Siai-Marchetti S.211
Date Updated: Thursday March 23, 2006


 

Technical Details |Service History | Current Status |Photos | Fleet Information | Write-Offs

Technical Details

Tandem seat jet trainer and light strike aircraft.  Powered by a Pratt & Whitney of Canada JT15d-4C Turbofan that puts out 2,500lb of static thrust.  Equipped with two Martin Baker Mk10 zero-zero ejection seats.  No armament is normally fitted.  PAF aircraft can be equipped with four hardpoints with the inner hardpoints capable of taking up to 330kg of ordnance each.  The outer hardpoints can take up to 165kg of ordnance.  PAF aircraft have been seen carrying two 270 liter auxiliary tanks to give increased range – something which they have made extensive use of over the Spratly islands.  Can also be armed with a .50 cal center line machine gun in a pod below the cockpit.

The fleet has traditionally been split between two organizations in the PAF – the 5th Fighter Wing at Basa and the 100th Training Wing at Fernando and Rajah Buayan.  Aircraft operated by the former were usually dressed in camouflage colors while 100th TW aircraft were usually be found in day-glo orange and silver combinations.  Both colors have been giving way to a light gray color scheme with a checkerboard strip on the top of the tail as the aircraft went through overhauls. 

Also in service with Singapore, where incidentally it has a better safety record.

Service History

First aircraft delivered in 1988.  Was originally to have numbered 36 aircraft but orders were cut short after a spate of much publicized accidents.  Only about 7 aircraft out of 16 remaining are flyable (25 delivered).  A number remain in open storage as either parts sources or are awaiting funding for overhaul or parts like so many other PAF aircraft.  Three underwent overhauls in 2001 in the Philippines.  9 lost in accidents, though some must have been rebuilt.  The type has suffered more than most PAF aircraft from under funding and bad press.

Possibly the most unpopular aircraft in the Philippine press, though this is an unfair reputation.  Initially used as an advanced trainer by the 100th Training Wing, the type is now also shared with the 5th Fighter Wings Combat Crew Training squadron and the 7th TFS primarily to undertake jet conversion, strike training and reconnaissance missions .  Recently, it has been used to carry out visual reconnaissance missions over the Spratly Islands and over Mischief Reef  (while carrying two 270liter wing tanks to extend its range) . These missions were carried out at such a low level and with such frequency that the Chinese issued a diplomatic protest. 

The PAF has limited the S211s participation in COIN missions, preferring instead to use OV-10s or SF260s which are more appropriate due to their lower speed and longer loiter times.  It is also a reflection on how important the type is to the PAF – establishing and maintaining a training stream of pilots is a pre-requisite for maintaining a viable combat force. 

At least two however are always fitted out with hardpoints and carry the 12.7mm gun pod in the centerline.  A few have been fitted with drop tanks (2 x 270 liters) and have been sent on low level reconnaissance missions over Mischief Reef.  The flights were at such a low level that the Chinese filed a protest with the Philippine government. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with the type.  The problem lies in the PAF practice of under funding maintenance – of acquiring more units than it can adequately support at current financing levels.

Current Status

PAF S.211s have enjoyed relatively high availability rates in the past, though this number has now gone down considerably.  Mostly this is due to the fact that the PAF wants to maintain a constant training stream of pilots to combat units and also to maintain the proficiency of it fast jet pilots.  The PAF seems to have found a partial solution to its maintenance problems with regard to the S.211 at least – a number of units have gone through overhauls with Aerotech Industry Philippines.  This may account for the discrepancy in S.211 numbers since there are obviously more aircraft available than delivered – either new one’s were delivered as attrition replacements or, most likely, airframes that had previously been written off were rebuilt and brought back into service. 

 

inventory

supportable

operationally ready

 

 

 

 

1991 (CY-91)

14

10

  8

1992 (CY-92)

18

14

10

1993 (CY-93)

18

11

  6

1994 (1st semester CY-94)

20

13

  7

2002 (CY-00, November) 19

6

 1
2003 (Speculative) 19

?

  7 (?)
2004 (Speculative) 19

7?

  7 (?)

