Wreckage of second missing Cessna plane located in Albay

Aviation Updates Philippines – Possible debris from the missing Cessna 340A, with registry RP-C2080, has reportedly been found in a village at the foot of Mayon Volcano in Camalig, Albay, on Sunday.

Photo from Rep. Joey Salceda

According to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Senior Supt. Achilles Santiago of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Albay stated that the wreckage of Cessna aircraft was found at the boundary of Guinobatan and Camalig towns, based on a report at 3:50 PM from the Bicol unit of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Additionally, the Inquirer report mentions that BFP-Albay stated that the Manila-bound plane departed from Bicol International Airport (BIA) at 6:43 AM amid moderate rainfall. The aircraft maintained communication with the BIA tower a few minutes after takeoff.

Aboard the plane were Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr., mechanic Joel Martin, and two Australian passengers, Simon Chipperfield and Kathri Santanan.

As of 11:42 AM on Sunday, around 256 personnel, 12 drones, and four K9 dogs were deployed in the villages of Anoling and Quirangay for the search and rescue operations. The local government unit of Camalig, the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Office of Civil Defense, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council have all been informed.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed that the aircraft went missing on Saturday morning shortly after departure from Bicol International Airport.

CAAP's Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center (PARCC) elevated the alert to "Distress Phase" on Saturday morning. The aviation regulatory body dispatched officers from its Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) to investigate the incident.

This latest incident comes just weeks after another small aircraft, a Cessna 206, with registry RP-C1174, went missing on Jan. 24, 2023, after leaving Cauayan Airport en route to Maconacon Airport, both in Isabela province. Despite three weeks of search and rescue operations, the subject aircraft is still missing. The aviation authorities attributed the difficulties in locating the plane to the weather and vegetation cover in the mountainous area.

With reports from INQUIRER.net, ABC News, The Manila Times