THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines announced on Wednesday it has suspended the operations of all Cessna-172 aircraft of a La Union-based aviation school after one of its planes crashed in the province of Ilocos Sur last week killing two people.
In a memorandum sent to the management of Leading Edge International Aviation Academy Inc. dated Oct. 25, CAAP deputy director general for administration Manuel Antonio Tamayo said the suspension was made in connection with the incident involving “one of your C-172M trainer aircraft with registration number RP-C7838 that crashed on Oct. 21 near Vitales Resort near Vigan, Ilocos Sur.”
“The lifting of the hold order will depend on the outcome of the investigation to be conducted by inspectors of the Training Organization Certification and Inspection Division [TOCID],” said Tamayo.
On Saturday, government rescue teams retrieved the bodies of the two plane crash victims – Capt. John Kaizan Estabillo and co-pilot Paola Vianca Robles—on the coastline of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. Joel E. Zurbano
Initial investigation showed that the Cessna plane C-172 was conducting a touch and go procedure at the Vigan Airport at 3:24 pm last Friday and was supposed to be back on its home base in San Fernado airport in La Union at 4:24 pm when the accident happened.
Witnesses claimed they they saw the plane got caught on a zip-line cable causing it to crash landed on the seashore.
Personnel from the Coast Guard based at Candon Northwestern sub-station in close coordination with the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council office in Santiago immediately conducted the search and rescue operation around 5:30 pm but stopped after 30 minutes due to zero visibility in the area.
The team resumed the operation around 6:45 am Saturday and recovered the bodies of the Estabillo and Robles and were brought to the shore at 7:10 am.
Leading Edge International Aviation Academy, Inc. is an aviation school that crafts and generates skills to prepare one to become a private and/or commercial pilot.
To date, the school owns and operate seven Cessna 172, two Cessna 152 and one Cessna 340.