Light plane crashes off Zamboanga City coast; passengers unharmed
The whole body of the ill-fated Piper Seneca with tail number RP-C834 is seen submerged after it crashed on July 7, 2020 in the shoreline off Sinunuc Boulevard, Barangay Sinunuc, west coast of Zamboanga City. Pareño
Light plane crashes off Zamboanga City coast; passengers unharmed
Roel Pareño ( - July 7, 2020 - 6:59pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A six-seater light trainer aircraft with four passengers made a crash landing in the coastal line of a village west of this city shortly after it took off from Zamboanga International Airport Tuesday morning, authorities said.

All four passengers of Piper Seneca RP-C834 were unharmed when the ill-fated twin-engine plane crashed and ditched on the shoreline of Sinunuc Boulevard in Barangay Sinunuc shortly after 9 a.m.

Antonio Alfonso, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) regional manager, identified those onboard as: John Pulinthanam, 27, plane captain, Indian national; Suramya Khana, 28, student pilot, a Nepalese; Jemy Chacko Domen, 34, flight instructor, also an Indian; and Razel Dulay, 27, Filipino, all from Royal Flight Training Academy based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

Alfonso said the ill-fated plane took off from ZIA about 9:20 a.m. It was about to return to Dumaguete when it was forced to crash land minutes later.

Based on initial report, the plane experienced an engine failure when the left engine no longer worked.

“We’re still investigating the circumstances of the accident. It was good then the pilot made the landing close to the shore,” Alfonso said.

Capt. Ulysses Clint Sanchez, a flying instructor of Southern City Colleges Flying School, disclosed that they arrived in the city on convoy with a Cesna 172 aircraft which the school acquired and was about to head back when the accident occurred.

“It’s good our pilots were professionals and they manage to execute the emergency procedures and no one from them incurred any single scratch,” Sanchez said.

Mufri Yusop Akalan, a tricycle driver who rescued the four passengers, said he noticed the plane in distress while making a right turn and crashed in the waters.

He said the plane ditched towards the shoreline and quickly reversed to its right to avoid hitting the concrete seawall before it submerged to the waters, which is three meters deep. 

“I rushed to the site and shouted at them (passengers) to swim away but they answered back ‘we don’t know how to swim.’ That prompted me to jump and rescue them,” Akalan said in Filipino.

Akalan said the four passengers on board were in the state of shock when he pulled and brought them atop of the submerged plane before sending the victims on land with a banca.

Emergency responders immediately provided check-up to the victims before they were escorted to the CAAP office.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with