Cessna plane previously missing located in Apayao

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MANILA, Philippines — A two-seater single engine Cessna 152 trainer plane that went missing on Tuesday afternoon was found in Apayao yesterday.

Apayao Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Jeoffrey Borromeo confirmed that the crash site was found at the boundary of Barangay Salvacion in Luna town and Barangay San Mariano in Pudtol, Apayao, according to a post on the official Facebook page of the Cagayan provincial information office.

The post did not give details about the two passengers, said to be a pilot instructor and a student pilot.

National Disaster Risk reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) deputy spokesperson Diego Mariano said search and retrieval operations are ongoing.

The NDRRMC said it has yet to confirm information that the two passengers of the aircraft have been found dead at the crash site.

The plane, which is operated by Echo Air, took off at around 12:16 p.m. from the Laoag International Airport on Tuesday and was supposed to arrive at around 3:16 p.m. at the Tuguegarao airport in Cagayan.

Mariano said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Philippine Air Force and other government agencies helped locate the missing plane.

CAAP had earlier said it received an INCERFA message from the Tuguegarao flight service station (FSS), which refers to uncertainty about the safety of an aircraft and its passengers, at around 2:37 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tuguegarao FSS searched with aviation authorities in Cauayan, Vigan and Lallo, but received no information on the location of the plane.

A missionary helicopter tried to conduct search and rescue operations, but returned due to bad weather in the area.

The Cagayan public information office said the last known position of the trainer plane was reported at 32 nautical miles northwest of Alcala, Cagayan, at an altitude of 7,500 feet. — Michael Punongbayan

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