Search widened for Saudi student pilot who went missing in the Philippines

Saudi student pilot Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif (right), Capt. Jose Nelson Yapparcon, his flight instructor.
Updated 05 June 2019
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Search widened for Saudi student pilot who went missing in the Philippines

  • The twin-engine BB-55 disappeared from radar shortly off San Jose airport in Mindoro Island on May 17
  • Flight instructor Jose Nelson Yapparcon and Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif, a student of the Orient Flying School, were on board.

MANILA: Search efforts for a missing Saudi aviation student and his Filipino teacher will be widened following a decision by Philippines authorities to put ocean sonar scanning on hold.
A spokesman for the Philippines Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP), Eric Apolonio, told Arab News that the search will be “repositioned” to include coastal and inland areas of Occidental Mindoro.
“Unfortunately, after days of unsuccessful sonar scanning in the search area, the sonar operation is temporarily on hold,” he said.
Representatives from the aviation authority are due to meet with Saudi embassy officials in Manila on Wednesday to provide an update on efforts to find the missing Beechcraft Baron 55 (BB-55) trainer aircraft and its two passengers, Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif, a student of the Orient Flying School, and his flight instructor, Capt. Jose Nelson Yapparcon.
The twin-engine BB-55 operated by Orient Aviation Corp. disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from San Jose airport on May 17.
Personnel from the Philippines Armed Forces and Coast Guard, along with private divers, have been scouring the waters off San Jose since the flight went missing.
Abdullah Al-Bussairy, the Saudi ambassador, also sent embassy staff to assist in the search and investigate the disappearance of the aircraft.
Capt. Patrick Jay Retumban, a spokesman for the Army 2nd Division which has jurisdiction over Occidental Mindoro, confirmed that a meeting was held between a Saudi embassy delegation and CAAP officials on May 31 to discuss the next phase of the search operations.
Discussions centered on the condition of the pilot and aircraft, flight audio recordings before communication was lost, extension of the search operations, and the investigation of three fishermen who found a black backpack belonging to the flight instructor.
Apolonio earlier said that computer-generated information gathered during the sonar search had been brought to Cebu for analysis.
“We’re still hoping that they (Al-Sharif and Yapparcon) will be found safe,” he said.


King Salman promotes, appoints 38 judges at various levels

King Salman. (AFP)
Updated 27 min 47 sec ago
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King Salman promotes, appoints 38 judges at various levels

  • The Justice Ministry will participate in the 22nd diplomatic session of The Hague Conference on Private International Law

RIYADH: King Salman issued a royal order on Monday promoting 38 judges at the Ministry of Justice at various ranks.
The Kingdom is taking measures to revolutionize its judicial system. Recently, the ministry launched an e-notarization system to provide several services that dispense with paperwork and spare clients the need to visit notarial offices for low-risk powers of attorney.
The ministry also conducted 193,229 verification operations through its various electronic channels.
The Justice Ministry will participate in the 22nd diplomatic session of The Hague Conference on Private International Law.
The meeting, which takes place until July 2, will discuss and approve the final version of The Hague convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
A delegation from the Kingdom’s foreign affairs, justice and interior ministries will take part in the session alongside representatives of 83 states, and international organizations including the EU.
The meeting will conclude a series of gatherings held over a number of years to discuss the convention’s articles. Saudi Arabia is also party to another convention aimed at enforcing foreign arbitral awards.
The system for the implementation of foreign judgments in Saudi courts is one of the most important elements in stimulating trade and investment between the Kingdom and member countries of the relevant conventions and enhances the international status of the Saudi judiciary.