|Divers have recovered the flight plan of the ill-fated plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Photo courtesy of Mar Roxas
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and local officials in Masbate said divers have recovered the flight plan of the ill-fated plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo that crashed on Saturday.
Roxas said the flight plan, carrying the name of Robredo, pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting, Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, and Robredo aide Jun Abrazado, have been recovered by divers. He said it was one more definitive sign of the plane’s location.
Quoting a diver, Roxas said the manifest was found “150 feet alongside ‘tracks’ on sea bed along N-S heading.”
A sonar equipment has been deployed in the area, looking for any aberrations on the seabed or marks of a plane crash.
Masbate public information office officer Merien Esber said the manifest was found complete. It was only damaged when divers rose towards the surface of the sea.
Roxas added that “so far the paper flight plan is the only item recovered other than the wing part.”
Earlier, Masbate Vice Mayor Allan Cos told ANC that it appears the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy "have detected something beneath the sea of about 200 feet.”
“May mga sonars na dito, technical diving na makakasisid sila hanggang sa about 100 to 130 feet. They are now focusing on that area,” he said.
Cos said they are hoping that the debris will give them clues on the whereabouts of Robredo and the two pilots.
“Perhaps within an hour or two, we can get specific details on this spotted area,” he said.
Cos said they are still hoping to find the three alive.
“We are hopeful that this [search and rescue] will carry on until this afternoon. Our President is here,” he said.