We know these folks quite well.
As she is a Venezuelan citizen and they were living in the city rather than a village, this was the only mission plane left in the country of Venezuela. They were only allowed to do humanitarian work under close supervision by the National Guard, but their presence was a great blessing to the Pemon indians of the Gran Sabana.
Please pray they will find the plane soon.
In Venezuela, Adventists continue search for missing medical plane
National aviation authority ceases search after 72 hours; church hiring rescue service
Adventist missionary pilot Robert Norton with his wife Neiba lead out the Adventist Medical Aviation based in Gran Sabana, Venezuela. Their plane went missing in southeastern Venezuela Monday, February 16. [photo courtesy AMA]
Seventh-day Adventists continue to search for a missing medical missionary plane, which disappeared Monday, February 16 in the jungles of
The Cessna 182N plane piloted by Robert Norton, who volunteers for Adventist Medical Aviation (AMA) in Venezuela, is believed to have hit turbulent weather after taking off from the community of Carun en route to the community of Bethel.
Also in the plane were six passengers: Neiba Norton, wife of the pilot; Gladis Zerpa, an Adventist teacher; a woman accompanying a 14-year-old and a woman traveling with her young son.
"Our church is really distraught about the news of this tragedy," said Rodolfo Escobar, Communication director for the church in Venezuela.
Escobar said church members in Gran Sabana began searching for the missing plane as soon as they heard the news. The National Civil Aviation Institute, along with several air rescue and non-government organizations, immediately began their search but stopped after 72 hours.
The church has continued today to search the area by contracting .
Escobar said there were several accounts from villagers in the adjacent areas of Carun who heard the plane's engines go silent at some point during the stormy weather.
"We have formed groups to search in the air and several more groups on foot to scour the region where the plane communication was last heard," Escobar said.
Norton, the pilot, has more than 20 years of flying experience. For the last eight years, he has served as director of AMA Venezuela, which is based on the campus of La Gran Sabana Adventist School in in Bolivar. His wife Neiba is a registered nurse and works with indigenous people in the region.
The AMA is an international project established about 12 years ago. AMA provides emergency medical transportation and evangelistic support to dozens of otherwise inaccessible villages.