An agricultural plane hit a live wire during an aerial spraying activity at a banana plantation in Davao del Norte on Saturday morning, killing the pilot instantaneously.
Eric Apolonio, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesperson and chief information officer, said the agency withheld the identity of the pilot pending the notification of family members.
Apolonio said the incident happened around 6:53 a.m. at the banana plantation in Barangays Kasilak and Mangalcal in the boundary towns of Carmen and Panabo.
“Initial investigation showed that the pilot must have been blinded by the glare of the sun, causing him to hit and get entangled in a high-tension wire,” the CAAP report stated.
It also showed that the lone pilot was flying a Grumman G-164 Ag Cat, a single-engine biplane agricultural aircraft with registration number RP-R 5388 during the spraying activity.
The aircraft’s airframe, engine, and propeller were also damaged in the crash.
CAAP director general Capt. Jim Sydiongco dispatched Aircraft Accident and Incident Inquiry Board investigators to the site to assess the accident.
Two days ago, Sydiongco also created an AAIIB special team headed by chief investigator Rainier Baculinao to investigate the helicopter crash in Bulacan, which led to the death of three people, including a prominent Pampanga-based businessman.
The fatalities were identified as Liberato “Levy” Laus, owner of the CarWorld chain of car dealerships and CLTV36, a regional TV station; pilot Capt. Eber Coronel; and Laus’ bodyguard Wilfran Esteban. Joel E. Zurbano
CAAP officials said the investigation will determine if the incident was triggered by mechanical trouble or “might be a pilot’s error or something else.”
The helicopter, owned and operated by LGC Air Transport, left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport General Aviation hangar around 12:28 p.m. last Wednesday and was bound for San Fernando, Pampanga. Joel E. Zurbano