(UPDATE) TWO Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots died when their SF-260TP Marchetti aircraft crashed in the middle of a rice field in Sitio Tabon in Barangay Del Rosario, Bataan on Wednesday.
The PAF is yet to identify the fatalities.
It said no civilian casualties were reported in the incident.
PAF spokesman Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the aircraft, with tail number 701, with two pilots on board took off at around 10 a.m. at Major Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite City to perform a recurrency/training flight.
At around 10:40 a.m. the aircraft was reportedly seen to be descending to a field in Sitio Tabon where it eventually crashed.
She said an aircraft accident investigation team was already at the site, while the entire SF-260TP fleet has been grounded.
Castillo said the SF-260TP is a highly maneuverable and fully aerobatic basic trainer plane that the PAF also uses as a light attack combat aircraft in various combat missions, including the Marawi siege.
Cessna plane still missing in Isabela
Meanwhile, search is still ongoing for the Cessna plane that went missing a few hours after takeoff in Cauayan, Isabela on Tuesday afternoon.
On board the missing aircraft were pilot Capt. Eleazar Mark Joven and passengers Tommy Manday, Val Kamatoy, Mark Eiron Siguerra, Xam Siguerra and Josefa Perla España.
Based on initial reports, the six-seater Cessna 206 plane (RPC 1174) left Cauayan Domestic Airport in Barangay San Fermin at 2:16 p.m.
Airport personnel said the plane was supposed to arrive at Maconacon, a coastal town also in Isabela, at 3 p.m.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said its operations center received an uncertainty phase alert at 3:17 p.m. from Cauayan Tower involving the missing plane.
It said the situation is now being considered in a distress phase.
The incident management team headed by the Isabela Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office is composed of personnel from the PAF, CAAP, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army and the Office of the Civil Defense.
The initial incident report said that based on the logged signal from the mobile phone of one of the passengers, the aircraft was within a 20-kilometer radius from the cell site in Maconacon, Isabela which was consistent with the information received earlier, estimating the location of the plane to be in Sapinit and Dicambangan.
The Tactical Operations Group of the PAF attempted to conduct an aerial inspection of the spot but returned due to bad weather.
The PAF said it will continue the search once weather conditions improve.
A ground search is also being conducted by the 95th Infantry Salaknib Battalion, the Maconacon Police Station, and the PNP Provincial Mobile Force Company.
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