Chopper The ill-fated chopper

1 killed, 2 hurt in PNP chopper crash

February 21, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 308 views

A PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Airbus H125 helicopter crashed in Real, Quezon early morning Monday killing one of its crewmen and injuring its pilot and co-pilot, a Camp Crame report said.

The ill-fated H125 Airbus with registry number RP-9710 was earlier reported missing hours after taking off at 6:17 a.m. from the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City en route to Northern Quezon on an administrative mission.

Rescue teams from the PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and local government units reached the crash site in Barangay Pandan, Real, Quezon at 8:05 a.m. and evacuated the survivors identified as Lieutenant Colonel Dexter Vitug and his co-pilot Lt. Col. Michael Melloria.

Both were taken to a private hospital in Infanta town for treatment.

The 3rd victim identified as Patrolman Allen Noel Ona died due to serious injuries he sustained as a result of the crash. Earlier reports said the cop was believed to be in critical condition when he was found by paramedic rescuers at the crash site.

Reports reaching the PNP Command Center showed the crash site was approximately 30 kilometers from Real, Quezon where rainy weather was prevailing early Monday morning.

Following the incident, PNP chief, General Dionardo B. Carlos ordered the grounding of the entire fleet of H125 Airbus Police helicopters while an investigation is underway in coordination with civil aviation authorities.

The chopper was one of the three additional multirole helicopters procured by the PNP last year to boost its operational capability against insurgency and terrorism. The choppers were bought from the Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia PTE LTD.

The other two had the registry numbers RP-2420 and RP-6088.

Prior to the crash, the PNP had seven H-125 Airbus, two R-22 Robinson police helicopters and a fixed-wing trainer aircraft, all stationed in Metro Manila.

However, Gen. Carlos said he wants the deployment of the helicopters in Central Visayas, Southern Mindanao and Northern Luzon.

On March 5, 2020, a PNP helicopter carrying then PNP chief, Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and three other star-rank officials crashed in San Pedro City, Laguna.

One of the chopper passengers, Major Gen. Jose Ma. Victor DF Ramos, then the PNP Comptroller died after battling his injuries for months.

Apart from Gen. Gamboa, the others who survived the crash were then PNP Director for Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Mariel M. Magaway, then PNP spokesperson, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac, pilot Lt. Col. Ruel Zalatar, co-pilot, Lt. Col. Rico Macawili, Gamboa’s aide-de-camp, Captain Keventh Gayramara and helicopter crew, Senior Master Sergeant Louie Estona.

In May 2010, a private helicopter carrying then Quezon Governor Rafael Nantes and his two security personnel crashed shortly after takeoff in Lucena City, killing the three and the pilot on the spot. A 14-year old girl on the ground also died as a result of the accident.

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