9 hurt in Huey crash

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071115_chopper09Helicopter among ‘defective’ aircraft delivered to air force

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Nine people were hurt after a Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter crash-landed in Sarangani Province on Saturday morning.

Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, said the UH-1D helicopter crash-landed in Sitio Lamsalo in Barangay Upper Suyan in Malapatan town at around 9:40 a.m.

He said strong winds caused the crash.

The aircraft was among the 21 combat utility helicopters in the controversial P1.2-billion modernization project, which The Manila Times exposed early this year as allegedly anomalous. The Times source — Rhodora Alvarez, who was initially code-named “Joey” — claimed that the helicopters were defective. The project’s specifications, which she said initially called for the acquisition of the UH-1H variant, was amended to allow the supplier, Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters, to deal the UH-1Ds whose original manufacturer had long closed shop. Alvarez is now under the protective custody of the Department of Justice.

The Department of National Defense scuttled the deal just as the Senate was to pass a resolution calling for a congressional inquiry on the project, but went on to accept the delivery of seven units.

The military said the helicopter was transporting the remains of a soldier as well as five other soldiers from the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion who were wounded in a clash with New People’s Army rebels when strong winds buffeted the aircraft as it was about to land. Two of the helicopter’s pilots and two crew members were also injured.

“There were prevailing strong winds when the said helicopter was landing. The nine personnel -pilots, crew and soldiers – onboard the helicopter suffered slight injuries and were already secured,” Caber said.

Caber added that the helicopter was wrecked.

Commander Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad, commander of the Eastmincom, ordered the dispatch of additional helicopters to continue the evacuation mission.

“Ongoing, ongoing kasi may wounded din kami dun so… yung wounded namin sa encounter plus yun nga yung nag-crash na helicopter yun ang ineevacuate namin, may mga naevacuate na pero meron pang naiwan dun,” Baladad said in a phone patch with reporters in the miltary’s main headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Tencounter between government troops and an unknown number of NPA rebels took place on Thursday and lasted until Friday.

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15 Comments

  1. Sa akin palagay overloaded(9 Soldiers) yung UH-1D at hind nakaya yung pag lift Nya kaya bumagsak. Nung nag demo ang 7 UH-1D sa Camp Aguinaldo, napansin ni Cong Biazon Wala yung 2- Machine Gun nya. Nagtanong sya sabi dao para magaan at Sasakay ang taga Media. OMG Hindi pala kaya ng UH-1D mag buhay ng 9 na Tao? Yung UH1-H hanggang 12-13 na Tao kaya Nya ilipad at magaling ang Combat Manueverality Nya. Limitado pala itong UH1-D. Tsk Tsk in every transaction sa atin govierno laging me kasamang corruption. Kawawa ang mga Sundalo natin nasa Frontline at sila ang Victima.

  2. Gazmin and Purisima has one thing in common ! Pareho silang naging bodyguard ng mga Aquino!
    Pareho silang mga Mason! Ex CJ Reynato Puno ganito na ba mga brod mo? Nasisira Ang mga mabubuting mga Mason !

  3. Secretary of Defenze Mr.Gazmin, is not qualified for this position. As if he doesnt know about the military hardware and equipment required by our AFP. Is he really a military men?? He is not smart enough to become Secretary of Defenze… a very lousy person.

  4. O mga bossing dyan sa DND anong say nyo sa UH-1D ngayon? Kung UH-1H yan sa ganyan situation ay Hindi Basta Basta mag crash at mas magaling ang combat maneuverability Nya compared sa UH-1D na mas luma pa sa UH-1H.

  5. Vic Penetrante on

    In most government projects, like the AFP modernization and the Yolanda Disaster funds, we never get a good bargain because our officials give only the pulps after squeezing to get all the juices of the funds.

  6. An the heat just keep on coming.
    The Pinoy administration will never accept responsibility for this, as usual. Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin has a lot of explaining to do. If I remember it correctly, the PAF performed a demo using one of the refurbished Huey to show to the media that it is not defective and the choppers can fly. Former Sen. Biazon noted that during the demo, the aircraft’s armaments were not installed to make it light. The 1.2 Billion peso-budget was intended for the modernization of the AFP and yet they purchased refurbished UH-1D which are not according to specs and different from UH-1H. What kind of modernization is that? How can the AFP defend our country from external threat if we continue to buy defective equipment. Now the cost has gone too high because of the lost of lives for every crash incident involving the so-called “flying coffins”.

  7. whoever is the purchasing officer that allow this anomalous transaction should board this helicopter and at certain elevation, throw this office out from the helicopter.

    someone has to account for this mess. Corruption should be punishable by death, because of their corruption other people died or may die.

  8. Seven minus one=six. By the time some new replacement come up, this six will be gone to the junkyard also. Sorry state of the Air Force.

  9. 100% suspicion that there is a cover-up of this incident especially since the procurement of these ‘copters were anomalous. If the AFP will reveal the true reason of this accident, they will be in a far worse situation as it is today and it will be used by the opposition to criticize the PNoy administration again.

  10. alvin stamaria on

    The alibi is there is a prevailing strong winds…..whew…..smelss of a cover-up…see what happens when there is something fishy with the buying something not as per the required specification……