09 November 2015
PAF UH-1D (photo : wiki)
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership is mulling over the grounding of all UH-1D helicopters after one of the aircraft type crash-landed in Sarangani province on Saturday while on a casualty evacuation mission in the area.
Col. Enrico Canaya, spokesman of PAF, said that an investigation is now ongoing to determine what caused the crash that resulted in the wounding of nine Air Force personnel, include one of the pilots who sustained leg injury.
“Grounding of said aircraft type is still being evaluated if necessary. Meanwhile, an investigation will be pursued following the incident,” Canaya said.
As standard operating procedure, the PAF usually grounds all aircraft type when one of them crashes.
The crashed UH-ID helicopter was dispatched to evacuate casualties of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion (IB) following series of encounters with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Malapatan town, Sarangani.
The helicopter crash landed in Sitio Lamsalo, Barangay Upper Suyan also in Malapatan at around 9:40 a.m. Saturday.
The chopper was to pick up a slain Army soldier and five wounded in action. However, the casualty evacuation mission was aborted.
“The area of the crash is elevated and strong wind conditions could be a contributory environmental “What’s important for now is that the pilots and crew and passengers are all safe,” he added.