Caap: Missing Cessna likely crashed in Alcala, Cagayan
MANILA, Philippines — National and local authorities on Wednesday gave two different areas where a missing Cessna plane in Cagayan had possibly crashed.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said the plane could have crashed within the municipality of Alcala while the provincial government of Apayao said it was probably in the municipality of Pudtol.
Caap said search and rescue (SAR) operations have already been conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“The joint SAR operations have triangulated the possible crash site in Alcala early today,” Caap said in an advisory.
Caap also said that a PCG helicopter departed Tuguegarao Airport at 5:52 a.m. to conduct an aerial search Wednesday morning but returned due to cloudy skies.
A missionary chopper from the New Tribe Missionary likewise tried to conduct SAR operations on Tuesday but similarly returned due to the bad weather.
But the Apayao provincial government said the Cessna plane may have crashed in Pudtol, citing a report it received. The report claimed of a crashed plane sighting in the municipality.
“Officials and authorities are now moving to the site to verify the reported sighting of the plane,” the Apayao local government said in a statement.
Caap was asked about the information from Apayao, but said its SAR operations are currently focused on Alcala town – the area where the aircraft was last seen before it went missing.
“But we cannot discount ‘yung theory nila (their theory),” Caap told INQUIRER.net.
The plane’s last known position was 32 nautical miles northwest of Alcala, Cagayan.
The aircraft was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon after departing from Laoag International Airport (LIA) at 12:16 p.m. It failed to arrive at its destination, which was supposed to be at Tuguegarao Airport at 3:16 p.m.
Caap said the Cessna plane did not send a distress signal before it went missing.
The Echo Air Cessna 152 – a US two-seater, fixed-tricycle-gear general aviation plane used for flight training and personal use – carried a flying instructor and novice pilot, Caap said.
By 5 p.m. today, August 2, the Caap is expected to release an update on its SAR operations for the missing aircraft.