Pilot flying skydivers survives crash on Bantayan Island
CEBU CITY—A 28-year-old pilot cheated death on Saturday when his Cessna plane, used by customers for skydiving, crash-landed at the tip of the airstrip in Sta. Fe town on Bantayan Island, Cebu province.
Captain Alvin Boyd Loreno from Lapu-Lapu City was not hurt but the propeller of his plane was damaged while the front portion was dented.
According to Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana, Loreno was carrying two passengers—a licensed skydiving instructor and a tourist—for a skydiving session.
After his two passengers safely jumped off, he returned to the airstrip about 4:40 p.m. but the plane engine lost power, said the mayor.
“The pilot allowed the plane to glide until it reached the runway,” said Esgana in a phone interview.
PO1 Richard Bayon-on and PO3 Andy Galorio of Sta. Fe police said they went to the area after they were informed by another policeman who happened to pass the area past 5 p.m.
Galorio said the red and white plane with body number RP-C3025 did not reach the runway. It crash-landed on the grassy area few meters from the cemented part of the runway.
He said Loreno gave contradicting statements when asked by the police what happened.
Loreno claimed that the plane had engine malfunctioned while about to land at the airstrip.
Galorio said the captain later told the police that he underestimated the distance of the runway.
Loreno, he added, Loreno refused to give his documents as a pilot, though he said the plane is owned by the Southern Air Flight Services based in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Its planes are used for skydiving on Bantayan Island in northern Cebu.
Galorio said it would be up to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to investigate the incident.
According to Esgana, Sky Dive Cebu, which offers skydiving sessions both for local and foreign tourists, started operating only in January this year.
Esgana said it is a new and rising attraction being offered in Sta. Fe, apart from their white sand beaches.
Based on their website, Sky Dive Cebu offers skydiving sessions and tandem skydive.