Pilot confirmed dead, passenger missing in Isabela plane crash

AviationUpdatesPH.com – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has provided an update on the search and rescue (SAR) operations for the missing Piper PA-32-300 aircraft with registry RP-C1234 that crashed in Isabela last Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Contributed photo of RP-C1234

In an update, CAAP says the pilot of the aircraft was confirmed dead at the scene. The sole passenger who remains unaccounted for appeared to have survived the crash, as evidenced by the discovery of a makeshift shelter at the location.

"Rescuers found signs that the passenger was able to camp out," reads the CAAP press release. "By tomorrow, December 8, the rescuers will bring the pilot's remains to a helicopter landing zone, hoisted aboard, and then flown to the TOG2 in Cauayan City."

Additional teams, including K9 trackers, are being brought to the scene to aid in the search.

Search and rescue (SAR) personnel preparing to proceed to the crash site of RP-C1234. Photo from CAAP.

"Teams of K9 trackers are now being fetched from their locations to be brought to TOG2," the press release continues. "They will be flown and dropped near the wreckage. Starting at the site of the wreckage, the K9 trackers will then follow the path that the passenger took through the scent that she left on the vegetation that she passed by."

CAAP Area 2 Manager Mary Sulyn Sagorsor has confirmed that all key personnel of Cauayan Airport will continue to support the ongoing SAR operations. Airport and tower operations will remain open as needed.

The Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) has also provided guidance to the teams on how to proceed with the investigation without interfering with the search for the missing passenger.

Fliteline Airways will be providing air transportation for the rescue team tomorrow. They will pick up the team at Palanan Airport and transport them to Cauayan Airport, where they will be flown by helicopter to the area near the crash site.