http://news.inq7.net/breaking/index.php?index=2&story_id=73569PAF helicopter wrecked after emergency landing, no injuries
First posted 03:14pm (Mla time) April 24, 2006
By Volt Contreras, Joel Francis Guinto
INQ7.net, Associated Press, Inquirer
AN AIR Force helicopter crash-landed in San Ildefonso town, Bulacan province, some 55 kilometers north of Manila on Monday, officials said.
While the MG 520 chopper was wrecked, all three on board were unhurt: Captain Sernando Ventura, the pilot; Captain Marvin Santiago, the co-pilot; and Sergeant Darwin Vintuan, the crew chief, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Restituto Padilla said.
Major Augusto De la Peña, assistant director for the media, however, identified the men as as Captain Fernando Ventura, the pilot; First Lieutenant Marvin Santiago, the co-pilot; and Sergeant Darwin Vintuan.
The ill-fated aircraft was escorting a UH-1H Huey helicopter when it crash-landed in the vicinity of Alagao village at around 12:45 p.m., Padilla said.
"The aircraft apparently encountered trouble while in flight and we are still investigating the incident to determine the cause," he said.
The two choppers took off from Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija, on a rescue mission involving a capsized boat carrying Army troops, according to De la Peña.
As a standard operating procedure, all MG 520 helicopters have been grounded pending the results of the investigation into the incident, Dela Peña said.
The ill-fated chopper was part of the 24 Defenders acquired by the Air Forces in 1990 under the United States foreign military assistance program, De La Peña said. A versatile aircraft, a Defender cost around 1.3 million dollars each at the time, he recalled.
Until Monday’s mishap, 17 of those 24 units were in operation under the 15th Strike Wing, he added.
The Air Force also operates about 40 UH-1H Huey Vietnam War-vintage helicopters.
The military uses the MG 520 mainly for internal security operations.
- the Philippine Air Force is slowly "falling down."