Pilots’ families in deep sorrow

Ayee Macaraig
Families of the two pilots are in grief

UP THERE WITH HIM. Jemar, right, said his father loved two things: flying and God. Photo given by Jemar Bahinting

MASBATE CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – “I’m sorry for your deep loss.” These were the only words that Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas could say to Sarah Bahinting, daughter of pilot Jessup Bahinting whose body was found Tuesday morning, August 21, off Masbate.

Bahinting would have turned 61 in November.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and 3 children — Dan, also a pilot; Sarah, a nurse; and Jemar, who helped him manage their company Aviatour.

Margaret told ABS-CBN News Channel that they are “thankful to God” because they have been praying that his body be retrieved.

On August 20, Jemar told Rappler her only hope was that her father be found.

Jemar shared one of the most important lessons Bahinting taught her: do your best in everything you do, but be willing to submit to God’s plan.

“Every time I am around him, I am always amazed at the level of his hard work… he acknowledged my hard work too… but he also never fails to remind me that despite all our hard work, we can’t forget that God has a final say on things,” she said.

Co-pilot

The father and brother of Bahinting’s co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, a Nepalese, are also here, sobbing as they learned of the news that bodies have been found in the fuselage of the ill-fated plane that crashed off Masbate on August 18. They arrived here Monday noon, August 20.

Earlier, Roxas said the bodies of the pilots were found, along with that of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. The official Twitter account of President Benigno Aquino III also posted that the bodies of the pilots had been retrieved.

But Roxas later clarified to reporters in Masbate that what he is certain of, based on reports from divers, was that they found “at least one (other) body (aside from Robredo’s).”

Robredo was on the plane with his aide, Jun Abrasado, and the two pilots from Cebu en route to Naga City. The plane encountered engine problems and crashed into the waters off Masbate while attempting an emergency landing at the province’s airport. Abrasado survived the crash and was rescued by fishermen. – Rappler.com