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Missing Cessna plane in Bicol found —CAAP

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Tuesday said the Cessna aircraft reported missing in Bicol over the weekend has been found.

In a statement, CAAP said its Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB), which is part of the search and rescue operations for the search of the Cessna 340 aircraft (RP-C2080), "has positively identified the aircraft's wreckage."

"The wreckage site is located at the west side slope of Mayon Volcano at the elevation of 3500-4000 ft.,"  the CAAP said.

"The wreckage was identified using a high resolution camera."

However, the condition of the crew and passengers of the plane has yet to be known as members of the rescue team have yet to reach the exact crash site due to bad weather, the CAAP said. 

The plane was carrying four people — the pilot, a crew member, and two passengers.

CAAP earlier said the Cessna 340 (Caravan) aircraft with registry number RP-C2080 departed Bicol International Airport at 6:43 a.m. last Saturday.

Air traffic controllers last contacted the aircraft at 6:46 a.m., when the plane was approaching the Camalig Bypass Road at an altitude of 2,600 feet.

The plane was expected to arrive in Manila at 7:53 a.m. 


Earlier Tuesday, the search and rescue team, using a military chopper and aircraft, attempted to reach the wreckage site in Mayon Volcano three times but failed due to intensified winds in the area.

"The first three attempts yielded negative results and decided to return due to bad weather," the CAAP said in an earlier statement.

The attempts were made at 6:33 a.m., 9:01 a.m., and 10:15 a.m.

"As of 01:15 p.m., the SAR team has once again departed for the mission, taking off at 01:09 p.m.," the CAAP said.

The CAAP said the team will also try to use ATV cars to reach the crash site by land if the weather is good.

"A notice to airmen (NOTAM) (B0614/23) is in place advising flight operations to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as the volcano is on Alert Level 2 (increased unrest) and ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft," CAAP said.

Textron Aviation, formerly Cessna, has 151 actively registered aircraft with CAAP. The missing Cessna aircraft was compliant with airworthiness certification, the CAAP said.

The CAAP Airworthiness Department is responsible for the certification, continuous inspection, and surveillance of certified air operators on airworthiness aspects and the issuance, renewal, and validation of certificates of airworthiness. —with Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA Integrated News


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