Guardian Flight: 'Some of our crews are ready to begin flying again'
Guardian Flight is beginning the process of resuming air medical transport service in Alaska.
Jim Gregory, a spokesperson for Guardian Flight, said the company temporarily paused Alaska services to give community members and employees time to reflect after a medevac aircraft carrying three people, including a pregnant nurse, that was expected in Kake went missing Tuesday night.
Randy Lyman, Guardian Flight’s senior vice president of operations, said in an emailed statement Sunday morning the company is beginning to resume operations in Alaska and is still focused on recovery efforts.
After a period of somber reflection following the loss of our aircraft earlier this past week, Guardian Flight has begun the process to resume air medical transport service in Alaska. Some of our crews are ready to begin flying again and we know that many Alaskans rely on us for this service. This resumption will not be all at once in our 8 Alaska base locations but will be phased in as appropriate when our base crew members are ready to reinstate service.
As we continue to search for the plane and its crew, we know our friends would want us to resume helping others when they need it the most. Guardian Flight has already reinstated service at our bases in other states and we thank everyone sincerely for their thoughts and prayers during a difficult period.
We will keep everyone posted on progress as we move forward in support of communities and patients in need in Alaska.
In addition, following the decision by the Coast Guard to suspend its search efforts, we want to keep everyone apprised of the status of Guardian Flight’s upcoming independent search.
We are very thankful for the Coast Guard’s efforts and that of the other organizations and communities that assisted in the process to date.
With an ultimate goal of reuniting our lost crew with their families, we are organizing aerial surveys of the coastline and a SONAR (SOund Navigation and Ranging) search of the ocean near the last reported position of the missing aircraft. We will also be looking diligently for the flight recorder (sometimes referred to as a Black Box) aboard the aircraft for ultimate use by the National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation.
The Coast Guard suspended its search for the missing plane Thursday night after covering an area of more than 240 square miles.
"Aircraft debris was located in the search area Wednesday and appears to be from the Guardian flight," Coast Guard officials wrote. "Despite the search efforts, no other debris was located Wednesday night or Thursday."
Guardian Flight held a series of candlelight memorials for them across the state and the western U.S. Friday.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.