CAAP to probe helicopter owner, pilot in controversial landing at Pasig stadium

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2019 03:27 PM

Photo from CAAP facebook

MANILA - The pilot and the owner of the helicopter that landed in the middle of a sports stadium in Pasig City will be summoned to verify if the unauthorized landing was made just to allow a government official to go to the toilet, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Thursday.

Videos of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Diño disembarking from a helicopter that landed on the PhilSports Complex went viral Wednesday, after netizens alleged that the aircraft made the stop so the official could go on a bathroom break.

CAAP's Flight Safety Inspection Service has been collating information to trace the identity of the pilot and the registered owner of the Airbus helicopter, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio told ABS-CBN News.

Under Philippine civil aviation regulations, a pilot or crew may lose his or her license if the safety of the passenger or the public is compromised, he said.

CAAP only has jurisdiction over the pilot and the crew, he said.

Apolonio did not clarify if the helicopter received clearance to land in the stadium where children and athletes usually play and exercise.

Malacañang said Diño should not be blamed for the incident.

"The pilot should have known that. Kasi (Because) you are supposed to have clearance eh. Magpapaalam ka muna kung saan ka pupunta (You have to get permission first where you are going)," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.