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Tuesday, May 12

Daybreak in Nepal: Search for downed Huey begins through valley of the shadow of death UPDATED 3:35 AM EDT Wed

It's now 1:20 PM in Nepal. 3:35 AM EDT in .  I can't stay awake any longer waiting for news on the search but here's what I've found re latest:  

Nepali troops search for U.S. Marines chopper in rivers
Wed May 13, 2015 4:58am GMT
CHARIKOT, Nepal May 13 (Reuters) - The Nepali army has been told a missing U.S. Marines helicopter with eight on board may have come down in a river in the Charikot area hit hard by an earthquake and 400 soldiers are engaged in the hunt, a senior officer said on Wednesday.

"The info we have is that it is down in one of the rivers, but none of the choppers has seen it yet," Major Rajan Dahal, second-in-command of the Barda Bahadur Batallion, told Reuters in Charikot.

"There are 400-plus of our ground troops looking for it also; by this evening, we might get it," he said.

The Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter participating in earthquake relief operations lost radio contact on Tuesday after its crew was heard talking about fuel problems. 

NPR - San Diego (update to report last night)
[...] During a Pentagon briefing Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren said an Indian helicopter in the air nearby at the time heard radio chatter from the Marine aircraft about a possible fuel problem.

He said the Huey, carrying tarps and rice, had dropped off supplies in one location and was en route to a second site when contact was lost. He also said officials are hopeful that the aircraft is simply missing because there has been no smoke or other signs of a crash.

A Nepalese air brigade unit had seen the Huey, so Marines in V-22 Osprey aircraft searched near that last known location for about 90 minutes Tuesday but found nothing. After darkness fell, members of the Nepalese army conducted the search on foot. Warren said they are moving toward the second aid location to see if the helicopter landed near there.

Because of the rugged mountainous terrain, the helicopter could have landed in a low area but the Marines may not be able to get a beacon or radio signal out, Warren said.

On Wednesday morning in Nepal -- Tuesday night in San Diego -- the search was expanded.

Two Hueys from the same Camp Pendleton-based squadron left Nepal's capital of Kathmandu to look for the missing aircraft, the Marine Corps said in a news release. In addition, officials were preparing to have two Osprey aircraft join the search effort.

And a battalion-sized Nepalese ground force moved into the area to assist with the mission.

Zee News (India)
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 00:33 [IST]

[...]  A search by aircraft before nightfall [Tues] had not spotted any sign of smoke or any crash site, raising hopes the helicopter may have made a safe emergency landing, [Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren] said. 

The Nepalese army was conducting a search on the ground but aircraft could not fly until daylight to resume the search from the air.

Warren said that "no emergency beacon has been detected at this time" from the helicopter crew.

Due to the rugged, mountainous terrain, even if a beacon signal was switched on it might not be picked up easily as it requires a clear line of sight, he added. [...]

Original post:

Dawn little more than an hour ago in Nepal. It's now 6:20 there. From NBC report earlier today, U.S. time, the UH-1Y Huey, carrying 6 U.S. Marines and 2 Nepalese soldiers on a relief supply mission --
... disappeared over Charikot, Nepal, at about 10 p.m. local time (12:15 p.m. ET), said U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Army Maj. Dave Eastburn.
 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the U.S. military is hopeful that the missing helicopter landed and is out of communication. A military official told NBC News there is "no indication that there was a crash" but "it is dark," so they could not immediately confirm that.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
A U.S. defense official told NBC News that the Marines were equipped with a GPS device, a radio and an emergency beacon, but the helicopter was flying over difficult terrain, which might render the equipment ineffective. The official said the Marines also had a satellite phone, strobes, flares and signal mirrors.
 he leadeth me beside the still waters
Eastburn said military personnel in Nepal were "responding to the emergency" and the incident was under investigation. Nepalese military forces on the ground near the last known location of the aircraft were also assisting in the search, according to a statement from U.S. Pacific Command.
 He restoreth my soul
U.S. and Nepalese-supported aerial searches will start at daybreak, the statement, released just after midnight Nepal time, said.
 he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake
 The helicopter is part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, which is part of the 3rd Marine Air Wing based at Camp Pendleton in California, according to NBC San Diego.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Charikot was one of the villages hardest hit by a 7.3-magnitude quake on Tuesday.
 I will fear no evil: for thou art with me ...
God guide the searchers.  


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