– injuring pilot, lone passenger
A team of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Special Forces men on Monday evening valiantly weathered challenging conditions aback Canal Number Two on the West Bank Demerara (WBD)to rescue two occupants of a small plane which crashed while en route to the Eugene F Correia International airport at Ogle, on the lower East Coast.
The injured men have been identified as Captain Lincoln Gomez, the pilot of the aircraft, who reportedly sustained a broken jaw and other facial injuries, and Michael Grimmond, a policeman.
Reports are that the aircraft, a Cessna 182 bearing American registration N8704T, crashed-landed around 1900hrs on Monday night, having reportedly run out of fuel on its way from Arau, a location in western Guyana, near the border with Venezuela.
The aircraft reportedly belongs to the Guyana Adventist Medical Aviation Service (GAMAS), a Christian missionary organisation which provides humanitarian flights to hinterland communities.
Reports are that the plane was bringing the remains of a man who is suspected to have died at Arau to the city.
According to a source, the man died while mountain-climbing near the border.
As news of the accident spread, a crowd quickly gathered at the West Demerara Conservancy aback Canal Number Two, several miles away from the crash site to await news of the fate of the occupants of the aircraft.
Off in the distance, flares set up around the crash site to mark the spot where the plane came down, could be clearly seen all the way down at the conservancy dam, giving some semblance of hope to those waiting patiently there. But that glimmer soon gave way to restlessness, as the hours slowly ticked by.
Also on hand was a team from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). Then, just around midnight, Captain Orlando Charles of Domestic Aviation, who was also on hand to lend whatever support he could to the the rescue mission, reported that he’d gotten word that the injured men were rescued, and being prepared for travel to the city.
Major Michael Charles, a veteran GDF helicopter pilot, was credited for taking the rescue team into the location in search of the occupants of the plane. The efforts of the GDF team were praised by onlookers.