Entire Lionair fleet grounded, crash probed | Inquirer News
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Entire Lionair fleet grounded, crash probed

MANILA, Philippines — The entire fleet of the Archie Po-owned Lionair Inc. would not be able to fly while the fatal crash of one of its aircraft on a medical evacuation mission on Sunday evening is under investigation, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

“While the investigation on the medical evacuation plane RP-C5880 is ongoing, it has been decided that Lionair’s entire fleet will be grounded,” CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said on Monday.

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The probe into the crash and fire is being conducted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board while the Flight Safety Investigation Committee will look into possible violations of flight safety procedures.

Apolonio said the cockpit voice recorder of the aircraft has been recovered, which could help answer why the aircraft crashed.

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Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal confirmed that all eight people aboard the aircraft died when it caught fire during takeoff at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Sunday.

The plane — a Westwind 24 with registry No. RPC 5880 under Lionair Inc. [not to be confused with Lion Air, an Indonesian airline] — exploded while taking off at the end of Naia’s Runway 06/24 around 8 p.m.

CAPP Deputy Director-General Donald Mendoza said the aircraft already had problems even before takeoff.“Based on the report of the Manila tower, they were alarmed that for [its] size, the aircraft took some time to take off. It should have been air-borne because of the runway’s length,” he said.

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TAGS: CAAP, Lionair plane explosion
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