Monday, June 24, 2013

Navy intensifies SAR efforts on downed 'Bronco'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24): Navy intensifies SAR efforts on downed 'Bronco'

Naval Forces West head Commodore Joseph Pena on Monday said the Navy will focus all its search-and-rescue (SAR) efforts in the area 11 nautical miles east off the runway of Puerto Princesa airport.

This was after search teams found a part of the cargo bay door and life raft belonging to the downed OV-10 "Bronco" aircraft which went down Sunday evening.

"It's not that far and our search planes spotted debris easily," he added.

Pena said that the while some sharks are found in the vicinity, the area is not shark- infested and that water in the area is 1,000 feet deep.

"We are hopeful that we can still recover the two pilots," he added.

Pena said the tracking device of the ill-fated OV-10 "Bronco" attack plane is active and expressed confidence that this will help them eventually locate the airframe.

Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol earlier said the downed plane, with tail number 630, belongs to the 570th Composite Tactical Wing which is based in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

He added that this aircraft and another with tail number 139 took off around 6:37 p.m. for a night flying proficiency.

However, only the aircraft with tail number 139 safely landed back after 53 minutes.

Okol said the missing OV-10 "Bronco" ( tail number 630) lost contact with the Palawan tower around 7:30 p.m. and failed to return.

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