Air crash kills youthful pilot

Agricultural aircraft

A YOUNG pilot died instantly yesterday morning when an agricultural aircraft got caught on a live wire during aerial spraying in a banana plantation.

Initial investigation indicated pilot Jessie Kevin Lagapa, 25, could have been blinded by the glare of the rising sun, causing him to hit a high tension wire in the banana plantation located in Barangays Kasilak and Mangalcal in the towns of Carmen and Panabo.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesman Eric Apolonio said the lone pilot was flying a Grumman G-164 Ag Cat, a single-engine biplane agricultural aircraft with registration number RP-R 5388 during the spraying activity.

The crash damaged the aircraft’s airframe, engine, and propeller.

CAAP Director General Captain Jim C. Sydiongco immediately dispatched Aircraft Accident and Incident Inquiry Board (AAIIB) investigators to the site to look into the accident.

The pilot’s identity was withheld pending proper notification of his family.