Search continues for missing Cessna plane and passengers in Isabela

Search continues for missing Cessna plane and passengers in Isabela

Philippine Army search and rescue teams continue their efforts to find the missing Cessna 206 plane and its passengers in Isabela. Distress signal not detected by aviation authorities. Photo: Isabela Pmfc Uno/ Facebook

A frantic search for a missing Cessna 206 plane and its six passengers continues in the eastern seaboard of Isabela, Philippines. The aircraft took off from Cauayan Airport in Isabela on January 24th and was supposed to land at Maconacon Airport after a 30-minute flight. 

However, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) declared the plane missing an hour after takeoff. The search and rescue mission is being carried out by three teams from the 95th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

According to Army Spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad, two teams, each consisting of 9 to 10 personnel, are currently searching the mountainous areas of Barangay Sapinit in Divilacan, while the third team of 15 soldiers is searching the forests of Barangay Dicaruyan in the same town. 

The army leadership has commended the search and rescue teams for their tireless efforts to locate the missing passengers despite the inclement weather and the rugged terrain of Sierra Madre.

CAAP confirmed on Sunday that the missing Cessna 206 sent no distress signal to the Philippines Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System (CNS/ATM). 

The aviation agency said that it checked the emergency locator transmitter (ELT), a piece of equipment that serves as a tracking device for small aircraft like Cessna 206, but it did not receive any signal. 

According to CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio, several factors could have prevented the ELT from activating, such as impact or if the plane fell into the water. The exact cause remains unknown. —iTacloban (Source: Abante, ABS-CBN News)

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