making a discovery after days of unsuccessful searching.
According to the GCAA, standard three-man teams from the GDF and GFC Mapped a Route to thoroughly search for the Aircraft and its occupants. GCAA further said that the teams had been equipped with modern communication equipment such as handheld radios, global positioning instruments, and satellite telephones which enabled them to remain in regular contact with the Rescue Coordination sub-centre in Mahdia.
Furthermore, Aerial Searches continued with two helicopters along with two fixed-wing Aircraft. These searches were conducted not only in the area of high interest but also along the previously decided grids prepared by the Rescue Coordination Centre, Timehri Control Tower.
The search continues tomorrow morning.