ORTIGOZA: Experts blame pilots on PNP’s chopper crash

March 21, 2020 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

When I posted at Facebook my take on the ill-fated P435 million Bell 429 Super Ranger helicopter bought by the Philippine National Police from Canada in 2018, I had interesting responses from three persons who know the nuances of a chopper.

My post after the multi-purpose Bell 429 was shrouded by thick dark dust that caused her front skids to trip a high tension wire, tailspin, and plunge to the ground that hurt four generals, one of whom is my bilas (my missus brother-in-law) Director for Intelligence Major General Mariel Magaway:


“Iyong “turturugong tambaloslos”na mga piloto. Pag landing pa lang alam na na pag magtake off dudoble ang alikabok at pueding sumabit sa katabing gawad ng kuryente bakit hindi binasa ng tubig ng bumbero iyong landing ground?” I posted.

“They did not douse with water the uncemented landing zone,” An air force sergeant who is my town mate agreed with my observation that the two seasoned Lieutenant Colonel pilots should know that upon landing, those tolerable dust would quantify because of the power of the two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 turbo shaft engines that kicked off those four main rotors.

My wife told me that before the March 5 landing, a firetruck had drenched the night before the landing zone. But I retorted that probably the dousing was haphazardly done because Chief PNP Director General Archie Gamboa and party (eight of them including the three crews upon inspection of those impounded vehicles at the Highway Patrol’s Office in San Pedro, Laguna Province immediately left the area for a regional police command conference in Calamba, Laguna.

“Tama sir, dapat nag probing flight muna sila para ma check ang mga hazard,’ the Non-Commissioned Officer told me.

The pilots of this multi-million pesos chopper were investigated after they blew away the tents of the attendees led by President Rodrigo Duterte and toppled the giant LED screen during the police annivesary at Camp Crame, Quezon City in August 2018.

“Attendees of the event scurried to safety after the Bell 429 helicopter performing a salute flew too close and sent strong gusts that turned over the tent covering them from the rain. No one was injured in the incident”.

The damage to the LED panels, however, cost the government around P3 million to repair.

At least there was a lesson learned from that crash among aviation stakeholders, the sarge added.

But the most interesting of the exchanges on my post was from Ferdinand Senior, a Saluyot from Batac, Ilokoslovakia but works as pilot-mechanics in Louisiana, United States of America.

“Pinakita ko ang video ng heli ng magtake off sa mga kasamahang kong pilots at aircraft mechanics dito sabi nga nila bago palang take off pag suck ng intake sa alikabok at small debris may tama na compressor at turbine at yong pilot, too crazy for doing it sabi nga nila seconds lang IFR na agad yan pag take off”.

Ferdinand, an avid member of MaxDefense (prestigious aviation community page at Facebook) where I am a member, too, told me what the pilots had done was violation of the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

Geez, this writer, who knows only how to tinker with the engine of his sedan, was stupefied when he said that those small debris being sucked to the compressor and turbine prejudiced the air worthiness of the P435 million monster.

What a waste of hard earned taxpayers money that those corrupt members of the Bureau of Internal Revenue try to collect for the cash strapped government who struggled how to fund those hefty air assets for its military and police modernization.

Here’s Australian based pilot Denmark Suede takes on that crash imbroglio:

“From the very start mali na ang landing zone. Wala sila sa combat condition to warrant a landing sa alikabok”.

The Bell 429 GlobalRanger, according to Wikipidea, is a light, twin-engine helicopter developed by Bell Helicopter and Korea Aerospace Industries. First flight of the Bell 429 prototype took place on February 27, 2007, and the aircraft received type certification on July 1, 2009. The Bell 429 is capable of single-pilot IFR and Runway Category A operations.

 It received type certification from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) on July 1, 2009. The helicopter is a single-pilot IFR Category A helicopter. It is capable of operating with one engine inoperative

(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: News.

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