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Old 07-21-2010, 02:36 AM   #1
figatova
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Default 2 pilots eject before Philippine Air Force Aermacchi S-211 jet trainer crashes

2 pilots eject before PAF plane crashes


CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Two Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots cheated death on Monday when they ejected just in time before their S-211 trainer aircraft crashed in a sugarcane field in Concepcion, Tarlac.
Lieutenant Colonel Miguel Okol, PAF spokesman, identified the two as Lt. Jose Wilbert Leonides P. Martinez, pilot; and Major Wilfred Babbit A. Donato, pilot-instructor.
They both belong to the Air Defense Wing’s 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron based in Clark Air Force Base.
Okol said Martinez and Donato were on a training missing when the incident occurred around 11 a.m. in the vicinity of Sitio Ligaya, Barangay Santiago in Concepcion.
“Two pilots of an S-211 of the Air Division Wing (ADW) on a training mission ejected safely over Tarlac this morning and were promptly rescued and airlifted back to Clark Air Base at around 11:45 a.m.,” Okol said in his text message to the Manila Bulletin.
Chief Superintendent Arturo G. Cacdac Jr., Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) director, said emergency teams based in Clark aided the two pilots.
Cacdac said the plane, with Tail No. 211.09005, was on its way to Clark after a training session in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, when it crashed.
Okol said probers from the PAF’s Aircraft Crash Investigation Team had been dispatched to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, PAF chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena immediately ordered the grounding of all their S-211 aircrafts pending the outcome of the investigation.
With the recent crash, the PAF is now left with only six S-211s including three that are undergoing maintenance.
The Aermacchi S-211 is a small tandem two-seat aircraft that is powered by a Pratt and Whitney JT15D-C turbofan. The aircraft was designed as a secondary close air support capability that can be armed for weapons training or light ground attack duties.
A total of 25 S-211’s were purchased by the PAF in the late 1980s, including 15 that were assembled locally by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation.
Due to accidents, six planes remain in service although only three are air worthy.
In February, two PAF pilots died when an OV Bronco attack aircraft of the air force also crashed at Crow Valley, Capas, Tarlac while conducting aerial gunnery training.
The PAF, which used to be the greatest firepower in Asia during the Marcos regime, is now in dire need of modernization, which the present administration has vowed to pursue.
During the PAF 63rd founding anniversary early this month, Rabena said they have already drafted the PAF Short and Medium Term Plans proposal for 2011 to 2017 following a series of symposia and workshops.
The military is now pinning its hope on President Aquino for the fulfillment of the AFP modernization plans especially now that the military is expecting to transition from internal security operations (ISO) to external defense.


http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/267760...-plane-crashes

paf 211.jpgs211-2.jpg
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:01 AM   #2
gerryowen
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Glad they're safe!
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