The Daily Manila Shimbun


Seven perish in Bukidnon helicopter crash

January 17, 2021

Seven people, including members of the Philippine Army and Air Force, perished after a UH-1H helicopter crashed in Bukidnon on Saturday afternoon.

Initial report from police said the helicopter with tail number 517 crashed at the vicinity of Sitio Nahigit, Brgy. Bulonay, Impasugong Bukidnon, around 2:22 pm.

"The UH-1H was observed in nose dive position before hitting the ground that resulted to a total wrecked," the police report said.

"No survivors were seen in the area," it added.

The Air Force personnel onboard the helicopter were identified as Lt. Col. Arnie Arroyo, pilot in command; 2nd Lt. Mark Anthony Caabay, the co-pilot; Staff Sgt. Mervin Bersabi, the crew chief and gunner and another gunner identified as Airman 1st Class Stephen Agarrado.

Other military personnel on the aircraft were Sgt. Julius Salvador of the Philippine Army, one Jerry Ayukdo of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary, and a still to be identified personnel of the 8th Infantry Battalion.

Lt. Col. Aristides Galang, PAF spokesman, said the helicopterfrom the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing encountered a mishap while conducting resupply mission for the 8th Infantry Battalion with another UH-1H chopper.

"Members of the 8th IB rushed to the crash site to secure the aircraft and the ill-fated aircrew and passengers.

The Philippine Air Force will immediately be sending an investigation team to determine the cause of the mishap," he said.

"Meanwhile, the PAF assures the public, that all of its air assets, including the UH-1H, undergo strict, regular, and redundant maintenance inspections before and after flight missions," he added.

Galang said "the men and women of the Philippine Air Force, led by the Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes, deeply grieves and extends the Command's sympathies to thefamilies of the brave heroes who have offered their lives in the line of duty." Robina Asido/DMS