Another S-211 Down

The Last of its Breed

April 29, 2011

Another Philippine Air Force (PAF) S-211 trainer plane crashed in Bagac Town, Bataan, moments after it took off from Basa Airbase in Floridablanca Pampanga around 2:32 p.m. killing its pilots, a military official said.

The two seater Italian made Aermacchi S-211 trainer jet crashed at 3:15 p.m. in Banawang village near the Stela Mariz Beach resort killing its pilot identified as Capt. Raymond De Leon and Maj. Ephraim Gatus Suyom, a valedictorian of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1997.

Armed Forces' Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan said the S-211 plane was on a routine proficiency flight before its disintegrated on impact. Cause of the crash is unknown.

"[The] aircraft disintegrated upon impact," Pangilinan said. "One confirmed dead, identification still for confirmation."

He said elements of the Army's 24th Infantry Battalion are now on site, security the crash site.

The ill-fated aircraft was one of the six S-211 trainer jets that were left operational from the total of 25 aircraft in the PAF inventory purchased since 1991. Last year, an S-211 plane belonging to the Air Defense Wing’s 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron crashed in July while engaging in a training exercise in Conceptcion town in Tarlac. The two pilots were unharmed as they were able to eject from the totally-wrecked plane before hitting the ground.

In 2002, another S-211 jet crashed due to mechanical failure, killing five people, including the pilot and his co-pilot, in Barangay Garcia in Cabanatuan City where 15 houses were also destroyed. The aircraft was reported to be on proficiency flight. Caused of accidents were never published.

PAF spokesman said the remaining five other still functioning S-211 trainer jets of the Air Force would remain grounded until the cause of last Thursday’s accident is known.

1 comment:

  1. GEE! Only 5 left flying out of original 25, are these aircraft being properly maintained...