Monday, 18 January 2021

Philippine Air Force helicopter crash kills all 7 aboard

A Philippine Air Force helicopter, on a resupply mission for the Army’s 403rd Brigade in Malaybalay, crashed on Saturday afternoon in the mountains of Bukidnon province, killing all 7 military personnel on board. According to reports, the PAF helicopter, a Huey UH-1H with tail number 517, from the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, crashed in Sitio Nahigit, in Impasugong town, Bukidnon around 2:22 pm. The helicopter reportedly went "in nose dive position before hitting the ground." The helicopter tried to make an emergency landing after encountering engine problems but crashed in a mountainous area. "All passengers on the chopper died," said Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division public affairs chief Major Rodolfo Cordero. The Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (IB), 4th ID secured the crash site. The fatalities from the Air Force were: Lieutenant Colonel Arnie Arroyo, pilot in command; 2nd Lieutenant Mark Anthony Caabay, co-pilot; Staff Sergeant Mervin Bersabi, gunner/crew chief; Airman 1st Class Stephen Agarrado, gunner. The report said they were from the PAF Tactical Operations Group 10, based in Cagayan de Oro City. The killed Armymen were Sergeant Julius Salvador and Cafu Active Auxiliary Jerry Ayukdo. The seventh fatality was still unidentified, but was likely also an enlisted personnel because civilians are not allowed to board military aircraft in active combat zones. Senior Master Sergeant Teddy Jones Saliot of the Impasugong municipal police station said that the crash site was "geographically isolated area and 6 hours away from the town." To get to the crash site you go through a muddy road in Calabugao plains which borders Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur. The area is also thick forest and an ambush prone area." 


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