Pilot, cop rescued after Medivac plane crash lands

Soldiers from the Guyana Defence Force Special Forces waiting on word to embark on the rescue mission.

A pilot and a policeman were last night dramatically rescued by the GDF after a Guyana Adventist Medical Aviation Services (GAMAS) medevac plane crash-landed on the West Bank Demerara around 8 pm.

The pilot, Lincoln Gomez and the policeman, Michael Grimond based at Eteringbang in Region Seven were at the time transporting a corpse to the city. The men were rescued from the scene of the crash-landing by a Guyana Defence Force helicopter.

Gomez suffered a broken jaw while the policeman sustained a broken leg. They were brought to the city this morning for medical attention.

The corpse is that of an American missionary who died in the interior after falling from a mountain.

Rescued: Lincoln Gomez

At the Canal No.2 Conservancy last night, a team from the Guyana Defence Force Special Forces stood around for over two hours as they sought to mobilize a boat to get to the location. However, the first responder helicopter from the force had already landed. The chopper, however landed some distance away from the crash. 

 Scores of residents from neighbouring communities turned up at the canal No.2 Conservancy in a bid to witness the rescue. The crash site was said to have been approximately 3.3 miles southwest from the back of Canal No.2.

Residents said they saw flares some distance away and ventured to the location after learning of the crash landing.

Head of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Egbert Field told Stabroek News that the plane went down in a desolate area behind the Canal Number 2 and Nismes villages, about 13 miles from the Timehri airport. The plane was said to have crashed into trees.

The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna with registration number N8704T was returning from a medical mission in Region Seven and was headed to the Eugene F Correia International Airport from where it had earlier yesterday  afternoon departed for the mission.

Authorities were alerted to the crash when distress calls were made by the pilot before the aircraft went down. 

An overflight search party was immediately dispatched but returned unsuccessfully  to Ogle after about an hour. A call was subsequently received from the downed plane informing that the pilot and a policeman  were alive but that it “seems someone had broken bones”,  one rescuer said. 

The coordinates of the location were given and a Guyana Defence Force chopper left for the area

Residents at Nismes told this newspaper that around 8 pm they saw distress flares.

The dead missionary was identified as Christopher Matthews, Director of the Kaikan Bible School in Guyana. He was reported to have fallen off a mountain and died yesterday morning.

The is  said to have been the second accident GAMAS has had in 22 years of flying in Guyana.

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