PinoySpy News Service — The Philippine Air Force’s aging fleet of attack and rescue helicopters has been beefed up recently with the addition of 10 refurbished UH-1 (Huey) which saw action in the Vietnam War in the 70s.
The 10 helicopters which were described in international news reports as “aging”, were donated by the United States and turned over by the US Embassy on June 8. The 10 choppers, the first batch in a total of 20 to be given by the US, would be used for the anti-insurgency campaign and humanitarian and rescue missions.
The free helicopters did not come with a free life insurance for their Filipino pilots.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo inaugurated the 10 Hueys by smashing a champagne bottle into one of them. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Helicopter accidents are not uncommon in the Philippines. Before the elections, politician Chavit Singson figured in a helicopter crash. However, he did not die.
Just last month, the Philippine Air Force decided to ground its existing fleet of Huey helicopters when one of them crashed into a busy city street in Mactan, Cebu. The ill-fated chopper actually crashed on a moving tricycle, killing the tricycle driver and all its passengers.
See picture below: