The spokesman of the Philippine Air Force said Monday that it is early to say that an engine failure caused one of its helicopters to crash in Bukidnon over the weekend.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Aristides Galang, the results of the investigation is not yet final. Seven people, including four airmen, died in the crash.
“Iko-correct ko nga po sana ‘yun, engine failure daw… masyado pa po kasing maaga so ‘yung investigating team natin hindi po ganoon kabilis na made-determine kaagad kung ano po ‘yung cause of the accident, the mishap,” Galang told GMA News Online.
“Marami po kasi tayong factors na kino-consider and definitely hindi po natin masabi kaagad na may problema sa makina ‘yung eroplano,” he added.
Earlier, Galang admitted that their helicopter that crashed in Bukidnon is old, but insisted that it is well-maintained. He added the helicopter underwent an inspection before being allowed to fly.
“‘Yong sinasabi natin na may kalumaan na, which is true naman po talaga. Pero ito pong mga equipment po natin, when it comes to part and component, puro brand new po yan,” said Galang in an interview with Teleradyo.
(It is really true that it is old. But these are our equipment, when it comes to part and component, it is all brand new.)
Too early to conclude if engine failure caused Bukidnon helicopter crash – PAF
The chopper came from the 403rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Malaybalay City and was supposed to bring supplies to the camp in Impasug-Ong.
The remains of all the victims were recovered and taken to the funeral home in Malaybalay.
Huey UH-1H helicopters were first used during the Vietnam War from 1967 to the 1970s.
Several units were donated by the United States to the PAF.
But many of the helicopters are no longer in use because there are refurbished UH-1H model units purchased by the government from Singapore during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
There are also those being restored using new spare parts from Japan and returned to service in 2019.
The PAF will allegedly send personnel to inspect the crashed helicopter and conduct an official investigation into the incident