5 Navy choppers grounded; pilots hurt in mishap
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy has grounded its fleet of AgustaWestland (AW) 109 “Power” helicopters pending the probe of one of the choppers involved in a Cagayan mishap, which injured its pilots and crew a week ago.
Navy flag officer in command Vice Adm. Adeluis Bordado said on Sunday that the accident happened at around 2 a.m. on Sept. 26 in Lal-lo town, Cagayan, while the helicopter (NH435) was landing after a mission for the Northern Luzon command’s internal security operations.
He said two pilots and two crew members were hurt but only sustained minor injuries.
“We are conducting a thorough and exhaustive investigation to ascertain the cause. These actions are all geared at shedding light on the incident and to prevent a future occurrence,” Bordado said, adding that AgustaWest experts were helping in the probe. The Navy has five AW109 helicopters.
—JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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