ABS-CBN Interactive and The Philippine Star finally got this story right — simply by reaching out to an appropriate aviation expert. The article, succinct, free of grammatical flaws and tightly edited, says it all.
The Philippine Star
Key players in the aviation industry are urging authorities to conduct a professional and impartial investigation and not the usual finger-pointing to determine the probable cause of the fatal air accident at the Plaridel airport in Bulacan last Sunday. “We urge everyone to give the authorities enough time to conduct a professional and impartial investigation to establish the facts and determine the probable cause so that lessons may be learned to avoid repetition of the same accident,” Capt. Ben Hur Gomez, a 747 pilot and a former vice president for safety and security of Philippine Airlines, said in a statement.Gomez now maintains Omni Aviation Corp., considered as the country’s premier flight training school, in Clark Field, Pampanga.
“Aircraft accident investigations are conducted to establish the facts and not to apportion blame. No one ever wants accidents like this to happen. We should find solutions first rather than speculate,” said Gomez, who also extended his sympathies to the families of the victims.
“On behalf of Omni Aviation, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished in this most unfortunate accident,” he said.
Independent investigative bodies like the Air Safety Foundation of the Philippines under its president, Capt. Amado Soliman, are sometimes commissioned by the government to conduct a comprehensive investigation into such accidents.
Three people, including two Indian flight students, died in the Plaridel air accident. They were identified as Patrick Philip Teruel, a flight instructor and son of Air Transportation Office (ATO) check pilot and consultant Capt. Mario Teruel; and Indian flight students Varsha Gopinanth, 18; and Reena Sahebrao Salve, 25.
The ATO said the two US-made Cessna 150 planes, reportedly owned by Flight Time Aviation and WCC Master Aviation, were carrying out take-off and landing exercises on the airstrip of the Plaridel airport when the accident occurred.
The Cessna 150 aircraft are known to be among the world’s most preferred planes for basic flight training, touring and personal use.
The airstrip, owned by the ATO, is designated as a runway suited for training and certification flights for pilots to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.