Philippine air force plane crashes, pilots missing

Featured South East Asia - June 25th, 2013

A Philippine Air Force aircraft has been reported missing after failing to return to base on the southern island of Palawan after a night training flight.

The OV-10 Bronco, part of the PAF’s 570th Air Wing, took off with another OV-10 Sunday evening, but only one returned to base.

“We lost contact with the pilot of the missing OV-10” approximately an hour after the aircraft took off, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Okol. The two pilots of the plane were also missing.

Search and rescue teams on Monday found debris believed to be part of the ill-fated aircraft just one nautical mile off Puerto Princesa Bay.

“We found debris of the missing OV-10. We can assume that the plane had crashed and landed in the waters,” Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Greaneta Jude said.

All air, naval and ground units of the military’s Western Command and the Philippine Coast Guard are conducting search and rescue operations for the two pilots.

“We are still holding out hope that the two pilots were able to eject… we are searching for them,” Okol told AFP.