Photo grab of the ill-fated Cessna 152 trainer aircraft (GMA Network photo courtesy)
After an intensive two-day search and rescue mission, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has confirmed locating the wreckage of a trainer Cessna aircraft RP-C8598.
According to CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio, the crash site was identified in close proximity to the coordinates provided by CAAP-Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordinating Center (PARCC) during the emergency briefing held by the Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Tuesday evening.
The aircraft in question, a training Cessna 152, was piloted by a Filipino flight instructor and carried an Indian student pilot. Its departure from Laoag International Airport took place at 12:16 p.m. on Tuesday.
Despite its intended touch-and-go activity at Cauayan Airport, the plane failed to arrive at its destination. Apolonio noted that the aircraft’s final position report was transmitted around 1 p.m., indicating a location approximately 32 nautical miles northwest of Alcala, Cagayan.
The search and rescue operations were deemed successful, thanks to collaborative efforts from military and police personnel, various local government units, and dedicated civilian volunteers. Tragically, the SAR teams recovered two bodies believed to be the occupants of the ill-fated Cessna 152.
CAAP’s Aviation Records Management Division (AMRD) revealed that Echo Air International Aviation Academy was the owner of the aircraft, including RP-C8598.
The aircraft held valid Airworthiness Certification and was equipped with both a transponder and an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).
The ELT plays a vital role in aviation safety, emitting distress signals in the event of a crash to aid in locating and rescuing occupants. Notably, Cessna aircraft do not incorporate black boxes due to weight considerations.
As a result of the incident, the operations of Echo Air have been temporarily suspended by CAAP.