In Anchorage, a tearful crowd attends candlelight vigil for missing flight crew

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - For the three people aboard a Guardian Flight aircraft that went missing en route to Kake earlier this week, there was no place like Alaska, and nothing comparable to helping save lives across the state.

"It's devastating," said Eric Magnusson, a Guardian Flight pilot. "It's not just 'like' - it is actually losing a family member."

"But there's been a huge outpouring of support and love," Magnusson said.

On Friday night, a moment was shared in their honor at vigils in about a dozen communities across the country. In Anchorage, people of all ages arrived to express condolences, share hugs and tears, and remember the three aboard the missing aircraft.

"The hope is that this time together will bring peace and hope to everyone," said Chaplain Colleen Brown.

On board the King Air 200 air ambulance was pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, whom a friend at the Anchorage vigil described as "Calm, collected," and with a lifetime of experience.

"Always a guy you could call to ask a question," he said, "and he would give you advice."

Flight Paramedic Margaret Langston, 43, was also on board.

"The words 'selfless' and 'kind' do not do justice to describe Margaret," a vigil attendee said. "She was a patient and tender spirit that you just always wanted to be around."

Flight Nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30, was expecting a child — a baby girl she'd already named Delta Rae.

"110 percent was her only value," a friend said. "She did everything that way. Everyone that's a part of Guardian Flight knew who Stacie was."

At each one of the vigils, a moment of silence was observed at 6:19 p.m., marking the last time the flight was known to be en route to the Alaska village of Kake.

"May the glow of the flame be a source of hope now and in the days to come," Brown said.

The event in Anchorage was one of many across the state of Alaska as well as gatherings in the Lower 48.

Video by Channel 2 photojournalist AJ Lucero. Sean Maguire contributed to this report.