Gordon urges deep probe on helicopter crash, suggests sufficient safety protocols to airmen

Gordon urges deep probe on helicopter crash, suggests sufficient safety protocols to airmen

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Following the crash of the ill-fated S-7-I Black Hawk helicopter
earlier this week, Senator Richard Gordon asks that all pilots be
given the right equipment and training for the operation of military
aircraft.

The latest in military mishaps happened on the evening of June 23 when
the helicopter crashed at approximately 8 at night. Six airmen
perished in the accident, and the incident was not found out until
6:30 the following morning.

“It would be best to give the right support to our men in uniform,”
says Senator Gordon. “To have lost six souls during a training
exercise is unfortunate. And to not have retrieved their bodies until
more than ten hours after is heartbreaking.”

Black Hawk helos were procured from Poland first in late 2020. They
were manufactured by Poland’s PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of Lockheed
Martin also acquired the original maker of the Black Hawk. A
total of sixteen helicopters was acquired by the Philippine
government from the Polish government in a contract work US$241
million and were bought under a five-year Horizon 2 modernization
program. Six helicopters were delivered in 2020 and the next five
units were recently delivered in June 2021.

A post in Inquirer.net however, quoted Philippine Defense Secretary
Delfin Lorenzana that there was an approval for 32 more Black Hawks
for a total of 48 units.

“It is possible that these brand-new helicopters that we acquired
could be faulty. They could pose a danger to our men in the air as
well as to our citizens on the ground,” continues Gordon. “We have a
responsibility to our military to keep them safe and secure with the
right vehicles, equipment, and training since they willingly put their
lives in danger in the field.” (AI/MTVN)

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