Chopper crashes off Zamboanga City; 2 pilots missing

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/17 August) – Two pilots have remained missing after their
chopper crashed this morning in the sea between the two islets of Santa Cruz in this city.

A Philippine Navy Bolkov helicopter PNH411 malfunctioned while on a “routine flight mission”
to document the inshore combat tactics training, according to Navy spokesperson Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo.

“Navy divers are still searching for the remaining two pilots,” he said.

The helicopter’s three passengers, who were identified as Petty Officer 2 Rodolfo Pataueg, PO2
Noel Ridad and PO2 Abdon Martinez, have been rescued and are now safe at Camp Navarro
General Hospital inside the Western Mindanao Command headquarters.

Real Admiral Alexander Pama, outgoing Naval Forces Commander of Western Mindanao
Command said they have dispatched navy boats to rescue the pilots.
“All the Navy ships and floating assets were dispatched to conduct rescue operation,” Arevalo
said in a statement.

The military ruled out attack as the cause of the crash.

“This is an isolated incident concerning Navy mission. We will determine what caused the
crash,” Arevalo said. (Albert Arcilla/MindaNews)

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