UPDATE: More troops deployed, inclement weather persists in search for missing helicopter, crew
Additional troops were Thursday morning deployed as the search and rescue operation recommenced to locate the Bell 402 Army helicopter with seven Guyana Defense Force ranks on board.
And while efforts continue to locate the servicemen, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) said inclement weather continues to be a challenge.
“Search teams continue to grapple with inclement weather conditions as they navigate the search areas,” GDF said in an update to the media on Thursday.
The army helicopter reportedly lost signal 30 miles from the border with Venezuela on Wednesday but the search had to be called off for the night because of bad weather.
On Wednesday, GDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan said the emergency signal from the aircraft suggests a crash landing or could have been triggered by the crew on board.
The Army deployed its Skyvan and a search and rescue team from its special forces. They were supported by a helicopter.
The search was called off due to the severe weather condition and resumed at “first light” Thursday.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, with over 40 years of experience, was flying the aircraft over mountains and dense jungle.
He was flying a team under the command of Colonel Michael Shahoud, Commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion, on a mission to visit troops on the western border.
Also part of the mission were Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan.
Apart from Charles, the other crew members were Lieutenant Colonel Andio Michaeal Crawford and Corporal Dwayne Jackson. The aircraft landed at Olive Creek to refuel and contact was lost shortly after take-off.