01/2019 - Missing aircraft, Alderney


Brief synopsis of the search reports:

Monday 21 January

CIAS were alerted by Guernsey Coastguard at 2029hrs to carry out a search for a presumed downed light aircraft 15 miles north of Guernsey. Air Search 1 took off at 2100hrs, arriving on scene at 2120hrs. A number of Manche Grid boxes were searched, until 2352hrs when the aircraft left the search area and returned to Guernsey in order to refuel and change crew. AS1 touched down at Guernsey at 0005hrs after having been airborne for 3hrs 5mins and nothing of significance sighted.

AS1 took off from Guernsey at 0045hrs and headed to the search area. Other aerial assets were also assisting along with St Peter Port and Alderney lifeboats. The search continued until 0200 when it was terminated by Guernsey Coastguard. Nothing of interest was observed, and the aircraft landed at 0215 after 1hrs 30mins airborne.

Tuesday 22 January

Guernsey Coastguard alerted CIAS at 0705 on the 22 January 2019 for a continuation of searches of the previous evening, and the aircraft took off at 0752. Various grid boxes were searched, with nothing of interest sighted, and the aircraft returned to Guernsey at 1148.

AS1 took off again at 1230hrs. A number of objects were sighted but by the time a vessel called to the area had arrived, the items had dispersed. The aircraft returned to Guernsey, landing at 1540. 

AS1 took off again at 1600, continuing to search the area until landing at 1710. No debris or anything of significance was found.

Wednesday 23 January

The search resumed, with AS1 taking off at 0825. With the possibility of survivors or flotsam being washed down the Alderney Race, the aircraft took a route to the search area which purposely passed north of Guernsey and up through the centre of the Alderney Race, before tracking northwest to begin a search pattern, which was extended to include Burhou. Various objects were sighted during the search but it was not possible to make a clear identification on each occasion due to white swell. At 1047 AS1 was recalled to base for a crew change and touched down at 1112.

AS1 took off again at 1200. The sea conditions were rough with white breaking waves which made identification of sighted objects difficult. The aircraft landed at 1430.

AS1 took off from Guernsey at 1445, and after searching to the west of the search area, continued to the tasked area within the Alderney Race. The search was terminated by Guernsey Coastguard due to low light levels, and the crew were stood down at 1723 landing at 1735.

Thursday 24 January

AS1 took off at 0850 and was tasked to search coastal areas and rocky outcrops of Les Casquets, Burhou, Alderney, the French west Coast as far south as Port Bail, then Les Ecrehou, Jersey’s north coast, Sark and Herm for signs of a life raft, aircraft debris or signs of oil escaping from a wreck site. At 1020 Guernsey Coastguard requested attention be paid to an area 1 mile west of Gronez Point. CIAS positioned to this location and several orbits made with nothing of note spotted. CIAS were stood down at 1137, returning to Guernsey and landing at 1145.

There were 9 searches in total