1 dead, 3 wounded in chopper crash in Bohol – PAF

Robie de Guzman   •   April 27, 2021   •   272

A Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel was killed while three others were injured when their helicopter crashed in Getafe town, Bohol province on Tuesday.

In a statement, PAF confirmed the aircraft mishap involving MD520MG #410 from the 15th Strike Wing that went down around 9:30 a.m. while conducting engineering flight.

PAF said the three injured aircrew members were brought to the nearest hospital to receive proper medical attention.

“Members of the PAF 505 Search and Rescue Group, the 47IB, and the Bohol PDRRMO rushed to the crash site to immediately rescue members of the aircrew who were brought to the nearest hospital for proper medical attention,” the air force said.

PAF did not release the names of the personnel involved as their families are still being informed about the incident.

“We request that while this is being done, all concerned will be sensitive to the families involved,” it said.

The air force also extended its condolences to the personnel who died in the crash.

“The men and women of the Philippine Air Force, led by the Commanding General, LtGen Allen T Paredes PAF, deeply grieves the loss of an aircrew who offered his life in the line of duty,” it said.

“The PAF will provide all necessary assistance and financial aid for the bereaved family,” it added.

In a separate statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana expressed sadness over the death of one of PAF’s pilots in the incident.

“We send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues as we offer our support in any way we can,” Sobejana said.

PAF said it has grounded the MG520 fleet as it investigates the circumstances surrounding the incident.

It also assured the public that all of its air assets are undergoing strict, regular, and redundant maintenance inspections before and after flight missions.

PH Navy conducts salvage ops for crashed PAF MD 520MG helicopter in Getafe, Bohol

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A joint search and recovery operation was conducted in the waters off Jandayan Island in Getafe, Bohol where the Philippine Air Force (PAF) MD 520MG crashed last April 27, the Philippine Naval Force Central (NAVFORCEN) said.

In a statement, the NAVFORCEN said the joint salvage operation was conducted by the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Abraham Campo (PC396) and the Naval Special Operations Unit 5, in coordination with personnel from 15th Strike Wing, Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard Sub-Station Getafe.

“On April 27, 2021, BRP Abraham Campo received a call from Headquarters, NFC about a reported crash of PAF 520MG at seawaters of Getafe, Bohol and immediately proceeded to the said vicinity. Coordination made with Coast Guard Sub-Station Getafe and 47th Infantry Battalion and confirmed the identities of crew of the said aircraft. They were brought to Garcia Hernandez Memorial Hospital in Talibon, Bohol,” the agency said.

PAF earlier said that one pilot was killed while three others were injured in the crash. The helicopter went down while conducting an engineering flight but the cause is still under investigation.

“After the recovery of the crew of the ill-fated helicopter, a well-studied plan was developed for the recovery of the MG520. Upon availability of the necessary materials and equipment, PC396 launched its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) with onboard personnel of NAVSOU5, PAF and Civilian Divers and conducted underwater search and investigation,” the NAVFORCEN said.

“Upon confirming the location of the sunken helicopter, a civilian crane barge was utilized to lift and recover the said aircraft,” it added.

The agency said the recovered aircraft was transported by the BRP Abraham Campo from Bohol to Captain Veloso Pier, Naval Base Rafael Ramos, Lapu-Lapu City and was turned-over to PAF’s Tactical Operations Wing-Central.

PAF earlier said it has grounded the MG520 fleet as it investigates the incident.

 

Philippine Air Force grounds entire fleet of Hueys after fatal crash in Bukidnon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has grounded its entire fleet of UH-1H helicopters while investigations on the fatal crash in Bukidnon on Saturday (January 16) are ongoing.

“Definitely lahat ng UH-1 helicopter natin will be grounded until such time makumpleto yung thorough maintenance inspection. Part po kasi iyan ng safety procedure,” confirmed PAF Spokesperson LtCol. Aristides Galang.

The official also spoke to rectify rumors that the cause of the mishap was engine failure.

“Masyado pa po kasing maaga, so yung investigating team natin hindi po ganoon kabilis na made-determine natin kaagad kung ano yung cause of the accident, ng mishap,” he said.

“Marami po kasi tayong factors na ikino-consider. Hindi po natin masabi kaagad na may problema sa makina yung eroplano,” he added.

All five PAF personnel who were killed in the incident were given full military honors on Sunday (January 17).

They were pilot LtCol. Arnie Arroyo; co-pilot 2Lt. Mark Anthony Caabay; Sgt. Mervin Bersabe; Air First Class Stephen Agarrado; and Sgt. Julius Salvador.

Two members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) namely Jerry Ayocdo and Jhamel Sugalang who were with them were also killed in the incident.

The group was supposed to deliver food supplies to a patrol base in Impasug-Ong, Bukidnon.

Based on the latest report of the 4ID Philippine Army, the remains of the five soldiers were laid at the headquarters of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing in Mactan Cebu while the remains of the two CAFGU members were transported to their respective hometowns and families. —MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan / Val Villaflor)

Philippine Air Force receives 6 Black Hawk choppers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force received six Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk choppers during a turnover ceremony in Clark Freeport, Pampanga on Thursday (December 10).

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the six Black Hawk choppers are the first batch of the 16 new combat utility helicopters bought from Poland under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

“We got a better deal with these aircraft. Not only is the Black Hawk more powerful, there is more payload, has a longer range, but we also got them at the price with the bell412 which is a cheaper aircraft,” he said.

Lorenzana said the deal costs P11.6 billion and has replaced the cancelled contract of 16 Bell 412EP helicopters from Canada.

The DND Secretary also said the helicopters will be useful in medical evacuation, troops insertion, as well as for the government’s COVID-19 response.

“These aircraft would greatly help the armed forces operational readiness. equipped with the Black Hawk our air force can now provide prompt and sustained day and night tactical lift as well as combat and non-combat search and rescue operations,” he said.

Ten more of the said helicopters are expected to arrive in 2021. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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