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Plane crash survivors fire flare to alert rescuers

Coastguard 2

Survivors of a plane crash in Alaska, USA, were rescued after the pilot fired a flare.

Watchstanders from the 17th Coast Guard District received notification of the crash from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center with an approximate location of the fixed-wing Cessna.

Within an hour, the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew arrived and was able to hear the plane’s Emergency Locator Transmitter over 406 megahertz radio. The Jayhawk crew used direction-finding equipment and, when in range, saw a flare shot by the pilot of the plane.

They landed and rescued three survivors of a plane crash from a ridgeline landing strip near the Chakachatna River, in the Kenai Peninsula.

The survivors were brought aboard and transported to awaiting emergency medical personnel at Anchorage International Airport. Both passengers and the pilot reported no injuries.

Lt. Joseph Plunkett, pilot aboard the Jayhawk rescue helicopter, says, “This rescue was possible because of the joint effort put forth between the Coast Guard and Alaska Rescue Coordination Center and because the pilot was prepared with the necessary safety equipment.

“I can’t put enough emphasis on how crucial it is to have safety equipment whenever transiting through Alaska. Alaska is full of remote and often dangerous areas, and in this case, because the pilot was prepared, we were able to rescue the three people and bring them back to their family."

The image U.S. Coast Guard photo shows the three survivors with the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60T Jayhawk crew who rescued them.

Feb 20, 2017