SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Guardian Flight Ends Search
For Missing Crew



March 29, 2019
Friday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Guardian Flight’s two-month search for their three missing crew members and the company’s King Air 200 aircraft in waters off the coast of Southeast Alaska is coming to an end after exhausting all avenues of exploration and recovery.

According to the latest updates provided by Randy Lyman, Senior Vice President of Operations Guardian Flight, "The detailed and methodical search has not yet revealed any of the remains of our friends aboard the aircraft when it crashed. This is very disappointing to their families and our entire Guardian Flight team and extended family of first responders, air medical transporters and health care professionals."

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The on-site team estimates it found 85-90% of the aircraft dispersed over a large debris field. Guardian Flight’s underwater search team has now located most of the aircraft pieces, including the fragmented fuselage and tail assembly. The second engine and landing gear have been identified as have propeller blades and other wing fragments. The search was successful in recovering the airplane’s Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), which has been transported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) headquarters in Washington, D.C. for further analysis. Lyman said, "We are thankful for the assistance rendered over the past two months by the NTSB’s regional office in Anchorage during trying times and despite difficult weather conditions during our search and recovery efforts."

"We have searched 7 square miles of ocean and ocean floor and traversed over 700 linear miles by ship to locate our cherished friends, the CVR and aircraft. Further, we have engaged Metron Scientific Solutions, experts in underwater search and recovery efforts, to aid us in the evaluation of our search to date. Our search team and the professionals in such efforts have concluded that we have exhausted all our remaining options in our underwater search and recovery efforts," said Lyman.

"We thank everyone who has helped in our search following the loss, including many good Samaritans, the U.S. Coast Guard, the NTSB, Alaska State Troopers, local law enforcement, and our dedicated search team," said Lyman.

Guardian Flight still plans a helicopter search of the shoreline for any aircraft fragments that may have washed up recently.

Guardian Flight Alaska began its independent water search for the company’s missing crew and aircraft near Kake, in Southeast Alaska on February 11th, following cessation of search and rescue operations by the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search for the overdue aircraft with three people aboard on January 31st. The Coast Guard conducted maritime and aerial searches for more than 63 hours concentrated in an area of 240 square nautical miles before suspending the search. The Guardian Flight King Air 200 medical life flight was expected to land in Kake and the search began when the flight failed to arrive on January 29th.

On board the doomed emergency medical transport flight were pilot Patrick Coyle, 63; flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30; and flight paramedic Margaret Langston, 43; all based in Juneau. The Guardian Flight King Air 200 aircraft was flying from Anchorage to Kake in Southeast Alaska.

Lyman said, "We will be planning a memorial to recognize and celebrate the lives of our departed friends in Juneau in the next few months."



Source of News:

Guardian Flight


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