The missing Cessna 340, which had the tail number RP-C2080, was found in the vicinity of the crater of the Mayon Volcano in Camalig, Albay on Sunday.
However, the pilot and the passengers are yet to be found, Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr. told the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“Pilot Capt. Rufino James T. Crisostomo Jr., crew Joel G. Martin, and two Australian passengers, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan have yet to be found,” Baldo said. It was located in Camalig around 3 p.m.
Chipperfield and Santanan, both of Australia, are technical consultants for the Energy Development Corporation.
The twin-engine piston pressurized business aircraft with tail number RP-C2080 was located more than 32 hours after departing the Bicol International Airport on February 18.
It reportedly crashed in the higher portion of Brgy. Quirangay along the Anoling gulley, less than two kilometers from the Forest Rangers Incident Command Post of the local government.
“Search and rescue operations are still in effect unless bodies are found, then will be declared as search and retrieval operations,” he said yesterday.
Considering the dangers posed by Mayon Volcano’s current Alert Level 2 status, the mayor stated that the search and rescue team is collaborating closely with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and with the assistance of line national agencies.
Baldo added that the municipal authority of Camalig would develop guidelines for search and rescue/retrieval operations and prioritize the safety of rescuers.
The six-seater aircraft flew out of Bicol at 6:43 a.m on Saturday and was supposed to land in Manila by 7:53 a.m.
It is the second Cessna reported missing in the first quarter of the year. The first, with tail number RP-C1174, went missing on January 24, 2023, after taking off from Isabela with six passengers onboard—pilot Captain Eleazar Mark Joven and passengers Tommy Manday, Val Kamatoy, Mark Eiron Siguerra, Xam Siguerra, and Josefa Perla España.