Cagayan de Oro City – A Philippine Air Force helicopter on a supply run to troops in a secluded part of mountainous Bukidnon province last week crashed allegedly due to engine trouble shortly after take-off killing all seven aboard, including a colonel.
The ill-fated helicopter – a Vietnam-era Huey – had reportedly departed Cagayan de Oro City delivering supplies to an advance patrol outpost when its engine sputtered causing it to crash into a ricefield near Malaybalay City.
The Huey (UH-1H) helicopter was called the workhorse of the US military during the Vietnam War in the 1970s.
The fatalities were identified as Lt. Col. Arnie Arroyo, the piloy; 2/Lt. Mark Anthony Caabay, co-pilot; Sgt. Mervin Bersabe; A/1C Stephen Agarrado; Sgt. Julius Salvado; and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit members Jerry Ayocdo and Jhamel Sugalang.
Last November 2020, another PAF Huey helicopter airlifting soldiers wounded in a bomb blast crashed in Lanao del Sur, killing one passenger and injuring crewmember.
Photo: Philippines News.Net