October 11, 2017 (by Asif Shamim) - Pacific Air Forces completed an Accident Investigation Board following an April 2016 fatal mishap involving a C-130 Hercules and a 710th Special Operations Wing, Philippine Air Force airman at Subic Bay International Airport, Philippines.
The cause of the fatality during Operation BALIKATAN 2016 has been verified as the airman's failure to execute proper water landing procedures. The AIB president also found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a lack of thorough coordination and compliance in accordance with a Pacific Air Forces Commander memorandum, dated Feb. 19, 2016, regarding foreign military parachute operations on PACAF aircraft, substantially contributed to the mishap.
At 3:35 p.m. local time on April 7, 2016, a 710th Special Operations Wing, Philippine Air Force airman participated in a jump from a C-130H during a "Friendship Jump" between the USAF and the 710th SOW, PAF at Subic Bay International Airport, Philippines. The airman landed north of the intended drop zone into Subic Bay, 50 yards from shore. The airman was unresponsive after he was located and brought to shore. On shore, medical staff performed life-saving measures before transporting him to Unihealth-Baypointe Hospital and Medical Center, Subic Bay Freeport Zone where hospital staff pronounced him deceased at 5:25 p.m.
The Accident Investigation Board, comprised of subject matter experts from aviation, Special Operations Command, and Jumpmaster-related backgrounds, conducted a thorough review of all available evidence to determine the facts surrounding the mishap to discover the cause and any substantially contributing factors.