ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — A Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle has detected pings from the cockpit voice recorder of the Guardian Flight that went missing en route from Anchorage to Kake on Jan. 29 according to a spokesperson for the company.
Guardian Flight Senior Vice President of Operations Randy Lyman says the new development will help searchers narrow down the location of the missing aircraft by triangulating the signal and determining the depth from which the pings are emanating.
Lyman said searchers are hopeful that ROVs will be able to visually locate the aircraft so recovery efforts can move forward.
"Again, our thoughts, prayers and deepest heartfelt feelings are extended to the families, friends and colleagues of our fellow crew members," Lyman said in the release.
The Guardian Flight King Air 200 air ambulance went missing with three people on board — Pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, Flight Nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30, and Flight Paramedic Margaret Langston, 43, all based in Juneau — around 6:19 p.m. on Jan. 29.
Debris believed to be from the flight was found in the search area the day after the flight disappeared, but no additional debris has been found since.
Last week, Lyman said that Guardian Flight contracted Alaska Claims Service to perform a towed-SONAR naval survey of the area aimed at finding the flight data recorder, also known as the black box, aboard the missing plane.
The U.S. Coast Guard 17th District suspended the search after 63 hours spanning 240 square nautical miles.
At a vigil in Juneau, friends and family explained that sadly there was a fourth person also missing — Morse was pregnant at the time of her disappearance with a daughter to be named Delta Rae.