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CBP Air and Marine Operations Rescues Downed Pilot

Release Date: 
October 31, 2020

Ultralight Crash in Remote Area Located by AMO Air Crew

DEL RIO, Texas – Agents from, CBP’s Air and Marine Operations rescued a man, whose ultralight aircraft crashed, leaving him stranded and injured overnight, Oct. 31.

A CBP Air and Marine crew member assits in loading the injured pilot onto a gurney for air flight transport.
A CBP Air and Marine crew member assists in
loading the injured pilot onto a gurney for air
flight transport.

“I commend our agents for their swift, efficient action in responding to this potentially life-threatening situation,” said Director of Air and Marine Operations Quinton Burough. “In remote areas, often CBP Air and Marine Operations personnel and aircraft are the only lifeline for people in distress.”

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol received word that a Pandale area woman reported her husband missing after he failed to return from an ultralight flight around 5 p.m., Oct. 30. Comstock Station Border Patrol agents, Texas Game Wardens and Val Verde County Sheriff’s deputies began searching the area where the man was believed to be.

An AMO air crew spotted the wreckage of the ultralight in a remote area near Pandale, TX.
An AMO air crew spotted the wreckage of the
ultralight in a remote area near Pandale, TX.

Around 8 a.m. the following morning, an AMO helicopter crew spotted the wreckage about a mile from the pilot’s home. The helicopter landed nearby and a Supplemental Aircrew Member (SAM) made his way to the crashed ultralight, while the AMO pilot launched to guide a Texas Game Warden to the scene and pick up a deputy to further assist at the site. The SAM found the ultralight pilot pinned under the aircraft and suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and a compound leg fracture. The SAM provided aid by wrapping the injured man in a survival blanket and building a fire to provide warmth.

An Air Life helicopter arrived at the scene at 9:45 a.m., landing in an area cleared by officials on the ground. The man was flown to a San Angelo hospital for treatment.

“Partnerships like these are so important to the safety of our communities," said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Chief Austin L. Skero. “Coordination among our fellow CBP components, state and local partners, and members of our community made this rescue possible."

Last modified: 
October 31, 2020