Crash probe will be 'exhaustive' - Roxas
MANILA, Philippines - Department of Transporation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II said Thursday, August 22, the government will conduct a "comprehensive" and "exhaustive" investigation to determine what caused the plane crash that killed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, pilot Jessup Bahinting, and Nepalese co-pilot Kshitz Chand.
“This will be comprehensive and exhaustive but this is not analysis by paralysis. We will find out what happened to strengthen the safety regulations,” Roxas told reporters on the sidelines of the House hearing on DOTC's 2013 budget.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which is under DOTC, has started the investigation. It is now gathering evidence from the plane, studying the tower communication, and looking into the mobile communication of the passengers. CAAP wants to know what led to the pilot's decision to land at the Masbate airport instead of returning to Cebu.
Roxas said CAAP may invite Robredo's security aide and lone survivor Senior Insp Jun Paolo Abrazado.
Roxas gave assurances that the Philippine aviation industry is “relatively safe.”
“The aviation industry is relatively safe…This is a tragedy, a big personal loss but this does not mean that the airline industry is not safe,” Roxas said.
Engine may be sent abroad
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III earlier said that the agency may also send the aircraft’s engine overseas for investigation.
All the aircraft of Aviatour Air Inc, the operator of the Piper Seneca plane that crashed, are grounded pending the result of the investigation.
The flying school’s permit to operate was suspended early this year after its Cessna 172 crashed in Mambajao, Camiguin. It killed the pilot and one of the Norwegian passengers.
“That investigation is not yet over and that will be included in the investigation in the recent crash,” Roxas said. - Rappler.com