No sign of missing plane; pilots named

25 June 2013

Manila, Philippines -- The search continues for the two Philippine Air Force pilots whose plane crash landed in the waters off Puerto Princesa in Palawan early Sunday evening.

PAF spokesperson Col. Miguel Okol yesterday said that they have contracted the use of sonar equipment from Cebu City to aid and complement the search and rescue teams looking for the pilots of the missing aircraft identified as Major Jonathan A. Ybanez and 1Lt. Abner Trust Nacion.

The two pilots went missing at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday after they failed to return to the Antonio Bautista Airbase in Palawan following a "Night Proficiency" training flight.

The PAF pilots were flying a two-seater twin-engine turbo-prop OV-10 Bronco attack aircraft utilized for its close air support and reconnaissance missions in its counter-insurgency operations.

A composite search and rescue team from the PAF, the Western Command, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard discovered parts of the aircraft including its radome or nose as well as its cargo door just over a kilometer from the Puerto Princesa coastline.

According to Okol, search and rescue operations will be conducted through the night until the wreckage of the aircraft is found and the fate of the two PAF officers known.

Divers from the Special Operations Group of the Philippine Coast Guard resumed their search for the OV-10 Bronco at 6 a.m. yesterday.