The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed that a Cessna 340 plane with tail number RP-C2080 has been missing since it left Bicol Airport at 6:43 yesterday morning, February 18.
According to the initial report, the aircraft was last contacted at Camalig Cement Plant after passing 2,600 feet at around 6:48 a.m. and was instructed to report 20 miles out of Bicol Airport. The CAAP Control Tower tried to contact the plane, but no response was given.
“Communication search with CAAP ATS Facilities, Manila Area Control Center, Manila Approach, Naga Tower, Clark Tower, Sangley Airport yielded negative results for further information on the aircraft,” CAAP said in a statement.
The Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center has raised the alert level to DESTRESFA, which stands for “distress phase.” This means that there is a good chance that an airplane and its people are in grave and immediate danger and need help right away.
The aircraft was under the control of the pilot-in-charge, Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr., and crew Joel Martin, with two passengers identified as Australian citizens Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan.
CAAP advised residents in the area to report any sightings of the missing aircraft to authorities.