File photo of the C-130 that crashes in Patikul, Sulu on July 4, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army 11ID)

Material, human, and environmental factors were determined by the Philippine Air Force Accident Investigation Board (PAFAIB) as the causes of the ill-fated C-130 crash in Sulu, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

The AFP, in an issued statement through the office of spokesperson Col. Ramon P. Zagala, said that based on the investigation report, “no single factor can be attributed to having exclusively caused the accident”.

“It was most probably due to actual or perceived material factors, and induced human factors which were aggravated by local and environment conditions,” the AFP statement said.

“The aircraft component, the environmental condition, and aircrew response led to unrecoverable stall in a critical phase of the aircraft operation,” it added.

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On the crash of the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter in Tarlac, the AFP said a confluence of events also triggered the accident.

The helicopter unintentionally entered a thunderstorm, which may have harmed its systems, and was exacerbated by spatial disorientation or vertigo [on the part of] the pilot as the reason for the disaster, according to investigators.

The AFP said the investigation aimed to identify the reason for the crash rather than assign blame, as is standard procedure when dealing with wrecked airplanes throughout the world.

“This will help us avoid similar events in the future by implementing additional safety initiatives, strengthening protocols and procedures, as well as instituting training interventions for our aircrew and personnel,” the military said. “This shall put further protection [on] our assets, especially our members who continue to risk their lives to protect our people and the country”.

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