CAAP: Plaridel crash investigation could take up to a month

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — It could take some time before the public knows what happened in the Plaridel plane crash.

This, according to Civil Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio who said it may take up to a month before results on the investigation are revealed.

Apolonio said they would not be able to release any information as the investigation into the crash was still ongoing.

 

Apolonio also said that unfortunately in this case, the plane had no black box that could tell what really happened.

A black box contains the plane's flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, a very crucial piece of equipment in crash investigations, he said.

"They don't have it because of the weight and the cost of installing it in that aircraft," he said.

Despite the absence of the black box, Apolonio said the cause of the crash could still be established as CAAP investigators are fully trained to make a determination in these types of cases.

He added Lite Air Express, the company who operates the plane, is required to submit all records about the aircraft and face the family of those who died in the crash.

"Definitely, they have to because they're the one liable for supporting these victims," he said.

Apolonio also said that improvements for the airport were also in the pipeline.

Ten people, including three minors, were killed after a small plane crashed into a residential area in Plaridel, Bulacan on Saturday.

CAAP said a six-seater Piper PA-23 Apache aircraft operated by Lite Air Express bound for Laoag, Ilocos Norte crashed upon takeoff from Plaridel Airport at 11:21 a.m.

At around 5 p.m., the Plaridel police said they had retrieved 10 bodies from the site of the crash in Barangay Lumang Bayan.

All five people onboard the plane died in the crash:

  • Capt. Ruel M. Meloria (Pilot)
  • Romeo H. Huenda (Chief Mechanic)
  • Alicia N. Necesario (Passenger)
  • Maria Vera F. Pagaduan (Passenger)
  • Nelson T. Melgar (Passenger)

The five other casualties belonged to a family living in the house the plane crashed into.

The local social welfare office identified them as Rissa Dela Rosa, a mother and her children John Noel Dela Rosa, 17, Timothy Noel, 10, and Krissa, 7. The grandmother, Luisa Santos, 75, also died from the incident.