AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon Santos has committed to help the families and loved ones of the four Air Force personnel who died when their UH-1D helicopter crashed shortly after take-off at the Cauayan Air Station, Isabela on Thursday night.

“He (Santos) commits to help facilitate the assistance and other entitlements of our gallant Philippine Air Force personnel who died in line-of-duty,” military spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a press statement on Friday.

The UH-ID helicopter, with tail number 8308, five persons aboard including two pilots, two aircrewmen, and another officer, was taking off for a proficiency training for night flying when the accident happened at 6:58 p.m.

The helicopter was from the Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing while the Cauayan Air Station is under Tactical Operations Group 2.

“The two pilots, the other officer, and one of the two aircrewmen perished. The other airman survived the crash and is now undergoing treatment,” Arevalo said.

He added that the release of their names was withheld until their next-of-kin have been notified.

“AFP chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. expresses deep grief and extends condolences and prayers on behalf of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the families and colleagues of the airmen who perished in this air operations mishap,” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Aristides Galang said all remaining UH-1D helicopters of the Air Force are on hold status for “thorough inspection” as of their safety procedure. (PNA)