In a phone interview yesterday, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said the trainer planes would be grounded while the incident is being investigated.
“The SF-260s were grounded immediately after the incident,” he said. “They will be in their respective hangars until the completion of the investigation.”
Canaya said Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado has formed a panel that would look into the crash. Three factors are being considered in determining the cause of the accident: human error, mechanical failure and conditions in the environment, he added.
Canaya said the crash and the grounding of the SF-260 planes will have an effect on the training of Air Force pilots.
“There will be slight delays in the training but they can catch up once the investigation is completed,” he said.
An SF-260 plane crashed around 300 meters off the shoreline of Barangay Bucana in Nasugbu, Batangas at 9:40 a.m. Capt. John Bayao and his student, 1Lt. Nazer Jana, died.
Their remains were taken to Villamor Air Base in Pasay City after being retrieved about 20 meters beneath the sea.
The plane took off from Fernando Air Base in Lipa City at around 9:07 a.m. for a training mission.
The Air Force has started retrieval operations for the plane.
Philippine Air Force SF 260 used as primary trainer aircraft.