AFP hits speculation on helicopter crash
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The military said yesterday it is unfair to assume that the recent helicopter crash in Sarangani validated claims that the UH-1D helicopter is unreliable.

Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the Philippine Air Force is still investigating the incident and it is too early to make assumptions.

 “That’s highly speculative because the cause of the accident is still unknown. Let us wait for the assessment of the investigative body,” Padilla said. 

Air Force spokesman Col. Enrico Canaya shared Padilla’s view, noting such an accident can happen to any air asset.

On Saturday, a UH-1D helicopter crash-landed in Malapatan town as it was evacuating wounded soldiers of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion.

Nine government troopers, four from the Air Force and five from the Army, were injured in the incident that occurred at around 9:40 a.m.

Some military officials believe the crash could have been due to strong winds.  

The accident occurred months after the Department of National Defense (DND) was accused of acquiring old and defective UH-1D helicopters.   

The government was supposed to buy 21 helicopters from the joint venture of American firm Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Canadian company Eagle Copters Ltd. for P1.2 billion.

But the DND’s special bids and awards committee was accused of favoring the supplier and procuring unreliable air assets.

Critics claimed the suppliers delivered UH-1D helicopters instead of the more advanced UH-1H model. 

The DND said there was no irregularity in the project and the contract merely required the winning bidder to deliver UH-1 helicopters, the generic term for the air asset.

 

AIR FORCE ARMED FORCES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE EAGLE COPTERS LTD ENRICO CANAYA INFANTRY BATTALION NBSP ON SATURDAY PADILLA PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE RESTITUTO PADILLA
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