Bad weather prevents search and rescue in Mayon volcano
Weather and Climate

Bad weather prevents search and rescue in Mayon volcano

Feb 22, 2023, 7:46 AM
Benjamin Lim

Benjamin Lim

Writer

A Philippine Air Force reconnaisance flight failed to land at Mayon Volcano where a wreckage of a small plane was spotted two days ago.

Bad weather on Tuesday has prevented the search and rescue team to reach the possible crash site of Cessna 340 (Caravan) that went missing on February 18, 2023.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Philippine Air Force (PAF) Black Hawk helicopter with CAAP Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) personnel made an aerial operations but yielded negative results on their first three attempts due to bad weather.

According to CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio, the military aircraft took off at the old airport on early morning and tried several times to land at the designated drop- off point at the Mayon Volcano.

However, they were unable to find a safe landing spot at the designated drop off point due to intensified winds in the area.

The Office of the Civil Defense in Region 5 two days ago was able to produce a photo of an aircraft suspected to be the missing Cessna 340 near the volcano crater taken through drone.

Apolonio said that the agency cannot confirm if the wreckage of a plane spotted near the crater was the missing RP-C2080, unless seen at very close range.

He said the search party was allowed to proceed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to Mayon Volcano but still dangerous for the ground rescue team as it still on Alert Level 2 of volcanic activity.

A Notice-to-Airmen (Notam) issued by CAAP "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."

The RP-C2080, which was bound for Manila, took off from Bicol International Airport on Saturday morning with two Filipino pilots and two Australian passengers.

The missing Cessna 340, which is operated by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), is compliant with CAAP's airworthiness certification, the CAAP said.

A CAAP update report said later in the afternoon that AAIIB personnel has positively identified the aircraft's wreckage using a high resolution camera amid weather disturbances.

"As of now, the condition of the crew and passengers are not yet known as the exact site has not yet been reached by the SAR (search and rescue) team due to bad weather," the CAAP said in a Viber message.

CAAP added that the wreckage sote is locayed at the weat side slope of Mayon Volcano at the elevation of 3,500 to 4,000 feet.

Tags: #Cessna, #AirForce, #MayonVolcano, #Phivolcs, #Pagasa


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