Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chopper makes 'hard landing' after being fired at while evacuating Army wounded in Samar - Air Force

From InterAksyon (Jun 16): Chopper makes 'hard landing' after being fired at while evacuating Army wounded in Samar - Air Force

An Air Force Huey helicopter (InterAksyon.com file by Erwin Mascarinas)

A Philippine Air Force helicopter deployed to evacuate soldiers wounded in a clash with communist rebels was fired at and forced to make a “hard landing” in the hinterlands of Las Navas town in Samar on Monday.

Air Force spokesman Colonel Enrico Canaya confirmed the incident and said they were in the process of recovering the downed UH-1H Huey helicopter.

He said the chopper was one of two dispatched to airlift five soldiers wounded in the clash with New People’s Army guerrillas.

However, he said the helicopter came under fire around 5 p.m. and “made a forced landing.”

Major Glen Mark Cabalquinto, public information officer of the 2nd Air Division, said the downed chopper had been assigned to “pick up some equipment and things recovered from the encounter site” while the undamaged lead aircraft was the one that had picked up the wounded Army personnel as well as the crew of the damaged helicopter and evacuated them to Catarman.

Describing the damage to the chopper, Cabalquinto said the aircraft's skids, which support it while on the ground, had collapsed sideways during the hard landing and the helicopter's belly was resting on the ground. 

He said a maintenance and investigation team were at the site and trying to see if they could safely fly the aircraft out.

However, Cabalquinto said the team had not yet reported if it had been hit by ground fire.


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