Sprayer plane crashes in Maguindanao; pilot survives

Published February 23, 2019, 4:08 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Ali Macabalang

MAGUINDANAO – A chemical sprayer plane crashed in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Saturday.

While the plane was a total wreck, its pilot – Dennis Pandi, who works for Davao Airworks – survived but sustained injuries.

Pandi was immediately taken by employees of the Amardi Banana Plantation in Ampatuan to a local hospital where physicians reportedly declared him out of danger.

Robert Mauricio, a staff at the Ampatuan-based Amardi banana plantation, said Pandi’s aircraft crashed after its engine malfunctioned while spraying chemicals on Cavendish bananas planted on swaths of lands in the plantation.

“He (Pandi) avoided hitting our banana packing plant so his plane fell on one spot of the plantation. His plane was a total wreck. Thank God, he survived,” Mauricio was quoted as saying.

The Amardi plantation maintains Cavendish banana farm on some 2,000 hectares near the site of the 2009 massacre of 58 people, 32 of them media workers, in Ampatuan town.

It employs hundreds of residents including members of Moro rebel families opting to live peaceful life, said Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, who initiated the farm development in 2012.

The Davao Airworks provides chemical spraying planes for plantations by contract.