ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Searchers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder of an air ambulance that disappeared in Alaska with three people on board in January, the owners of the aircraft said Tuesday.
A landing gear and engine of the King Air 200 also were located in the same waters of Fredrick Sound, Guardian Flight said in a release.
Those items have not been recovered, Guardian Flight spokesman Jim Gregory said. Asked if there were plans to recover the items, Gregory referred the question to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Clint Johnson, the NTSB's Alaska chief, said investigators are looking at options for recovering the aircraft parts, but added plans are uncertain.
“This is a work in progress,” he said.
It's a tragic end to a search took 63 hours and sprawled across 240 square nautical miles in the waters of the Alexander Archipelago.
An NTSB investigator was on board the recovery boat when the plane’s black box recorder was recovered Monday evening, and has possession of the black box, also known as a cockpit voice recorder, according to Johnson.
Guardian Flight said it continues its search for the bodies of the three people who disappeared Jan. 29 flying to pick up a patient in the southeast community of Kake.
Pilot Patrick Coyle, flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse and flight paramedic Margaret Langston were Guardian Flight employees based in Juneau.
"As we continue the search for our beloved friends, we continue to honor their memory and recognize their contributions to the wellbeing of Alaskans through their dedicated careers flying patients to higher levels of medical care," Randy Lyman, the company's operations vice president, wrote in Tuesday's news release.
The Coast Guard searched hundreds of square miles (kilometers) before suspending the search Jan. 31.
An aircraft wing and other debris were found at the search site about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of Kake near the last known position of the plane. Guardian Flight officials say they believe it was the missing plane.
The Utah-based company initially grounded all of its 85 aircraft across the U.S. as a show of respect for the missing. It gradually re-started operations with aircraft based outside of Alaska.