A Philippine air force Rockwell OV-10 Bronco attack aircraft crashed while on a night flying proficiency exercise near Palawan on 23 June.

A spokesman for the air force told Flightglobal that the aircraft crashed into the ocean approximately 5nm (9.2km) offshore while on finals to land at Puerto Princesa on Palawan island between 19:00 and 19:30 local time. The crew had radioed the airport to report that they were preparing to land, but the aircraft was lost from radar soon after.

A search early in the following morning located debris from the aircraft near its last known position, including parts of the cargo bay door and an external fuel tank. The spokesman says that there was a pilot and an observer on board the aircraft at the time and they are still missing. It is not clear if the two were able to eject prior to the crash, he adds.

The spokesman could not release the serial number of the aircraft involved, and could not give any indication as to why the aircraft may have gone down.

Flightglobal's MiliCAS database records the Philippine air force as having had 12 OV-10s in service prior to the accident. The country has been looking to replace the aircraft with a new single-engined type such as the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano or Beechcraft AT-6 since 2011, but has not yet chosen a replacement.

The OV-10 is in limited military use, with MiliCAS now listing a total of 25 of the Vietnam War-era type as operational with the air forces of Colombia, the Philippines and Venezuela.

Source: Flight International