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Search for missing Cessna plane in Isabela still ongoing, CAAP says

Search for missing Cessna plane in Isabela still ongoing, CAAP says

The search for the Cessna plane which went missing in Isabela last January is still ongoing, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said on Sunday.

"Tuloy-tuloy pa rin simula noong ma-declare 'yan noong January 24 na missing. Hanggang ngayon ay tuloy-tuloy. Ngayong umaga magpapalipad pa rin tayo ng ating air assets if weather permits," CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

(The search operation continues since the plane was first declared missing on January 24. Up to now, the search continues. This morning, we will have air assets fly if weather permits.)

Apolonio said CAAP issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday lifting the flight ban from Cauayan, Isabela to Bongabon, Nueva Ecija since it was determined that the missing plane was not on that flight path.

"Na-lift natin 'yung in-issue nating pagbabawal na paglipad between Cauayan to Bongabon. Open na sa commercial operations dahil wala doon sa area na 'yon 'yung ating hinahanap," he said.

(We lifted the NOTAM we issued which disallows flights between Cauayan to Bongabon. It is now open to commercial operations because the missing plane is not on that flight path.)

The said Cessna C206 plane RPC 1174 took off from Cauayan Airport in Isabela at 2:15 p.m. on January 24 heading for Maconacon town.

On board the light aircraft were its pilot and five passengers.

The pilot last communicated with air traffic controllers at around 2:19 p.m. in Naguilian.

The plane was expected to arrive at Maconacon at 2:45 p.m.

Isabela Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said then that the weather was clear when the plane left Cauayan Airport, but the wind around Sierra Madre was reportedly "turbulent."

An object that could be debris from the missing Cessna plane was spotted by residents near Barangay Sapinit in Divilacan, Isabela, according to Isabela Provincial Information Office administrative officer Joshua Hapinat.

A team on the ground is also continuing the search operation.

They are zeroing in on a 500-meter cliff in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Divilacan after K-9 search dogs tracked a foul smell emanating from the area, according to a report on 24 Oras Weekend.

The dogs were first allowed to sniff the clothes of two child passengers. They all then proceeded near the cliff. 


 —KG, GMA Integrated News