A training aircraft with two pilots on board was confirmed to have crashed in Bataan. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) reported that one of its SIAI-Marchetti SF-260TP trainer/light attack turboprop aircraft with tail number 701, went down in Barangay Del Rosario in Pilar town at around 10:30 in the morning.
Philippine Air Force’s spokesperson, Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo, stated that the plane was from Sangley, Cavite and that there were two pilots involved, but could not give further details as the investigation is still ongoing. In accordance with standard operating procedure, all SF-260TP aircrafts in the PAF’s service have been grounded during the investigation.
The “recurrency training” refers to the training given to aircrew members or pilots to be proficient in a particular aircraft. The aircraft was assigned to the 15th Strike Wing, which is based at the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite.
The aircraft was reportedly seen descending to a field in Sitio Tabon, Barangay Del Rosario, Pilar, Bataan where it eventually crashed. Unfortunately, both PAF pilots perished in the mishap, and no civilian casualties were reported. The PAF aircraft accident investigation team is already at the site for a thorough investigation.
The SF260TP is a highly maneuverable and fully aerobatic basic trainer aircraft that serves as a light attack combat aircraft for the PAF. It was used during the Marawi siege and various combat missions of the PAF. It is capable of performing close air support, battlefield air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, persuasion flight, armed escort, maritime patrol, air cover, flare drop, forward air controller, and aerial demonstration.
The Philippine Air Force has requested the public to refrain from spreading unconfirmed or unofficial news and pictures about the incident and assures that all necessary aid, assistance, and support will be provided to the bereaved families.
The PAF also assures the public that in spite of this mishap, the command will continue to perform its usual mandate to provide air support for focused military operations and disaster response.