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Sikorsky rescue choppers grounded after fatal Basilan crash

/ 10:07 PM September 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes ordered a safety check of all PAF’s inventory of Sikorsky S-76A helicopters hours after one crashed on Wednesday (Sept. 16).

“In response to the unfortunate incident, the PAF will be conducting prompt maintenance inspection of all S-76A aircraft as a standard procedure in events such as this,” said Lt. Col. Aristides Galang in a statement.

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The PAF has two other Sikorsky-76A helicopters in its inventory, he said.

Four Air Force crew members from the 505th Search and Rescue Group were killed after a S-76A air ambulance crashed at the village of Upper Manggas in Basilan amid bad weather.

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The aircraft took off from Zamboanga City past noon and was bound for Sulu province to airlift soldiers wounded in the Aug. 24 suicide bombings in Jolo.

The bodies of the airmen in the ill-fated helicopter had been brought to Zamboanga City.

Galang said a team will be sent to conduct an investigation of the crash.

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TAGS: Basilan, Crash, grounded, Helicopters, Philippine Air Force, safety check, Sikorsky
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