Phl Navy's helicopter joins search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2014 - 1:44pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Navy has deployed one of its three newly-acquired AgustaWestland "Power" AW-109 helicopters to aid in the ongoing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said one of the helicopters has taken part in the search for the airliner that went missing on March 8 on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

Fabic said the Navy AgustaWestland helicopter is operating in tandem with the frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15). The Navy received three AgustaWestland helicopters from Italy last December.

Fabic said BRP Gregorio del Pilar is now somewhere in the West Philippine Sea and has been involved in the search since March 9.

The AW-109 helicopters are expected to make their first shipboard deployment by the end of March.

Fabic aded that this is the first time the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar has worked with the helicopter.

Along with the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, the Navy has also deployed the corvettes BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36) and BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) and one Norman Britten 'Islander' plane to assist in the search. The Philippine Air Force has sent its Fokker F-27 to join in the search. 

APOLINARIO MABINI EMILIO JACINTO FABIC FOKKER F GREGORIO DEL PILAR GREGORY FABIC KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA AIRLINES NORMAN BRITTEN PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE PHILIPPINE NAVY
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