Last week, a C130 Hurcules aircraft crashed last week near Davao. So far, they haven’t found it. What they know is that the aircraft took off from Davao International Airport a couple of hours after nightfall, in the rain – a heavy thunderstorm. In less than 10 minutes, the plane was gone, never to be heard of again. They have been searching for it ever since, but have not found the crash site.
It is virtually certain that the plane crashed into the Gulf of Davao, most likely near to Samal Island, but nothing can be certain yet. They feel that they have narrowed down the crash area because of the places where debris from the plane (including body parts of the people who were aboard the plane) have been found. However, there is no concrete evidence of where the plane is yet. A few fishermen claim to have seen the plane hit the water, some of them say that the plane was struck by lightning before crashing, but that is not confirmed. Nine Philippine Military people were aboard the doomed plane, all of which are presumed dead.
Yesterday, a US Navy Ship arrived in the Davao Gulf, the USNS John McDonnell. The ship is here to assist the Philippine government in finding the crashed plane. The US ship is equipped with more modern sonar capability than is available here in the Philippines.
Another problem that is hindering the effort to find the crash is that the Davao International Airport has no radar. Because of this, they had no fix on where the plane was when it disappeared.
I don’t think that the Philippine Government is claiming this officially, but I heard one military person on the TV News saying that the United States has some blame in this accident, because they gave the C130 to the Philippine military, and the plane must have had some defect to cause the crash. The problem with that, though, is that the US gave the plane to the Philippine government in the 1980’s! Now, I think it would be more likely that the US had no blame in this incident, rather maybe a maintenance problem, pilot error, or most likely weather. I found it frankly insulting to have somebody blame the US for having given the plane.
I certainly hope that the crash is found, and that the bodies of those who were killed can be recovered.