MIMAROPA regional police director Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor and three other police officials were injured after a military helicopter they were riding crash-landed in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Monday afternoon.
Lieutenant Cherryl Tindog said that incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan involving a Sokol (926) chopper of the Philippine Air Force.
“It experienced a mechanical problem and crash landed,” Tindog said in phone interview, adding the chopper’s two pilots were not injured.
The Swidnik-manufactured chopper from Poland was among the newest airlift assets of the PAF and were purchased during the time of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and delivered during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III.
“The passengers are reportedly safe with minor injuries. Wescom already sent an air ambulance and another aircraft to the incident area. We will give updates once the official report from our air unit is already transmitted to this headquarters,” Tindog said.
Tindog said the chopper took off at the Tactical Operations Group of Westcom at 2 p.m.
“They were on an inspection flight in preparation for the Asean chief justices’ conference on November 10 here in Palawan,” Tindog said.
This was not the first time that a Sokol chopper crashed as Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya and some military survived a similar incident in Mindanao.
The incident happened when Visaya was then the commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
Before these incidents, one of the Sokol units was also grounded for several days at the AFP General Headquarters landing pad after it lost its power-lift.