CAAP suspends Robredo plane examiner

Posted at 01/11/13 2:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Friday placed on 90-day preventive suspension a CAAP examiner who signed the proficiency test of Captain Jessup Bahinting, the pilot of the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane that carried the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews said their investigation showed that examiner Nomer Lazaro never conducted a proficiency check ride on Bahinting before he had his license renewed in May 2012.

Andrews said Lazaro may face both administrative and criminal charges after submitting a fake report that Bahinting underwent a check ride.

CAAP said no flight plan for Bahinting's supposed check ride was filed in the Mactan Flight Service Station.

It added that there was also no record of Bahinting's departure and arrival in the Mactan Cebu International Airport, where he was supposed to have his test flight.

The CAAP earlier suspended CAAP inspector Fernando Abalos, who issued the airworthiness certificate for the Piper Seneca plane.

The plane crashed in the waters of Masbate August 18 last year, leading to the death of Robredo, Bahinting and Nepalese pilot trainee Kshitiz Chand. -- Report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM