Alaska Air Guardsmen rescue man from downed aircraft

Alaska National Guard Public Affairs
Story by Kalei Rupp

Date: 01.29.2015
Posted: 01.29.2015 19:52
News ID: 153087

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued the pilot of an aircraft found at Lake Chakachamna, west of Cook Inlet, today.

An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron, with a Guardian Angel team from the 212th Rescue Squadron on board, transported the pilot to a Soldotna medical facility shortly before 1 p.m.

The search-and-rescue mission began at approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received an FAA alert notice of an overdue aircraft.

The Alaska Air National Guard accepted the mission to begin searching for the overdue Cessna 180 and launched an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter with a team of Guardian Angels on board. They searched for approximately three hours Wednesday night but didn’t spot any sign of the plane.

This morning, six Civil Air Patrol aircraft from the Polaris, Birchwood, Elmendorf and Kenai squadrons began an aerial search over the ground areas the pilot’s friends and family reported he would be traveling. It was reported that he was flying from Soldotna to Lake Chakachamna. A Coast Guard C-130 also participated in the search and flew over the coastal areas.

Shortly before noon, a Good Samaritan aircraft spotted the overdue plane at Lake Chakachamna, and a Civil Air Patrol aircraft was also in the vicinity and remained overhead to provide radio communications to rescue personnel.

An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and a team of Guardian Angels flew from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Lake Chakachamna, retrieved the pilot and transported him to medical care in Soldotna.

For this mission, the Civil Air Patrol as well as the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded with one save.