In a television interview, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said it can only be confirmed through the tail number of the supposed aircraft, which was seen in photos.
“Weather permits, ‘yung aerial search ang maganda para ma-identify [‘yung aircraft] dahil sa litratong lumabas, ‘yung tail end naman [ng eroplano], intact pa so makikita ‘yung tail number,” he said.
(Weather permits, the aerial search is good to identify [the aircraft] because of the photo that came out. The tail end [of the plane] is still intact so you can see the tail number.)
He said they have to make sure that it is really the missing plane before they can activate a ground operation, noting that rescuers will risk their lives and will have to walk for days to reach the site, which is about 6,000 feet above the ground.
But Apolonio said a transponder detected that the Cessna plane lost its communication while it was in vicinity of the supposed crashed site but it is not conclusive.
He said the location of the crash site is a no fly zone as it is within the permanent danger zone of Mayon Volcano, and pilots are aware of this.
Apolonio said how the Cessna aircraft got to the no fly zone and why it failed to send an emergency signal to its emergency locator before the crash is among the subjects of investigation.
On Saturday, February 18, the Cessna 340A with tail number RP-C2080 and carrying four people on their way to Manila went missing in the vicinity of Camalig, Albay. (SunStar Philippines)