05 Mei 2011

Air Force Eyes Phase Out of S-211 Trainer Jets

05 Mei 2011

S-211 trainer jets of PAF (photo : Sandy-Timawa)

MANILA, Philippines - The military is studying the possible phase out of S-211 trainer jets in its inventory following last Thursday’s crash of a similar type of aircraft in Bataan during a training flight, leading to the death of the two pilots.

“They are studying that, that’s why they’ve grounded all (S-211s)…The Air Force is conducting that (study) itself,” AFP spokesman Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez told reporters.

The Air Force leadership grounded 2 remaining S-211 trainer planes that are operational, pending a thorough investigation on last week’s incident at the waters of Bagac town last Thursday afternoon.

It was the second crash involving S-211 planes in less than a year.

Officials said the S-211 was on a proficiency training flight when it crashed, resulting in the death of the two pilots, Maj. Ephraim Soyum and Capt. Raymond de Leon. Soyum is the valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1997.

Rodriguez said the Air Force would be making recommendations to the AFP Weapons Modernization Board what type of aircraft should be procured under their modernization program in the event the S-211s will be phased out.

“They are studying that (phase out of the S-211s), what are the risks. If they thing that the risk is high, then we have to think of something,” he said.


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