Two feared dead in Philippine Air Force crash

Two Philippine Air Force officers were feared dead after their plane crashed at the mouth of Manila Bay during a training mission on Friday.

The military has launched search-and-rescue operations for the pair on board the SF-260 trainer plane, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto Okol, spokesman for the Philippine Air Force.

The aircraft plunged into the uninhabited island of La Monja, by Manila Bay, after taking off from a nearby air force base. The cause of the crash was unknown.

Rescuers retrieved a fuel tank, helmet and plane seat from the water but the two officers on board, a major and a lieutenant, remained missing, said provincial police spokesman Inspector Dennis Orbista.

The light propeller aircraft is one of a fleet of 18 purchased by the Philippines from Italy's Alenia Aermacchi in 1991 as part of the military's modernisation programme.

by Hiroshi Hiyama © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: May 18, 2012