Canadian pilot feared dead in South American jungle

A Canadian pilot was among two people feared dead Saturday when the small plane he was flying went down in Guyana's thick Amazon jungle two minutes after takeoff, authorities said.

Director of Guyana's Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Zulfikar Mohammed, said the all-day search failed to locate the single-engine Cessna Caravan aircraft.

Trans Guyana Aviation (TGA) spokesman Kit Nascimento said the plane was being piloted by Canadian pilot Blake Slater. Also aboard was one of the airline's cargo loaders, Dwayne Newton of Guyana.

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The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, said Special Forces troops and the Air Corps have joined several privately-owned aircraft to search for the missing plane.

At the time of the incident, the plane was shuttling from Imbaimadai to Olive Creek, both gold mining locations deep in Guyana's jungle.

The GCAA said it has activated its Rescue Coordination Centre in search of the plane that reported it was going down at 14:56 GMT (10:56 Guyana Time), having left Olive Creek at 10:54 (Guyana Time). Two other aircraft that were in the area commenced reconnaissance immediately over the area but there was no sighting, the regulatory agency said.

© 2014 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jan 18, 2014