2 pilots dead after Air Force plane crashes in Bataan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — Two Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots died after their plane crash-landed in Pilar, Bataan Wednesday morning, according to PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo.

In a statement, Castillo said the SF260TP Marchetti aircraft with tail number 701 took off at around 10:00 a.m. at Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite City for the pilots' recurrency or training flight.

"At around 10:40 a.m., the aircraft was reportedly seen to be descending to a field in Sitio Tabon, Brgy. Del Rosario, Pilar, Bataan where it eventually crashed," she said.

Castillo said no civilian casualties were reported.

She earlier told reporters they received the last signal from the military plane at around 10:34 a.m. before losing track of its flight.

"Our aircraft accident investigation team is already at the site for a thorough investigation, while our SF260TP fleet has been grounded," she said.

According to the Northern Luzon Command, the bodies of the pilots were transferred to Martinez Funeral Homes in Pilar town.

Castillo described the SF260TP as a light attack combat aircraft which is a "highly maneuverable and fully aerobatic basic trainer aircraft of the PAF."

"It was used during the Marawi siege and various combat missions of the PAF," she said, adding that it is capable of performing various tasks including close air support, battlefield air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, persuasion flight, and aerial demonstration.

The PAF vowed to assist the bereaved families and that it will continue its usual mandate of giving air support for focused military operations and disaster response.

The crash comes after a Cessna plane with six people on board went missing in Isabela province on Tuesday.

READ: Search for missing Cessna plane with 6 passengers now at 'full scale'