Search for missing PAF aircrew continues

May 21, 2012 10:36 pm 

MANILA, May 21 — The Philippine Air Force Monday said the search for the missing aircrew of its crashed Aeramacchi SF-260 trainer plane will continue until the two pilots are found.

"The PAF and the other rescue teams will continue the search-and-rescue operations till the aircraft and crew have been located," said PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol.

Despite the three-day-old search, Okol said they have nothing to report yet save for the location of debris which consist of a flight helmet, fuel tank, and pilot seat last Friday.

As this develop, the PAF spokesman said they are focusing on four areas near La Monja Island near Mariveles as the possible impact site of the crash SF-260.

He said they already contacted a sonar-equipped survey vessel, with the help of the Philippine Navy, in the search and rescue operation.

The ship is also operating its own fathometer — a depth measuring device.

Okol said once substantial evidence of wreckage has been detected by the survey ship, the next step will be deployment of divers to retrieve parts of the crashed plane or the bodies of the two missing pilots.

SF-260 with body number 716 left Sangley Point base around 6:52 a.m. Friday for a proficiency and training flight in the airspace of Corregidor.

Fishermen working off the waters of the La Monja Island saw the plane crashed into the sea around 7:15 a.m. p>The SF-260 is a light aircraft marketed as an aerobatics plane and a military trainer.

The military versions are popular with smaller air forces, which can also arm it for use in the close-support role.

The PAF is known to operate an estimated 30 to 40 SF-260 aircraft for training and light attack missions. (PNA)

hbc/lgi/PFN

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