MANILA—Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief, Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, has ordered an investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash of the UH-1D combat utility helicopter in Tanay, Rizal that killed three of his men and severely wounded another on Thursday.
Fallorina also ordered the immediate grounding of the remaining five UH-1Ds in PAF service following the crash at Sitio Hilltop, Barangay Sampaloc at about 3 p.m. of May 4.
“The PAF has already sent a probe team to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, as well as to inspect other UH-1D helicopters as per standard operating procedure,” PAF spokesperson, Col. Antonio Francisco, said.
The UH-1D with tail number 8469, piloted by Capt. Christian Paul Titan along with co-pilot 1st Lt. Ceazar Rimas, was executing landing procedures when it crash-landed and went up in flames.
The mishap killed Titan, the pilot-in-command and of Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas; helicopter gunner, Airman 1st Class Joseph de Leon of Lingayen, Pangasinan; and Air Force crew chief, Sgt. Byron Tolosa, of Barangay Villamor, Pasay City.
The retrieved bodies of the fallen airmen were brought to Villamor Air Base for a sendoff honor Friday with their respective families.
Meanwhile, Rimas, lone survivor of the mishap, is stable but in guarded condition at the Armed Forces of the Philippine-Medical Center (AFP-MC) in V. Luna, Quezon City.