Today, I was saddened to hear of the tragic plane crash at the Cotabato City. My heart went out to the families of all those perished in the incident.
I was shaken by the news that a Nomad plane crashed in the residential village instantly killing all the 8 plane crews and passengers of the Philippine Air Force which includes Maj. Gen. Mario 'Butch' Lacson, commander of the PAF's 3rd Air Division in Zamboanga City and a woman also perished from one the residential houses where it crashed.
It was reported that the pilot of Nomad plane was able to contact the tower minutes before the plane crashed that it was experiencing power loss.
I googled the involved aircraft - the GAF Nomad "is a twin-engine turboprop, high-winged, "short take off and landing" (STOL) aircraft" (wikipedia), and I was shocked on the following facts:
- The Nomad plane was once nicknamed "Widowmaker" on the Australian Broadcaster Corp. report where in 19 planes crashed over a period of 20 years.
- The bush-planes.com reported that the plane's major shortcoming is its engines an "Achille’s heel of the Nomad".
- According to Aviation Safety Network's Safety Database, there are 31 occurrences involving GAF Nomad from 1975 - 2009 with 87 fatalities.
The PAF has already grounded its remaining 3 Nomads which was acquired from the Australian government in 1975; as Aviation authorities are conducting their investigation into the latest incident.
Though there is nothing we can do to lessen the pain felt by family and friends, let us offer them our prayers that may our Merciful Father bring healing and comfort to the families that have lost their love ones in this plane crash. And help all of us who see this situation realize that life is short and let us feel the urgency of sharing the Gospel of Jesus with everyone we encounter.
Note: The author is currently on his 24th year working in the aviation world.