Ill-fated plane's Bahinting an 'avid pilot', a 'local hero'

Thea Alberto-Masakayan
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Captain Jessup M. Bahinting, the pilot of the ill-fated plane carrying Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, has been hailed a hero for his extra-ordinary acts.

Bahinting is still missing as of 1:00 am Sunday, hours after their plane crashed off Masbate.

Transportation Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas in his Twitter account says Bahinting was known as a "local hero" in Cebu for braving heavy rains just to fly in a cobra antivenom medicine to save a child.

"Capt. Jessup Bahinting,a local hero in Cebu--flew in, during stormy weather, cobra antivenom meds to save a snake bitten child," he said.

An online search shows that Bahinting is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AviaTour, a business offering air tours, flight chartering and a flight school. AviaTour is based in Cebu, the take-off point of Robredo's ill-fated plane.

The company's website says Bahinting "expanded the reach of the company’s flight training operations which now includes pilot students from the United States, Korea and the Middle East."

Bahinting is also an aviation expert, holding Commercial Pilot’s and Flight Instructor’s licenses.

"To-date, he has logged in 5,000 flying hours. He completed his Commercial Pilot course in 1975 at the Mindanao Aeronautical Technical School and his Aircraft Maintenance course from the same institution in 1973," the site added.

It also said "Jessup is an avid pilot. He enjoys flying various recreational and general aviation aircrafts," it said, noting that he is "married to Margie," with whom he has three children, Jemar, Dan and Sarah.

(CEO and Chairman Capt. Jessup Bahinting, Photo from Aviatour’s Fly’n Inc.)