MANILA, Philippines - The wife of Capt. Jessup Bahinting, the pilot of the ill-fated Piper Seneca, wondered why he was rushing to his flight to Naga, forgetting even to kiss her as he always did in the past.
Margaret Bahinting was very emotional and still in shock when she faced the media to describe her husband of 36 years.
On that fateful day on Saturday, she was at the Mactan Cebu International Airport hangar to send off her husband with the hope of seeing him in the next few days in Bacolod for a Church event. Bahinting is also a pastor. They have 3 children.
Bahinting, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and co-pilot Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand remain missing Monday after their Piper Seneca plane crashed off the waters of Masbate on Saturday afternoon. Robredo's pilot didn't use favorite plane
By Jhunnex Napallacan
Inquirer Visayas 1:47 am | Friday, August 24th, 2012
CEBU CITY—Margarita Bahinting, the wife of Captain Jessup Bahinting, chairman and executive officer of Aviatour Air, expressed dismay at the reports that her husband was found on the right side of the cockpit, saying this was erroneous.
She said that her husband was on the left side of the plane, on the seat of the main pilot. She said the media reports could be misconstrued that Bahinting had allowed the student pilot, Kshitiz Chand, 21, to handle the plane.
Chand’s body was found floating near the crash site Thursday morning.
The bodies of the two pilots of the light plane that crashed off Masbate with Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo were flown to Cebu on Thursday.
The body of Bahinting, 61, was accompanied by his daughter Sarah Lynn on board a Beechcraft RPC 9980 plane, which landed at the Mactan Cebu International Airport at 8:01 a.m.
At 3:03 p.m., Cessna 182 RPC 2214 arrived with the body of Bahinting’s Nepali co-pilot, Chand.
Bahinting and Chand piloted the Piper Seneca plane that was supposed to bring Robredo from Cebu to Naga City in Camarines Sur. But the plane reportedly experienced engine trouble and was trying to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport when it crashed into the sea.
Bahinting’s body was retrieved from the right side of the cockpit on Wednesday, according to media reports. Sarah identified her father through his Fossil watch and ring.
----Capt.Jessup Bahinting finally arrived home in Cebu yesterday.His widow Margarita burst into tears when the body bag containing the pilot’s body emerged from the Beechcraft Baron 55, accompanied by their youngest daughter, Sarah Lynn.The plane owned by Cheyn Air touched down 8 a.m. in the Aviatour Air hangar in Mactan.About 200 flight students, pilots and instructors gathered at the hangar to join the sad welcome party.Some wept openly, including the couple’s fellow members of the Christian congregation Grace Communion International.
The retrieval of Chand completed the five-day search and rescue operation which was spearheaded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard. Volunteer technical divers of different nationalities and local fishermen played important roles in the operations.
Capt. Bahinting, founder and CEO of Aviatour was a church pastor who was active in charity and mercy missions.
He flew patients from hinterland communities in the Visayas and Mindanao and volunteered for disaster relief work in the Ginsaugon, Leyte landslide in 2007, the Sendong floods in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities in December last year and the earthquake that badly hit Negros Oriental in January this year.