6 dead after PH military's new Black Hawk chopper crashed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 24) — The Philippine Air Force on Thursday said no survivors were found after a newly acquired S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopter crashed during a night flight training near Capas, Tarlac.

The chopper was carrying three pilots and three crew members before it took off around 8 p.m., according to PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano.

"So far, no survivors have been found. The identities of the aircrew members will be provided as soon as the members of their families are properly notified. We grieve for the loss," PAF said in a statement.

The Polish-made aircraft was earlier reported to be late from the estimated time of return to its station at Clark Air Base, Pampanga, prompting the eventual search.

Mariano said the downed combat utility helicopter came from the first batch that was delivered in December 2020.

All other newly acquired Black Hawk helicopters will not be flown pending completion of the investigation.

The government entered into a deal with a Polish company in March 2019 to produce the helicopters so all Huey choppers can be decommissioned following a helicopter crash in Bukidnon in January. The Duterte administration spent ₱12.1 billion to acquire 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters.

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