Crash search highlights equipment lack
by RG Alama
Davao City (29 August) -- No radar, no sonar - this has characterized the search for the missing C130 Hercules aircraft which plunged into the waters of Davao Gulf last Monday (Aug. 25) evening.
The Air Transportation Office (ATO) control tower of the Davao International Airport has no radar to track down incoming and outgoing aircraft and has relied on radio communications for air traffic control.
Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group (TOG) XI chief Colonel Isagani Silva said that radar would have been helpful in pinpointing the location where the aircraft would have gone down. He also said that TOG-XI has no radars.
Aside from radar, the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard also lacked sonar equipment to probe deep into the waters of Davao Gulf. Presently the Task Force Hercules is relying on Carlos Munda a private scuba diver for the use of his sonar equipment.
Captain Arnel Gonzales of the Philippine Navy and chief of the Task Force Hercules said that Muda's sonar can detect objects 800 feet to 1000 feet underwater. However Munda's sonar also has its limitations as it only gets a top-to-bottom view.
Capt. Gonzales said that what they needed is sonar which can profile objects sideways where they can easily identify objects underwater. He said that Philippine Navy ships are lacking in sonar capability. He said that PN ships are outfitted with fathometers and not sonars. (PIA XI) [top]