CLARK FREEPORT – The German national who survived the crash landing of a helicopter in Manila Bay off the coast of Hagonoy, Bulacan last Sunday also survived another helicopter crash way back in 2003 in Capas, Tarlac.
This reporter wrote in 2003 the story of the crash that identifi ed German Iren Dornier, who was then chairman of Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), a locator in this freeport, and his friend Willy Blosch, also a German, as flying a three-seater Allouette SE-30 chopper which hit a high tension wire in Capas.
The two were on a “local flight” that took off from Clark where they were expected to be back in 30 minutes, but the accident happened, the report said. Capas police said their chopper crashed into the O’Donnel River in Barangay Bueno.
The police also then reported that the two were able to immediately extricate themselves from their aircraft and
were able to even walk to a detachment of the 69th Army Infantry Battalion to report the incident.
As in the accident last Sunday, Dornier, who was piloting the chopper, and his companion also survived unscathed. SEAIR later issued a statement saying the chopper “was forced to make a precautionary landing” due to “change of weather into hazy visibility.”
Last Sunday, Dornier was reported to be a mere passenger in a Bolkow 105 helicopter with registration number
RP-C699 with American Capt. James Eagle being the pilot. The chopper crash-landed near the shoreline of Hagonoy , Bulacan after its engine suddenly shut down, reports said.
Dornier and Eagle, however, were able to send distress signal before ejecting from their aircraft, alerting Villamor Air Base and a US Marines C-130 crew that was heading back to the air base after delivering relief goods to Tacloban City, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said.
The US helicopter was able to locate the ill-fated chopper, but Dornier and Eagle had already been rescued from the waters by fisherman Danilo de los Reyes.
Dornier and Eagle were brought to the detachment of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Navotas, where they
were pronounced with no serious injury. Dornier was quoted as having wondered what caused the chopper’s malfunction, as it had two engines.
Their helicopter was reported to be operated by Aviation Enterprises based in Clark where it was headed when it crashed, after delivering relief goods to victims of Typhoon Yolanda.