A remote-operated vehicle (ROV) will assist the Navy and Coast Guard in their ongoing search for the still missing pilots of the OV10 “Bronco” plane that crashed off the coast of Palawan more than a week ago.
Coast Guard Palawan commander Commodore Enrico Evangelista said on Thursday that the ROV is expected to arrive in Puerto Princesa City within the next three days.
He said the ROV would be deployed to get a clearer picture of the seabed and underwater environs to determine if an object earlier detected by sonar equipment was the wreckage of the aircraft.
Missing are Maj. Jonathan Ybanez and 1st Lt, Abner Trust Nacion.
The ill-fated OV-10 plane with tail number 139 was on a routine night flying proficiency test on June 23 when it went missing after the pilots informed the Palawan tower that they were on their final approach to the airport.
Its companion plane with tail number 630 has safely landed.
The accident has prompted the Philippine Air Force to ground its eight other Bronco planes pending results of an investigation on the cause of the crash.
Air Force spokesman Col. Miguel Okol earlier said the plane went down some five nautical miles from runway 27 or somewhere within the Palawan Bay area as indicated by the plane’s tracking device.
He said the Palawan tower did not sense anything that the plane was in trouble as the pilot has not send a distress signal before it disappeared.