The Philippine Air Force (PAF) paid tribute to the pilot who died in a helicopter crash in Getafe, Bohol nearly a week ago as he was buried in his hometown in Candijay on Monday, May 3.
Major Gen. Simeon Felix Jr., commander of the Air Mobility Command, represented President Duterte and bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu with a rank of “Kalasag” to the late Captain Aurelios Olano.
The Kalasag Medal, which was relayed to Olano’s wife Louwela, is awarded to “officials and personnel of the government and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”
Family, friends, and Air Force colleagues of the 31-year-old Olano shared their testimonies during the interment rites prior to his burial at the Candijay Catholic Cemetery around 3 p.m.
Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes, PAF Commanding General, vowed to provide all the necessary assistance to the bereaved family of Olano.
Olano died last April 27 when a McDonnel Douglas 52-MG “Defender” attack helicopter of the PAF crashed into the sea while on a maintenance flight in Barangay Taytay, Getafe, Bohol.
Olano was the pilot-in-command of the ill-fated chopper.
Meanwhile, his three companions, Lt. Hillary Bunao, co-pilot; and Airmen First Class (A1C) Bonn Arasola and Rex Anapio, both maintenance crew members, were injured in the accident.
Olano was a member of the PAF Officer Candidate School “MAPITAG” Class of 2012 and PAF Flying School Class of 2015.
He was an attack pilot and a maintenance officer of the 20th Attack Squadron, 15th Strike Wing, making him adept in operating PAF’ deadliest choppers such as the Defender attack helicopters.
During his service, the PAF said Olano received various awards, the highest of which was the Gold Cross Medal, as well as the Gold Cross Medal and the Silver Wing Medal.
He was born on Nov. 12, 1988 and the eldest child of Mr. Sancho Olano and Mrs. Marina Olano.