Medical chopper goes missing in Palawan, says CAAP
MANILA, Philippines — A medical helicopter went missing on Wednesday while on its way to a hospital in Palawan province, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said.
In an initial incident report, CAAP’s Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center said the aircraft, an Alouette helicopter with registry no. N45VX, departed from Mangsee island located in the far southwest portion of the municipality of Balabac after picking up a patient.
The chopper was heading to the Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital in Brooke’s Point when it was reported missing around 9:00 a.m.
Five passengers were on board the helicopter: the pilot, a nurse, the patient, and two companions. They remain missing as of this writing.
Search and rescue operations have since been commenced, according to CAAP, which also disclosed that the aircraft was operated by Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services (PAMAS).
This is the third aircraft to go missing since January. The first one was a Cessna airplane in Isabela, and the second was another Cessna plane in Albay, which was later found to have crashed near the crater of Mayon Volcano.