Child Crash Survivors Rescued After 40 Days In Jungle


Four kids ranging in age from 11 months to 13 were plucked from the Colombian jungle on Friday, 40 days after surviving the crash of a Cessna 206. Three adults died in the May 1 crash, which happened after the pilot reported an engine failure. The plane was on a charter flight from Araracuara Airport to San Jose del Guaviare-Jorge E. González T. Airport when it went down in the Amazon rainforest.

It took two weeks to find the wreckage and crews found signs that the kids had survived but couldn’t immediately find them. That sparked a massive search on the ground and in the air with soldiers blaring out loudspeaker recordings of their grandmother urging the kids to stay in one place. They also dropped food and supplies throughout the relatively small (five-mile diameter) search area but didn’t locate them until Friday when search dogs found them. They came through the ordeal in generally good shape and were taken to a hospital as a precaution. The kids are members of the local indigenous tribe and authorities said the older ones had survival skills they used to keep the group safe.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. If THAT isn’t an advert to put some survival stuff into your airplane AND learn a few skills …

  2. quite amazing!

    no fire, no fuel…

    but lucky they were able to get out, as the flap blocks that back door if down, looks like they might have kicked it out…

    someone has a STC’d mod for that door that eliminates that hazard(door folds in)… well worth it, i think avweb might have shown that mod in a story here?

  3. Great story of survival, but which was it, the Columbian jungle or the Amazon rain forest? Not that it really matters, but getting simple details wrong detracts from the story.5

      • Nor apparently commenters…

        Columbia’s southern border IS the Amazon River for about 20 miles or so. It can be both Columbian Jungle and Amazon Rain Forest simultaneously.

        In this case however it appears the flight originated more than a hundred miles from the Amazon and flew away from it. So I’m not sure the boundaries of the official “Amazon Rain Forest” designation.

        Either way we all knew it happened in one of the worst possible locations. I appreciate pedantry, but given the nature of the reported events, wouldn’t it have been a bit more humane to refrain? Or at least more human.