Tito Dizon (center), father of student pilot Aaron Dizon, reacts as Lt. Col. Jose Mari F. Torrenueva II, commander of the 91st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (right), explains the search and rescue operations for the younger Dizon. (PNA photo)

Search and rescue operations continue for a Cessna C-152 aircraft which did not arrive at its destination at Clark Air Base in Pampanga last Sunday.

The plane, with a lone passenger and piloted by 25-year-old student pilot, Aaron Dizon of Concepcion, Tarlac, was last seen when it took off at the Juan C. Angara (JCA) airport in Barangay San Isidro, San Luis, Aurora.

“The government rescue team and volunteers are still searching for the missing aircraft and the student pilot in different routes since Sunday and they are still nowhere to be found,” said Lt. Col. Jose Mari F. Torrenueva II, commander of the 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion (91IB), Philippine Army.

A day after the plane was reported missing, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) immediately conducted aerial reconnaissance in the area of Sierra Madre Mountains, last recorded location of the aircraft.

“We immediately mobilized one squad search-and-rescue team composed of 10 members and urgently deployed at the last location monitored in the vicinity of Barangay Suguit, Dialatnan in the town of Maria Aurora and Barangay Diteki in the town of San Luis upon receiving report of the missing aircraft and the student pilot last Sunday,” he said.

“Last Tuesday, four teams were dispatched and searched for the possible location and still negative in the target coordinates,” Torrenueva added.

“The search and rescue teams were deployed in the adjacent places of Mount Aling Aling with local guides from Villa Aurora while the PAF continued aerial reconnaissance along the Sierra Madre mountains,” he said.

Other volunteers from Manila arrived on Wednesday morning to help out in the search and rescue operations, led by the Wilderness Search and Rescue Philippines Inc., a volunteer rescue and humanitarian organization.

Torrenueva said strong winds and thick cloud formations made it hard for their pilots to penetrate the sites where the plane may have possibly crashed. (Jojo Mangahis)