2 Navy pilots killed in Cavite helicopter crash

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Two Philippine Navy pilots died when their military training helicopter crashed at the Draga reclamation area, which is near the Cavite City public market, early yesterday morning.

The fatalities were identified as Lt. John Kyle Borres, 36, and Ensign Izzah Leonah Taccad, 27. They were both assigned at the Naval Air Wing at Sangley Point in Cavite City.

Commander John Percie Alcos, head of the Navy public affairs office, said the two pilots were on a Robinson R22 training helicopter and executing emergency procedures before the crash at around 6:45 a.m. According to Alcos, the two navy aviators were rescued and rushed to the hospital by responding teams from the Philippine Fleet and the Naval Air Wing. But Borres, a native of Cebu City, died while on the way to the Cavite Medical Center. Taccad, who was his co-pilot, also died while being treated at the Bautista Hospital.

Because of the incident, all similar aircraft are temporarily grounded while a thorough investigation rolls out to determine the cause of the crash, he added.

“Philippine Navy aircraft undergo regular inspection and maintenance to ensure airworthiness. Nevertheless, no stone will be left unturned as we endeavor to prevent this kind of accident from happening again,” Alcos stressed.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the bereaved loved ones. All necessary support will be extended to them,” he said.

Lt. Col. Christopher Guste, Cavite city police chief, said no resident was reported injured in the incident and that there were also no reports of damage to property.

Guste added that they are coordinating with the Philippine Navy and gathering information on the flight plan of the R22 Robinson helicopter.

The crashed helicopter was the only Robinson R22 in the Navy’s fleet.

It was the latest deadly training accident for the Philippine military.

Two Philippine Air Force pilots were killed in January 2023 when their Marchetti SF260 turboprop plane crashed into a rice field.

In June 2021, the military temporarily grounded its entire Black Hawk fleet after an S-70i helicopter crashed during a night-time training, killing all six on board. –  Ed Amoroso, Arnell Ozaeta, AFP

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