3 die, 1 injured as PAF chopper crash-lands in disaster ops training in Tanay

May 5, 2017 - 1:50 PM
The PAF utility chopper lies in ruins in Brgy. Sampaloc Hilltop, Tanay, Rizal. Three persons were killed and one injured when the chopper malfunctioned during training for disaster operations. PHOTO BY BOY SANTOS, PHIL. STAR

MANILA – A Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilot was killed along with his two crewmen while another one was injured when their UH-IHD “Huey” combat utility helicopter crashed in Tanay, Rizal Wednesday.

1st Lt. Xy-zon Meneses, 2nd Infantry Division public affairs office chief, said the mishap took place 3 p.m. at Sitio Hilltop, Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.

Among those killed was the helicoper pilot, Capt. Christian Litan, said the Air Force. It named the two other fatalities as SSgt. Byron Talosa and Airman First Class Joseph de Leon.

Initial reports indicated that the UH-IHD had just finished conducting air-to-ground and disaster rescue operations training with troops stationed in 2nd Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Capinpin along with some 12 police operatives when it encountered some mechanical trouble, forcing it to crash-land.

The Air Force deployed its 505th search and rescue group to undertake the retrieval operations and initial assessment of the accident scene.

A bigger team of investigators was to be deployed to probe the accident and inspect the rest of the UH-IHD choppers of PAF.

Despite the accident, the training in rescue operations continues at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.