Not first plane crash for Aviatour

by Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2012 10:09 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2012 12:05 AM

CAAP to probe aircraft company in Robredo crash

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will start soon the investigation into the crash that killed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and 2 pilots.

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss said they are waiting for the retrieval of all the bodies and the plane wreckage.

According to Hotchkiss, all aircraft owned by the operator of the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane have been grounded pending the investigation.

This is not the first time that Aviatour Air got involved in an accident that resulted in deaths.

Last March, a Cessna plane owned by Aviatour's flying school that carried a Norwegian family crashed in Mambajao, Camiguin.

The pilot and one of the Norwegian passengers was killed.

As a result, CAAP suspended the flying school's permit to operate.

The company has a separate permit to operate air taxis.

Last Saturday, Robredo decided to fly using one of Aviatour's air taxi, a Piper Seneca plane.

His flight ended in tragedy.

Hotchkiss said they checked with Mactan International Airport and received confirmation that proper inspection was conducted by the pilot, Capt. Jessup Bahinting, who is also the owner and chief pilot of Aviatour Air, prior to their departure.