Interisland plane crashed in Pampanga

Kills three, saves three others

April 23, 2010

Clark - An Interisland Airlines Antonov 12BP cargo plane (UP-AN216, msn402001,cn51) crashed Wednesday in San Patricio village, Mexico town, Pampanga while attempting to land at its destination airport in Clark.

Three crew were killed and three others were rescued by villagers from the burning wreckage. Mexico town police head Superintendent Ferdinand Perez identified the fatalities as Russian ground engineers Mikolay Bannon and Vadim Yakimov and Bulgarian crew member Tzvitoslav Guetchevski whose remains were found "beyond recognition".

The survivors were pilot Yuri Tochocony, 50, co-pilot Dmitri Straminski, 39, and crewmember Bokadier Ruchev, 34.

Tochony said he and the two other survivors ran to safer ground after jumping from the plane. He further said that only one of the crewmen was at the cargo cabin in the middle section of the aircraft at the time of the crash, while he and the four other crewmen were inside the cockpit.

Initial investigation showed that the cargo plane which came from Mactan, Cebu on a routine chartered flight by the Pacific East Asia Cargo Company in behalf of cargo forwarder United Parcel Service (UPS) encountered a short circuit at about 8:50 p.m., triggering a fire inside the aircraft. Clark's tower lost communication with the aircraft at 9:10 p.m.

Russian pilot Yuriv Tochonyy called the tower for an emergency landing but was forced to make landing in Barangay Laput in Mexico, Pampanga and crashed landed about 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Clark airport.

"The pilots were already in communication with the tower before they declared an emergency" said Alfonso Cusi, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. He added the plane was only 10 minutes away from landing when it crashed.

"The cause of the crash looks to be a technical problem with the aircraft's electrical system," says Cusi.

Aircraft investigators from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines have already retrieved the plane's black box and voice recorder. However, investigators could not immediately examine the voice recordings in the black box because they were in Russian.

The aircraft owned by ATMA airlines of Kazakhstan was on a wet lease to Interisland, says Cusi. It first flew as CCCP-11976 in October 14, 1963.

Cusi said two task force were organized, with the first looking on the cause of crash, while the other team would look into documents and records of how the aircraft was able to obtain an Airline Certificate of Conveyance and airworthiness certificate.

Interisland operates a fleet of four aircraft mostly manufactured in the 60's for charter passenger service and cargo flights.

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