Rescuer's Rescue Crashed, Retrieved Dead

Bad Weather Likely Cause

29 August 2016

The pilots of Airbus Helicopter (RP-C2688) AS350B2 type operated by Macroasia Air Taxi Services that went on rescue mission Monday and never arrived at its destination was retrieved yesterday by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) with bodies of two pilots still strapped on the French-built helicopter.

The ill-fated chopper was supposed to pick up and rescue stranded construction and engineering personnel working at the Sumag diversion tunnel in Quezon but it went missing along the way to the mine site last Monday, August 22, and its location unknown. Bad weather with heavydownpour and strong turbulence was reported in the area on the date of the crash.

CAAP Operations and Rescue Coordinating Center (ORCC) identified the fatalities as Capt. Miguel C. Logronio and his Aircraft Mechanic Eng. Jay Gregorio.

Bad weather foiled search and rescue efforts to retrieve bodies of the helicopter pilot and his assistant after being found by SAR Sokol (922) helicopter of the 505th search and rescue group Tuesday afternoon. Rescue teams were prevented by zero visibility, strong winds and heavy rains from reaching the crash site until Saturday morning when a helicopter from the same company piloted by Capt. Jojo Consunji was able to penetrate the crash site and dropped two rescuers to the ground over the mountains of Gen. Nakar town in Quezon Province. Retrieval and recovery operations by the 505th search and rescue group at Villamor Airbase were concluded Sunday morning.

Civilian volunteers Pureforce Rescue group, Conrad Tomeldan, Jude Estrada, Capt. Boy Garucho, Alex Limjuoco, Cavdeal, MWSS, Transcare and the local Dumagats in the area also helped search for the missing chopper.

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