Update: Crash site for missing GDF chopper identified, signs of life on scene

The Search and Rescue Operation has positively identified the crash site for the Bell 412 Army Helicopter (8R-AYA) and its crew members that went missing Wednesday and there are signs of life on the scene.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in a release Thursday morning noted that the search positively identified the site and troops are being rappelled to the exact site location.

Earlier on Thursday, additional troops were deployed in the Search and Rescue Operation.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor to the President, Captain Gerry Gouveia on his social media stated, “Our search and rescue efforts are supported by the best search and rescue teams in the world, equipped with the most sophisticated search helicopters on the planet. Today as we venture out to bring them home, we expect the weather to allow us to see the area better.”

The chopper departed Base Camp Ayanganna at 09:23 hours on Wednesday for Arau, carrying three crew members and four passengers. At 11:20 hours, the aircraft transmitted an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) approximately 30 miles east of Arau on Guyana’s western borders.

The aircraft landed at Olive Creek to refuel and shortly after its take-off, communication was lost.

At a press conference on Wednesday evening, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan explained that the activated ELT indicates either a crash landing, a hard impact, or could have been triggered manually by one of the crew members.

The missing chopper was piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles under the command of Colonel Michael Shahoud, Commander of the First Infantry Battalion, and was on a mission to visit troops on the western border.

Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan were also part of the mission. Other crew members include Lieutenant Colonel Michael Crawford and Corporal Dwayne Johnson.

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