MANILA – The recent crash of a brand-new S-70i Black Hawk helicopter in Tarlac and the C-130 transport aircraft Sulu were due to multiple factors, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Thursday.
"Material, human and environmental factors were determined by the Philippine Air Force Accident Investigation Board as the cause of the ill-fated C-130 crash in Sulu," AFP spokesperson, Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.
Based on the investigating team’s report, no single factor can be determined as the only cause of these mishaps.
"It was most probably due to actual or perceived material factors, and induced human factors which were aggravated by local and environmental conditions," Zagala said.
He added that the aircraft component, the environmental condition, and the aircrew response led to the "unrecoverable stall" in a critical phase of the aircraft operation.
Stall, in aviation, refers to the disruption of the smooth airflow over the aircraft's wings, resulting in the loss of lift.
The C-130 aircraft crash in Patikul, Sulu last July 4 killed 50 soldiers aboard while 46 other personnel were injured.
Three civilians on the ground were also killed while four others were wounded.
Zagala, meanwhile, said "confluence of events" also triggered the crash of the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter in Tarlac last June 23.
"Investigators found out that the chopper inadvertently entered a thunderstorm and was compounded by spatial disorientation or vertigo by the pilot, as the cause of the accident," he added.
Six PAF personnel were killed in the mishap. The aircraft and its crew were conducting night-flying exercises at the time of the accident.
Zagala said the goal of the investigation, based on international practice on handling crashed aircraft, is to determine the cause of the accident rather than determine who should be blamed.
"This will help us avoid similar events in the future by implementing additional safety initiatives, strengthening protocols and procedures, as well as instituting training interventions for our aircrew and personnel," he added. (PNA)