CAAP grounds Aviatour Air planes pending result of probe

August 22, 2012 10:40 pm 

MANILA, Aug. 22 – Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general William Hotchkiss II announced Wednesday the grounding of all aircraft of Aviatour Air pending results of the investigation of one of its planes that crashed in the sea of Masbate.

”A suspension order has been issued by CAAP grounding all aircraft used by Aviatour Air,” Hotchkiss said in a press release issued by the Department of Transportation and Communication.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Capt. Jessup Bahinting, the plane pilot and owner of Aviatour Air, and Nepalese co-pilot Khitiz Chand, were killed while Robredo’s aide-de-camp Police Sr. Insp. June Paolo Abrazado survived the accident.

DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas already ordered the CAAP to conduct a thorough investigation and get into the bottom of the plane crash.

The CAAP formed a team to serve as the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board headed by Capt. Amado Soliman, an aviation industry expert in flight safety for over four decades, Capt. Ramon Flores, and Capt. Elmer Pena.

Hotchkiss said the CAAP was among the government agencies that readily mobilized their unit last Sunday.

This immediately sent the CAAP Go Team headed by Capt. Soliman with Capt. Lorenzo Gumba and Engr. Reyner Bucalinao to Masbate after the plane crash to gather all information and facts that could shed light on the accident.

Hotchkiss said CAAP will keep the plane wreckage at Masbate airport under tight security.

This will be thoroughly examined by the CAAP team to gather accurate data on the real cause of the tragedy. (PNA)

HBC/JFM

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