New Air Force chopper experiencing technical problems
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 4, 2013 - 6:23pm

MANILA, Philippines -A brand new Sokol helicopter acquired recently by the Air Force is experiencing technical problems and has been stuck in Camp Aguinaldo since Monday.

The helicopter with tail number 310925 was supposed to be one of the two air assets that would bring the delegation of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista to the Air Force’s 66th anniversary rites in Clark, Pampanga.

The aircraft, however, experienced a technical glitch and had to make a precautionary landing.

A third helicopter was dispatched to Camp Aguinaldo from Villamor Airbase to transport members of the delegation. It remains unclear whether the troubled helicopter was supposed to transport Gazmin and Bautista to the venue.

The helicopter has been parked at the helipad beside the Armed Forces Grandstand since Monday.

Air Force spokesman Col. Miguel Okol said the problem stemmed from a weak battery but claimed that it was just “a minor discrepancy.”


“In this case the battery has gone weak. There are some electrical discrepancies but it is not a showstopper,” Okol said.

“There’s really no cause for alarm why the Sokol is still there,” he added.

A technical team from the manufacturer PZL-Åšwidnik S.A. is now looking into the helicopter.

“We have to understand that these are brand-new equipment so they are still under warranty,” Okol said.

“Were just exercising caution with our maintenance procedure so that we will not violate any warranty,” he added.

The government has acquired a total of eight combat utility helicopters worth P2.8 billion from the PZL-Åšwidnik S.A. The package includes ground support equipment, spare parts, support services and training for aircrew and maintainers.

The first batch, which consisted of four helicopters, arrived last February while the second batch, which consisted of two Sokols, was delivered last November. The final batch composed of two helicopters arrived last February.

AIR FORCE ARMED FORCES GRANDSTAND CAMP AGUINALDO DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN AND ARMED FORCES EMMANUEL BAUTISTA GAZMIN AND BAUTISTA HELICOPTER MIGUEL OKOL OKOL VILLAMOR AIRBASE
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