PHL Air Force discloses identities of UH-1D crash victims

MANILA — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has finally identified the casualties in Thursday’s UH-1D helicopter crash in Tanay, Rizal that killed three personnel and severely wounded another.

The fatalities were pilot-in-command Capt. Christian Paul Litan, 30, of Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas; crew Staff Sgt. Byron Tolosa, 38, of Pasay City; and gunner Airman 1st Class Joseph de Leon, 30, of Lingayen, Pangasinan, PAF spokesperson Col. Antonio Francisco said.

Injured was the other command pilot, 1st Lt. Ceazar Rinas, 27, a resident of General Trias, Cavite.

“PAF head Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina immediately sent out personnel of the 505th Search and Rescue Group to conduct retrieval operations and make initial assessment regarding the incident,” Francisco added.

An investigation team will be dispatched once assessment has been made.

All UH-1D choppers in the Air Force inventory have been grounded immediately after the crash as part of their standard operating procedure. PFN/