Manila: Philippine officials say the Air Force has grounded its OV-10 bomber planes after one crashed but added the decision will not hamper counterinsurgency strikes.
Air Force chief Lt Gen Oscar Rabena says he ordered the grounding of the turboprop warplanes while investigators try to determine what caused one to crash Wednesday while trying to land at an air base in southern Zamboanga city. The two pilots managed to eject but were injured.
Military spokesman Col Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said Thursday the Air Force has other aircraft for battling insurgents. The underfunded military has 12 OV-10s it acquired from the US in 1992.
The OV-10s have been used recently to assault Muslim rebels and guard Manila`s claims in disputed South China Sea areas.