Captain’s wife dismayed husband not found on pilot seatBy Jhunnex Napallacan
CEBU CITY—Margarita Bahinting, the wife of Captain Jessup Bahinting, chairman and executive officer of Aviatour Air, expressed dismay at the reports that her husband was found on the right side of the cockpit, saying this was erroneous.
She said that her husband was on the left side of the plane, on the seat of the main pilot. She said the media reports could be misconstrued that Bahinting had allowed the student pilot, Kshitiz Chand, 21, to handle the plane.
Chand’s body was found floating near the crash site Thursday morning.
The bodies of the two pilots of the light plane that crashed off Masbate with Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo were flown to Cebu on Thursday.
The body of Bahinting, 61, was accompanied by his daughter Sarah Lynn on board a Beechcraft RPC 9980 plane, which landed at the Mactan Cebu International Airport at 8:01 a.m.
At 3:03 p.m., Cessna 182 RPC 2214 arrived with the body of Bahinting’s Nepali co-pilot, Chand.
Bahinting and Chand piloted the Piper Seneca plane that was supposed to bring Robredo from Cebu to Naga City in Camarines Sur. But the plane reportedly experienced engine trouble and was trying to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport when it crashed into the sea.
Bahinting’s body was retrieved from the right side of the cockpit on Wednesday, according to media reports. Sarah identified her father through his Fossil watch and ring.
Bahinting’s friends and the students of Bahinting’s Aviatour Flight School formed a line when the small plane arrived. They were all emotional as Bahinting’s wife cried when the body bag containing the remains of her husband was pulled out of the plane, said former Cebu City Councilor Sylvan Jakosalem.
Bahinting’s body was taken to St. Peter Funeral Homes on New Imus street where the wake would be held until Sunday noon. It will be transferred to Ginatilan town, about 135 km southwest of Cebu City, for burial on Monday, said Sarah Lynn.
Chand’s father, Tek Bahadur Chand, and uncle Damand Chand arrived in Cebu at 3:17 p.m. on board another plane. Chand’s body was expected to be flown to Nepal.—With reports from Jhunnex Napallacan and Chito O. Aragon, Inquirer Visayas