CAAP Cleansing Has Began

20 Employees purged from the ranks

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III and his Deputy Capt. John Andrews.

November 15, 2012

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General William Hotchkiss announced Thursday the suspension of up to 20 CAA personnel's  involved in falsification of documents, one of them leading to the crash of Piper Sineca plane resulting to death of Secretary Jesse Robredo.

"Th investigating body has come up with names. These people will feel the brunt of the full implementation of Philippine Civil Air Regulations," Hotchkiss said.

The first strike was effected by CAAP Wednesday suspending airworthiness inspector Fernando Abalos for 90 days pending an administrative investigation into his culpability in the plane crash. 

"Previous actions of falsifying documents constitute gross dishonesty and grave misconduct. If proven true he would be remove from government service, and criminal complaints filed against him.” Hotchkiss adds.

Aircraft Accident Inquiry and Investigation Board (AAIIB)’s report found that Abalos approved a test flight permit for the renewal of the crashed plane’s airworthiness certificate without following PCAR procedures. However, no such record of the test flight exists in the aircraft logbook. There was also no record at Mactan-Cebu Airport that showed any flight plan for the plane supposedly filed on that day.

The investigation report found that Aviatour officials and some CAAP employees colluded to expedite the passage of the flying school’s airworthiness documents.

"We are still withholding the names of other employees pending the filing of formal charges against them" says Hotchkiss.

Meanwhile, AAIIB head Capt. Amado Soliman revealed that because of the investigation’s results, several air taxi operators and pilot schools will be re-audited, starting with inspections and certifications made by Abalos.

Soliman said they have the testimony of a witness Aviatour pilot who confessed to falsifying a document that led to the approval of the company’s Airworthiness Certificate.

“Captain Federico A. Omolon III, Aviatour Flight Instructor and supposed pilot of the test flight testified that Captain Jessup Bahinting, Owner of Aviatour and pilot of the fatal Seneca flight asked him to sign the Flight Test Report even though he did not fly the plane,” Soliman said.

“We will be re-auditing about 39 pilot schools and 24 maintenance organizations. We will also be reviewing 21 air taxi operators,”

Meanwhile,  The Civil Aviation Authority has ordered all aircraft operators to update their registration information before Jan. 1 next year to fully comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) safety standards.

The CAA directive (Memorandum Circular No. 27-12 Series of 2012) addresses one of two remaining significant safety concerns that an ICAO Validation Mission identified during its 10-day inspection last month. 

CAAP also approved the increase in the salary of flight safety inspectors to 50% from 30% of industry standards to entice more qualified inspectors to join the CAAP, which is other SSC of ICAO.


  1. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed the 90 day suspension order of pilot examiner Nomer Lazaro pending filing of administrative charges against him. He faces dismissal from gov't service and possible filing of criminal charges.

    Allegedly, he approved the renewal of license of Jessup Bahinting without proficiency check rides. he also falsified entries in the check ride report.

  2. Fernando Valdez Abalos has been found liable by the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service when he submitted falsified certification of inspection of aircraft belonging to Aviatour, a General Aviation company based in Mactan, Cebu without actually flying the aircraft.

    He was charged by CAAP Director General William K. Hotchkiss III with falsification of public documents and violation of Republic Act No. 9497 and was consequently meted a penalty of dismissal from government service with forfeiture of all benefits.

    Abalos was an Airworthiness inspector of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

    Abalos action of non-inspection was responsible for the crash of Piper Seneca plane (RP-C4431) off Masbate coastline when he certified that everything is well with the plane when it had earlier reports of engine problem.

    The plane sank in August 18, 2012 killing Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo, the owner pilot Jessup Bahinting and student pilot Kshitiz Chand.

    Also charged accessories were Nelson Napata and Federico Omolon lll of Aviatour's Flyin' Inc.