CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – An Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed near a popular mountain resort in Baungon town in Bukidnon province on Saturday afternoon, May 28.
The military reported no casualties or major damage to any private property.
The Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV was a drone intended for military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.
Major Francisco Garello, the spokesperson of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the drone “fell” in the vicinity of Ultra Winds Mountain Resort in Baungon town.
The resort is near the old Lumbia airport of Cagayan de Oro, where the PAF’s Tactical Operations Group in Northern Mindanao is based.
Colonel Menard Mariano, the PAF spokesperson, said the Hermes 900 crashed on a vegetated area in Baungon town.
It took off from the Lumbia airport at around 9:30 am for a functional check flight (FCF), ascending some 10,000 feet.
“After finding the FCF procedure to be satisfactory, the pilots declared the termination of the test and started to descend 5,000 feet, 1.5 miles east of Lumbia airport,” Mariano said.
He said communication with the UAV was lost at around 11:46 am.
“All emergency procedures were performed and field service representatives were called for troubleshooting,” Mariano said.
He said the PAF will be conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident. – Rappler.com
Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.