Inclement weather continued to hamper the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the missing Cessna plane with six people on board in Isabela province.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) officials said the military and civilian efforts to find Cessna 206 RP-C1174 will continue depending on the weather conditions.
CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio said the “ongoing SAR operations for the missing aircraft utilizing two Air Force Huey helicopters had been suspended due to bad weather in the area this morning.”
“The aerial surveillance continues as soon as weather permits,” he added.
Apolonio said the government also sought assistance from Hong Kong Mission Control Center using their Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system to review and evaluate any possible distress alerts received relative to the search area.
But the Hong Kong Mission Control Center stated there was no sign. It then requested Japan Mission Control Center (JAMCC) to do the same, but also gave negative results.
The CAAP decided to extend the hours and early opening of Cauayan Airport for the SAR operations, and the continuous close monitoring and coordination with concerned government units and agencies.
Apolonio said two investigators from CAAP Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) were already at Cauayan airport for immediate deployment. He added CAAP is also coordinating with the airport management for possible night operations in Cauayan.
“Ground search units were reminded to equipped with Beacons during their search operations as bad weather and rains hampers land search operations,” said Apolonio.
On Tuesday, the C206 plane failed to arrive at Maconacon Airport when it left Cauayan Airport at 2:15 p.m. 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.
Air traffic controllers earlier initiated a “communication search” after the plane did not respond half an hour after it was supposed to land at a remote airstrip.