Philippine Air Force Crew Dead As Rescue Helicopter Crashes in Western Mindanao

2 pilots and 2 other crews of the Philippine Air Force are dead after Sikorsky rescue helicopter crash.

A Sikorsky search and rescue helicopter belonging to the Philippine Air Force. Lawrence Ruiz / CC-BY-SA
September 16, 2020

A Search and Rescue (S.A.R.) helicopter of the Philippine Air Force with tail number 202 crashed in the village of Upper Manggas, Lantawan in Basilan Province in the Philippines, on Wednesday. The Philippine National Police (P.N.P.) counted 4 cadavers at the crash site. A report from another police station in Basilan, said that 3 of the fatalities were identified as a female pilot, a male co-pilot, and a male flight crew member. The names and further identification of the Philippine Air Force crew will remain confidential as military officials reach out to the families of the fallen aviators. The helicopter is one of two (2) Sikorsky S-76 helicopters of the Philippine Air Force that was fitted for search and rescue operations, humanitarian aid and disaster response, as well as to operate as an air ambulance. According to sources, members of the 4th Special Forces Battalion attached to the Special Operations Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is currently at the crash site along with rescue personnel. Military troops are currently conducting the retrieval of the fallen Air Force aviators. This crash is the latest in the recent months of aircraft crashes belonging to the Philippine Air Force. In July, a P.A.F. Huey (UH-1D) helicopter plummeted shortly after taking off from the Cauayan Air Station near Cauayan city in Isabela province, reported by military officials. At least four members of the Philippine Air Force were killed when the Huey helicopter crashed during a night-flight training mission in the northern Luzon Island.


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