FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija (DWDD) – At half past noon on November 7, 2017, a Cessna plane piloted by Captain Joseph Albert Galvan, with his student Alexii Cay Trinidad, emergency landed somewhere along the forested and mountainous Maria Aurora, Aurora. The plane was enroute from Lingayen Air Strip to Baler, Aurora.
The Cessna plane with serial number 152 RPC-1995 is owned by Fly Fast Aviation. The pilot was able to make an SOS call after making the emergency landing.
Upon learning of the incident, the 56th Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Edwin M Paredes immediately established an Incident Command Post (ICP) at Lublub Detachment, Barangay Lublub, Alfonso, Castañeda, Nueva Viscaya, together with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) Aurora headed by John Ryan Quirejero, the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Maria Aurora with Police Chief Inspector Balbuena, and the Chief Mechanic of Fly Fast Company, Mr. Rolly J. Nagallo. Likewise, a platoon of 56IB led by Lieutenant RomelMacalisang, along with their trained K9 Team, conducted search and rescue operations.
Military aircraft which was on standby alert at Clark Airbase, Pampanga to conduct aerial search and rescue operations was not able to enter the crash site due to bad weather. That left the army troops to move and find the crash site by foot, which took them a day to hike.
At about 1:35 p.m., the rescue team was finally able to locate the survivors, following the voice of
Trinidad who was calling for help. The wreckage was found at Barangay Decoliat, Maria Aurora, Aurora, 1,111 meters above sea level.
Capt Galvan suffered a head wound while Trinidad fractured her right leg. Troops immediately applied first aid and prepared to transfer the survivors to the nearest hospital in Baler or Cabanatuan City, however, the difficult terrain and inclement weather continue to pose a problem. The rescue team temporarily postponed their movement at around 8:40 in the evening to avoid further damage to the victims and rescuers for it will be more critical to push through the rescue.
The extrication of victims commenced at early dawn for the expected long hours of hiking while traversing the slippery and rugged terrain. Parents of Ms. Trinidad and other officials of local agencies stayed at Army Detachment and waited for the victims to be rescued while Lt Col Paredes and other 56IB personnel helped in clearing the path of the rescuers.
At 5:50 in the afternoon, Lt Col Paredes turned over Capt Galvan and Ms. Trinidad to the personnel of Aurora PDRRMO. The rescue teams successfully completed the extrication of the two victims. 7DPAO.MCAG