Indian student and Filipino trainer killed in tragic plane crash in Philippines
In a horrifying incident that’s sent shockwaves through the aviation community, an Indian student, Anshum Rajkumar Konde, along with his Filipino trainer pilot, Capt. Edzel John Lumbao Tabuzo, were killed when their two-seater Echo Air Cessna 152 plane plummeted from the sky and crashed in Apayao province in the northern Philippines.
Despite frantic efforts to conduct a search and rescue operation involving the Philippine Air Force, army troops, and other government personnel, the rescue team has been unable to retrieve the bodies due to relentless bad weather. Tragically, this marks the third crash involving a Cessna plane in the country within this year.
Details of the Tragic Crash
The crash’s chilling details emerged as local media reported that the Cessna aircraft had mysteriously gone missing on Tuesday afternoon after taking off from Laoag International Airport. It was supposed to reach Tuguegarao Airport by 3.16 p.m. The last signal transmission from the ill-fated aircraft was received 35 nautical miles northwest of Alcala, Cagayan. Joeffrey Borromeo, head of Apayao Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), identified the crash site at the border of Barangay Salvacion, Luna town, and Barangay San Mariano in Pudtol town.
Failed Rescue Attempts Amid Bad Weather
A desperate rescue mission is underway as the civil aviation authority dispatched a Philippine Air Force Black Hawk to the crash site, but the chopper has yet to find a spot to land due to inclement weather conditions. The stormy weather has also impeded the efforts of army troops and government personnel deployed for the search operation.
Echo Air Operations Suspended, Questions Raised
Adding to the complexity of the situation, Eric Apolonio, a spokesperson for the civil aviation agency, reported that the plane received clearance to take off from Laoag. Questions are now swirling about the flight’s approval, especially given the recent passage of typhoon Doksuri through the region. In a swift move, all operations of the aircraft’s operator, Echo Air International Aviation Academy, have been suspended.