Pilots’ remains arrive in Cebu-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
CEBU CITY (Updated 4:15 p.m.) -- The bodies of Captain Jessup Bahinting and his Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport on Thursday.
A Piper Seneca plane of Aviatours Fly’N Inc. crashed off Masbate last Saturday, killing Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Captain Bahinting and his co-pilot Chand. Robredo’s security aid Police Senior Inspector Jun Abrazado was the sole survivor.
Robredo’s body was recovered three days after the crash from the ill- fated plane, while Bahinting’s was retrieved on Wednesday. Chand’s body, meanwhile, was retrieved Thursday near the crash site.
Bahinting’s remains placed in a zippered plastic black bag arrived at 8 a.m. Thursday aboard a four-seater aircraft of Cheyn Air, while Chand’s arrived at 3:16 p.m. aboard a Cessna 182 plane.
Another Cessna plane carrying Chand's father and uncle also arrived at 3:16 p.m.
The bodies of Bahinting, who owns Aviatours Fly’N Inc., and Chand were brought to St. Peter's Funeral Homes.
Bahinting’s wake will be held at St. Peter Funeral Homes until Saturday night. His body will be brought to their family resort in Ginatilan, Cebu, on Sunday and will be buried in a nearby family mausoleum on Monday.
Bahinting’s wife, Margarita, was emotional at the airport because she remembered how her husband had taken care of her through the more than 36 years of their marriage.
“I really miss him. But I don’t want to see his face in the coffin because I want to always think of him when he was alive and sweet,” Mrs. Bahinting said.
Families, friends, colleagues and students of Aviatours’ Fly’N Inc. came to pay their last tribute to Bahinting and Chand.
A mass will also be held on Thursday evening at the St. Peter Funeral Homes.
Michelle Ferol, Aviatours’ human resource manager, assured all 80 employees in all services that they will continue to receive their salaries and benefits.
At present, Ferol said they have more than 100 student pilots, 80 percent of which are Indonesians and the rest are Nigerians, Chinese, Koreans, Syrians, Saudi Arabian, Americans and Malaysians.
Earlier, Director General William Hotchkiss of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said they will determine whether Aviatour has the capacity to continue operating now that Captain Bahinting who was the chief pilot and owner is dead.
But Ferol said Aviatours is capable to continue operations because all their pilots are professionals and have passed examinations by Caap, most of them with 90 percent ratings. (EOB/With RSB/Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex)