A pilot-instructor and his woman student were killed when their one-engine Cessna training plane crashed into the sea after snagging a zipline cable off Ilocos Sur province in Northern Luzon.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) identified the victims in the plane crash as John Kaizan Estabillo, 21, pilot instructor, and Paola Blanca Robles, 25, a student pilot whose bodies were recovered on Saturday morning in the sea off the town of Santiago in Ilocos Sur.
Witnesses told investigators they saw the plane flying around the Santiago cove apparently to take videotapes of the area. While over the area, witnesses said the pilot tried but failed to avoid a zipline 50 to 70 metres high when the wing was snagged, forcing the plane to crash into the sea.
Local and police officials said that despite bad weather caused by super typhoon Haima (local name Lawin or Eagle), fishermen launched a rescue operation but were stopped by murky waters and giant waves. Nevertheless, the fishermen managed to pinpoint the area where the plane crashed and enabled Philippine Coast Guard divers to retrieve the bodies of the victims on Saturday morning, officials said.