Piper Seneca plane’s right engine foundBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines–Divers have found the missing right engine of the Piper Seneca plane that crashed in the waters off Masbate killing three including Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The engine, which had reportedly encountered engine trouble as it was flying to Naga City, was set to be recovered and then handed over to the investigation committee of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Commodore Joel Garcia Coast Guard Bicol commander said Tuesday.
The plane had reportedly requested to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport on August 18 after it encountered engine trouble. It however crashed some 500 meters from the runway of the airport.
CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss said that the engine of the airplane was a crucial part of the investigation as it will determine whether the accident was caused by mechanical problem.
Initial investigation by a composite investigation team of CAAP found that the Emergency Location Transmitter of the airplane had not activated, delaying the efforts of search and rescue units in finding the aircraft on the seabed.
Captain Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand had also died in the crash. Robredo’s aide-de-camp, Police Senior Inspector June Abrazado, was the sole survivor of the crash. He recounted that he managed to bail out before the plane sank and was rescued by a passing fisherman.
Tuesday was the last day of the state funeral rites led by President Benigno Aquino III for Robredo in Naga City.