PNP chopper that crashed has no flight recorder

Rambo Talabong
Ideally, flight recorders—known for their misnomer "black boxes"—contain flight data and the voice recording of the pilots and passengers useful for flight crash investigations

NO BLACK BOX. The helicopter carrying PNP Chief General Archie Gamboa and other police officials crashes in Barangay San Antonio, San Pedro, Laguna on March 5, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The helicopter carrying Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa that crashed Thursday, March 5, has no flight recorder.

“According to the provincial director of Laguna who happens to be a pilot, this Bell 429 doesn’t have a black box,” said Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar in an interview with reporters on Friday, March 6.

(WATCH: Video catches takeoff, crash of helicopter carrying PNP chief Gamboa)

Ideally, flight recorders—known for their misnomer “black boxes”—contain flight data and the voice recording of the pilots and passengers. Flight recorders are tools used in investigating aviation-related crashes.

Eleazar is currently leading the task group formed to probe the crash of the helicopter, which left two top generals in “critical condition.”

In videos obtained by Rappler, the ill-starred helicopter could be seen taking off from a dusty area in San Pedro, Laguna, obscuring visibility. Seconds after taking flight, the helicopter got entangled with electric power lines, forcing it to crash. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.