PAF C-130 fleet grounded pending crash probe; black box recovered

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2021   •   480

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has grounded its fleet of C-130 planes while investigation is ongoing following the tragedy in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday (July 4).

Airmen from the 220th Airlift Wing Aircraft Accident Investigation Board are currently at the crash site investigating the mishap that befell the C-130 plane carrying their comrades for deployment to a supposed anti-terrorism assignment.

On Tuesday (July 6), authorities on the ground recovered the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the C-130 plane. The ‘blackbox’ will be subjected for evaluation and data analysis to determine the exact cause of the incident.

The investigating team, composed of personnel of various specialization like pilots, maintenance, medical and other technical fields, is gathering evidence and conducting interviews, among others, to gather as much information about the incident.

In a press release authorized by Air Force Public Affairs Office Chief Lt.Col. Maynard Mariano, PAF explained that the said C-130 was not overloaded and was within the operational limits and capacity when it left Laguindingan Airport.

It had 96 passengers compared to its maximum capacity of 120 passengers, contrary to the circulating rumor that the aircraft was overloaded.

Among those on board the aircraft were 84 Army troopers and 12 PAF personnel which included three pilots, five crew members, three S-7 team members, and one thru passenger. According to the PAF, the priority at present is to identify the bodies of the fatalities through various means with the help of a SOCO team.

Details on the casualties, particularly their names, shall be withheld until their loved ones have been properly informed.

PAF intercepts unknown aircraft

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2021

(File photo courtesy of Philippine Air Force)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF), over the weekend, reported that it has intercepted an unknown aircraft attempting to enter the country.

A statement authorized by PAF Public Affairs Office chief, Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano, said that two FA-50 Aircraft were ordered to intercept an unknown aircraft at 9:36 A.M on September 2, 2021.

The statement said that the Philippine Air Defense Control Center (PADCC), through its radars, detected an unidentified inbound aircraft in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone (PADIZ) approximately 120 nautical miles North West of Bolinao, Pangasinan.

“The unidentified aircraft was heading towards Philippine airspace. Coordination with the CAAP classified it to be an unknown track of interest,” the statement read.

The report added that the PADCC issued a “scramble” order to two FA-50 stationed at the Air Defense Alert Center and gave them the mission to intercept the unknown aircraft for visual identification.

The FA-50s flew at the maximum allowable speed towards the direction of the unknown aircraft that was at 21,000 feet flying at 265 knots heading North East, it said.

“At about 4 minutes into the intercept, the unknown aircraft changed direction towards the North and increased its speed to 400 knots and headed away from the Philippine airspace. The intercept was terminated at 9:45 A.M.,” the statement further read.

The Philippine Air Force assured that it will continue to protect the country and prevent unauthorized foreign aircraft from flying within the nation’s airspace.

“In the past decades, aircraft flying without clearance would willfully violate the Philippine airspace knowing that they will not be challenged; today our airspace is being closely monitored jointly by the Philippine Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines,” it guaranteed.

PH Air Force promotes Eumir Marcial to sergeant after Olympic win

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Boxer Eumir Marcial has been promoted to sergeant for winning the bronze medal at the recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) said.

Marcial was pinned with the sergeant chevrons by PAF commanding general LtGen. Allen Paredes and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea shortly after he arrived in the country from Japan Monday.

Prior to the Olympics, Marcial’s rank was Airman First Class (A1C).

Marcial brought home the bronze medal after competing at the Men’s Middleweight Division during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

“The newly-promoted Sergeant Eumir Felix Marcial PAF remarkably exemplifies Diwa, Galing at Malasakit, the qualities expected of every Airman,” the PAF said in a statement.

As part of the safety protocols against COVID-19, Sergeant Marcial will be undergoing the mandatory quarantine.

US offers support to Philippines after C-130 plane crash in Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   July 5, 2021

The United States of America (USA) has extended its condolences to the Philippines after a C-130 military plane with 96 people on board crashed in Sulu on Sunday.

“On behalf of the United States, I offer our deep condolences to the people of the Philippines regarding the tragic plane crash in which several dozen service members were killed,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with those who were injured and the families of those who were lost,” he added.

Sullivan also offered support to the Philippines in its disaster response effort.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Philippine allies at this difficult time and are ready to provide all appropriate support to the Philippines’ response effort,” he said.

A Philippine Air Force C-130 plane, with tail number 5125, crashed around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Initial investigation showed that the plane took off from Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City and was about to land in Jolo port in Sulu when it crashed. The plane was said to have missed the runway while trying to land.

As of Monday, the number of military personnel who died from the fiery crash climbed to 47, while 49 were injured.

Of those injured, 32 were evacuated to Zamboanga City while 18 are being treated at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital and 11th Infantry Division Hospital.

Three civilians on the ground were also killed and four others were hurt.

The military said all passengers, pilots, and crew were already retrieved.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza has ordered a full investigation into the incident.


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