MANILA, Philippines - After 6 months of searching, the body of the last missing pilot of an SF-260 trainer plane that crashed in Mariveles, Bataan in May has finally been found.
The Philippine Air Force said on Sunday, November 4, that the body of 1st Lt. Michael Arugay was found on Saturday by local fishermen the coast of Mariveles, Bataan.
The Air Force immediately sent a team to retrieve the body and confirmed the identity of the student pilot. PAF chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz dispatched a SOKOL helicopter to airlift the body.
"The discovery of his body puts to a close the tragic end of the ill-fated flight," said PAF spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol.
The ill-fated SF 260 TP "Warrior," piloted by Arugay and Major Neil Tumaneng, plunged on May 18 into the uninhabited island of La Monja, by Manila Bay, after taking off from a nearby air force base. The cause of the crash was unknown.
The headless cadaver of Tumaneng was found on August, while the wreckage of the training plane was recovered on September.
Two pilots were conducting a routine flight proficiency exercise when the tragedy struck. Okol described two as trained pilots who “have been around for quite a while.”
"Rest assured that we will learn from it and ensure that it will not happen again," Okol said. - Rappler.com