Chopper reported missing in Occidental MindoroBy Madonna Virola and Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon
CAMP VICENTE LIM—Authorities are trying to locate a helicopter that reportedly went missing after it made a brief emergency landing in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, on Friday.
The helicopter, described to be colored gray and with body number RP 1027, lost contact with aviation authorities before noon.
It has at least four passengers and two pilots on board and was originally headed to Palawan from Manila, according to Chief Insp. Rollyfer Capoquian, the police chief of Mamburao.
Authorities could not confirm if it was privately-owned or a government helicopter, he said.
Capoquian by phone said they received a report from the local aviation authorities at around 11 a.m. that a helicopter was about to make an emergency landing in Barangay Tangkalan due to bad weather in Occidental Mindoro.
“But when we arrived in the area, the chopper had already left,” he said.
Capoquian said the chopper landed near Babuy River but left just after about 10 minutes when the river began to rise due to the heavy rain.
He said the last contact aviation authorities made with the chopper was before it left Barangay Tangkalan to say that it intended to land instead at the Mamburao airport in Barangay Payompon, about five kilometers away.
“It however never landed in the airport. Aviation authorities and our police on the ground said they saw the chopper flew over the airport but never landed,” Capoquian said.
He said it was then that they lost contact with the chopper.
Mimaropa (Mindoro Marinduque Romblon Palawan) disaster authority chief Eugene Cabrera said they were now coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to find the missing chopper.