Ill-fated PAF plane located in waters off Puerto airport


NOSE of the ill-fated plane recovered by Coast Guard personnel PHOTO FROM THE COAST GUARD PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY— Rescuers were able to finally locate the ill-fated Philippine Air Force (PAF) OV-10 plane in waters close to the approach to the runway of  Puerto Princesa Airport, a source privy to the ongoing search effort revealed.

Initial dives indicated that the plane was stuck in the sandy seabed with the body of one of the two pilots inside the cockpit, according to the source who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the ongoing operation.

The Inquirer tried to get confirmation from officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command  here but they did not answer calls.

The source said actual retrieval had yet to begin, and search team members had yet to lower an underwater camera borrowed from the Department of Science and Technology.

The area where the plane was found is just off BM Beach, a public beach in the eastern side of the city, the source added.

The aircraft, which belongs to the PAF 15th Strike Wing, went down in the waters of Puerto Princesa Bay on Sunday night between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on June 23 as it was returning from a night training flight.

Its two pilots, Maj. Jonathan Ybañez and 1st Lt. Abner Trust Nacion, remain missing.

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