Investigation team now in Marawi City crash site

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The air crash investigation team, tasked to determine the exact cause of the mishap involving one of the eight W-3A “Sokol” combat utility helicopters Thursday, is now in the crash site in Marawi City.

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This was disclosed by Philippine Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya in an interview with the PNA.

He added that the air crash investigation team arrived around 6:29 a.m. in Marawi City and proceeded immediately to the crash site in Camp Ranao which is the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

Canaya said that the team will be looking into “equipment, environment and piloting aspects” to determine the exact cause of the mishap.

He added that it is still too early yet to tell on whether the airframe of the wrecked “Sokol” will be airlifted to Villamor Air Base, Pasay City for a more detailed examination.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang earlier ordered the Air Force leadership to investigate and determine the exact cause of the “Sokol” crash.

AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said all the seven other “Sokol” are to be grounded pending the results of the accident board.

Two W-3A “Sokol” combat utility helicopters had just taken off at the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Camp Ranao in Marawi City when one of the aircraft crashed around 2: 23 p.m. Thursday when heavy winds struck the helicopter. PNA

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