Government search and rescue teams (SAR) on Friday continued efforts to find the Cessna plane with six people on board that went missing in the province of Isabela.
This developed as personnel of the Incident Management and the SAR teams have already identified the possible location, saying the aircraft was seen in the area of Maconacon.
A white object has been sighted in Barangay Dicaruyan, Divilacan, Isabela during a search and rescue operation for the missing Cessna plane, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), quoted by a GMA News report, said.
PDRRMO head Constante Foronda said that due to the bad weather, the rescuers failed to confirm if the object was the missing C206 plane RPC1174, GMA News reported.
According to Foronda, the area where the object was sighted was consistent with the hints they have on the possible location of the missing plane based on eyewitness accounts.
CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio added that “close monitoring and continuous close coordination with concerned agencies and local government units are still in place with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, providing information and participating in the Incident Management Team (IMT).”
Apolonio said the six missing persons on board the aircraft whose ages range from 10-59 years old “are still being continuously located by the Philippine Air Force (PAF), with aerial search in the vicinity where the aircraft went missing.”
He added the Philippine Army, LGUs of Maconacon and Divilacan, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP) also conducted ground search in areas of concern.
Apolonio earlier said air traffic controllers earlier initiated a “communication search” after the plane did not respond half an hour after it was supposed to land.
The CAAP has suspended all flights going to and from Cauayan Airport to Maconacon Airport to give way for the ongoing search and rescue operation.
“As of today, CAAP issued Notice to Airmen (Notam BO391/23), covering the area 13NM South of Naguilian, 13NM West of Naguilian, 17NM North to 17NM East of Maconacon Airport with an estimated total area of more than 1,000 square nautical miles for the whole probable search area,” said Apolonio.
“As weather condition is expected to improve today, the search and rescue (SAR) team will continue their attempt to find the said missing aircraft,” he added.
Meanwhile, the owner of the missing Cessna Plane said the aircraft has a Certificate of Airworthiness.
Reports showed that the C206 plane RPC1174 did not arrive at Maconacon Airport when it left Cauayan Airport at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Its pilot last contacted the air traffic controller at 2:19 p.m. while it was on the Naguillian Bridge. It was expected to land in Maconacon at 2:45 p.m.