4 crew killed in PAF chopper crash in Basilan

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Sep) – A Philippine Air Force helicopter on its way to airlift wounded troops crashed into a hilly portion of Basilan, killing all four crew members aboard, police said.

A Sikorsky helicopter of the Philippine Air Force. Photo from the PAF website

Lt. Col. Rodrigo Maramo, Basilan police director, said in a report that the Philippine Air Force Sikorsky took off from Zamboanga City and crashed midway in the vicinity of the rubber plantation of Mayor Nasser Abubakar in Upper Manggas, Lantawan town about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Maramo said a police rescue team reached the site and found all four crew members killed.

He said the helicopter was on its way to Sulu province to airlift wounded soldiers.

Maramo said that upon reaching the hills of Upper Manggas, the helicopter “fell down and exploded due to bad weather.”

Tropical storm “Leon,” which has intensified Wednesday, brought heavy rains and bad weather across Mindanao and the rest of the country.

The ill-fated aircraft had a tail number 202, and belonged to PAF’s 505th Search and Rescue Group. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)