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Missing 6-seater plane from Isabela triggers 'full scale' search and rescue — CAAP

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Missing 6-seater plane from Isabela triggers 'full scale' search and rescue â CAAP
Satellite image of Cauayan City, Isabela
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MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is now conducting a "full scale" search and rescue operation after a Cessna 206 plane did not arrive at its intended destination at Maconacon Airport in Isabela Province yesterday.

The Cauayan Tower on Tuesday alerted the CAAP head office about the incident at around 3:17 p.m., with the aircraft being identified as RPC1174.

"RPC1174 departed Cauayan Airport at 2:15 p.m. and its last contact with the air traffic controller was at 2:19 p.m. when it was within the vicinity of Naguillian Bridge," said CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio in a statement released Wednesday.

"It was expected to arrive at Maconacon at 2:45 p.m."

The small aircraft was only supposed to travel for a total of 30 minutes but have yet to be contacted still.

A communication search was initiated by Cauayan Tower by 3:15 p.m. but there was still no response. Search and rescue commenced by 4:00 p.m. after the alert level was consequently raised.

"Due to the negative result of the communication search, Alert level was raised to distress phase at 4:12 p.m. which prompted a full scale search and rescue which is still on going at this time," Apolonio said.

According to CAAP, a distress phase is a situation wherein there is a reasonable certainty that an aircraft and its occupants are threatened by grave and imminent danger and require immediate assistance.

'Passengers supposed to visit wake'

In an interview with Bombo Radyo, Anna May Kamatoy revealed that some of her relatives were aboard the plane during the incident, including her brother and two of her children.

"'Yung bayaw ko po kasi patay 'yung tatay niya. Taga Maconacon po kasi siya eh. Sumama po 'yung mga bata kasi malapit sila kay Tatang," said a very emotional Kamatoy.

(My brother-in-law's father died. He's from Maconacon. The kids went with him since they were close with Tatang.)

"'Yun po 'yung naging purpose ng biyahe nila ngayon, para po makita si Tatang sa huling [sandali] kasi sa 26 na po 'yung libing."

(That was the purpose of the trip, so that they may be able to see Tatang in his final moments since he is supposed to be burried on the 26th.)

Kamatoy said that one of her kids even livestreamed while being aboard the missing aircraft, updating her regularly about their whereabouts.

The travelers were said to be a total of nine but the other five reached their destination, leaving behind the four in the second flight.

Anna May pleaded to Isabela locals and officials to immediately contact them should they find the missing plane: "Ang hirap po kasing maghintay. Please, nagmamakaawa po ako sa inyo, tulungan niyo po ang pamilya ko mahanap po sila.

(It's very difficult to just keep waiting. Please, I beg all of you, help my family to find them.)

AIRPLANE

CAUAYAN

CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

ISABELA

MACONACON

MISSING

SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS

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