CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 28 May) — An Israel-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Philippine Air Force crashed near a popular mountain resort in Baungon town, Bukidnon on Saturday afternoon.
The military reported no casualties at the crash site and no major damage to any private property.
Major Francisco Garello Jr., spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division said a Special Forces team is now guarding the crash site near Ultra Winds Mountain Resort in Baungon town.
The resort is some 1.2 nautical miles east of Lumbia Airport here, the old passenger aviation airport and now the base of the PAF 15th Strike Wing and the Tactical Operations Group 10.
PAF spokesperson Col. Menard Mariano said the Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was returning to Lumbia airport when its operators lost control of the long distance radio link to the aircraft at around 1 p.m.
He said by 2 p.m., they declared the UAV as missing.
“The operators in Lumbia computed the last radio contact with the aircraft and residents in the area confirmed the crash site,” Mariano said.
He said the operators conducted a functional check flight, allowing the UAV to ascend to 10,000 feet.
PAF acquired nine Hermes 900 UAVs from Israel’s Elbit Systems under the Horizon 2 phase of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines program.
The Hermes 900 is a Multi-role, medium altitude long distance unmanned reconnaissance aircraft and is the most advanced UAV in the AFP. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)