OLYMPIA – Two individuals were rescued from a downed aircraft in the Olympic National Park this evening near Mt Jupiter and have been airlifted for medical treatment.
The Cirrus SR22 aircraft went down in the snow covered wilderness and search and rescue officials were alerted at 3:48 p.m. Sunday, April 2, when the plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter activated.
The signal was detected by satellites and the distress message was forwarded to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tydall Air Force Base in Florida, who alerted the Washington State Department of Transportation. The occupants of the aircraft were also able to alert overflying commercial aircraft on the emergency frequency.
Search and Rescue personnel from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue were able to locate the wreckage with the help of a search aircraft from Washington Air Search and Rescue, who tracked the distress beacon's signal. The Navy crew then lowered rescuers to the ground to locate, access and hoist the downed flyers up and onto the rescue helicopter and transport them to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Exact details about their injuries are not available at this time, but they were described as minor and not believed to be life threatening.
At this time we still do not have the names of the pilot and passenger or know what the purpose of the flight. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are already mobilized and will begin their investigation to try and determine what caused the plane to go down.