Probe on Bantayan aircraft incident set

By: Apple Ta-as, Jhunnex Napallacan April 19,2015 - 11:11 PM

Cessna plane’s nose gear collapsed during touchdown


The Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) in Manila is expected to send a team to investigate the landing incident involving a charter plane at the Sta. Fe airport on Bantayan Island.

Allan Pangilinan, Flight Service Station supervisor of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Mactan, said the four-seater Cessna plane with body number RP-C3025 has been automatically grounded. The aircraft was supposed to stay overnight in Bantayan before flying back to Mactan Island, based on the flight plan submitted by charter airline Southern Air Flight Services, Inc. to the CAAP.

The rest of the Southern Air fleet will continue to operate unless a suspension order is issued by CAAP, Pangilinan said.“That will be up to the Aircraft Investigation Board. Any penalty would be based on the board’s findings and on the gravity of the incident. I’m not in a position to speculate,” he told Cebu Daily News.

He said the pilot, Capt. Alvin Boyd Loreno, called in Saturday night to report the incident. Pangilinan said he sent a written report Sunday to CAAP in Manila.

Based on Loreno’s verbal report, Pangilinan said the plane’s nose gear collapsed upon touchdown at about 4:45 p.m. on Saturday. No one was hurt. Loreno was carrying tourists who went skydiving, an extreme sport that has been attracting local and foreign thrill seekers.

“He (Loreno) did not use the term ‘crash.’ We refer to it as an aircraft incident,” Pangilinan said.

He said it was the first incident involving Southern Air, a charter airline that has been providing skydiving services in Bantayan. Its

Facebook page also shows that it offers charter services to Davao and the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

Sta. Fe police investigators said Loreno, who reportedly appeared to be in shock and frightened after the incident, issued contradicting statements. He also allegedly declined to provide his credentials.

Police Officer 3 Andy Galorio, one of the investigators, said Loreno initially told him that the engine malfunctioned. The pilot allegedly claimed later that he miscalculated the length of the runway.

“Na-short ra kuno siya sa iyang calculation sa runway, mao nga medyo naugbok pagtugpa ang eroplano,” Galorio said. Loreno, 28, could not be reached for comment.

Galorio said the plane did not even reach the runway, but landed on a grassy area. It sustained damage on the propeller and front part, added Police Officer 1 Richard Bayon-on.

“Wala ra gyud siya makaabot sa runway, gamay nalang og kuwang. Diha ra ni siya dapit sa kasagbutan (A few meters more and it would have reached the runway. It landed on the grassy area before the runway),” Galorio said.

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TAGS: aircraft, Bantayan, CAAP, charter plane, plane crash, skydiving, tourism

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