 Fleet Information

PAF s/n

PAF code

c/n

last noted / fate

notes

 

 

 

 

 

A first batch of 18 aircraft was ordered in 1988, with an option on a further 18. The first Italian-

built machine was delivered in 09.89; the first Philippine-assembled example was 07007, which first flew 22.01.91. Original distribution plans were for nine aircraft to serve at Fernando AB and nine at both Basa AB and Mactan AB.

07001

801

07 / 001

03.95, 01.99, 03.03

5 FW. Overhauled with the assistance of Aerotech Philippines.  First flight after overhaul March 2003.

07002

802

07 / 002

05.98

5 FW

07003

803

07 / 003

01.97, 01.99

5 FW

07004

804

07 / 004

01.97, 05.98, 05.06

5 FW; reported as „sold to Panama AF early 1996“ (obviously not true). Overhauled with the assistance of Aerotech Philippines.

07005

805

07 / 005

03.95, 06.96, 01.99

Red Aces

07006

806

07 / 006

w/o 11.03.92

100 TW

07007

007

07 / 007

01.97, 01.99

5 FW

07008

008

07 / 008

01.96, 06.96, 01.99

5 FW

07009

809

07 / 009

w/o 14.12.98

5 FW

07010

810

07 / 010

w/o 20.04.92

100 TW.

07011

011

07 / 011

06.96, 01.99

5 FW

07012

012

07 / 012

06.96, 01.97, 01.99

5 FW

07013

813

07 / 013

???

re-serialled 07019 (aircraft may have  been rebuilt following an accident or  just have been given a new serial out of superstition – can anyone confirm the reason?) and w/o as  such 11.03.93

07014

814

07 / 014

03.95, 06.96, 01.99

5 FW

07015

815

07 / 015

06.96, 05.98, 01.99

100 TW/105 TS

07016

816

07 / 016

03.95, 06.96, 05.98

5 FW

07017

017

07 / 017

w/o 14.01.02

5 FW

07018

018

07 / 013

w/o 21.09.92

wreck noted dumped Basa AB 01.97,   05.98, 01.99

07019

819

07 / 019

w/o 11.03.93

100 TW

 

 

 

 

 

A second batch of six aircraft was ordered in 1992.

09001

020

09 / 001

01.97, 03.00

5 FW

09002

021

09 / 002

03.95, 01.99

5 FW

09003

022

09 / 003

03.95, 01.99, 02.06

Red Aces.  Displayed with 4 hardpoints at the Philippine International Balloon Festival, feb 2006. Time exprired.  Waiting for overhaul.

09004

023

09 / 004

01.97, 01.99

Red Aces

09005

024

09 / 005

10.94, 01.99

Red Aces

09006

025

09 / 006

damaged 04.07.95,

but active again 01.99

5 FW

Write-offs 

date

s/n

fate of crew

location, remarks

 

 

 

 

11.03.92  

07006

Both crew killed.

Stalled after engine fire and crashed on approach to Fernando AB. Accident was blamed on human error.

20.04.92   

07010

Pilot Lt. Jaime Sampang and backseater Lt. Roberto Espanola killed.

Dived into the ground from 10,000ft at what PAF officials described as „unusually high speed, after radio contact was lost and the aircraft was seen to be flown erratically“ while rehearsing for the funeral of the pilot‘s girlfriend, Lt. Rosela Junio, who had been killed in the crash of an MD.520MG two days earlier. It is suspected that Lt. Sampang committed suicide.

21.09.92  

07018

 

Crashed on take-off from Bautista AB.

11.03.93   

07019

Pilot instructor and female student ejected safely.

Exploded in mid-air 30 minutes into a training flight from Fernando AB and crashed in Batangas province. Investigation into the cause of the accident found poor maintenance was to blame as a poorly installed ejection seat slid out of place while the aircraft was flying inverted, causing an on-board explosion.

„07013“ (SCR, 9/93, AFM, 6/01)

??.??.??  

?

 

„five crashed within one year“

22.06.95  

?

Both crew ejected safely.

Crashed at Baler, Aurora, after running out of fuel while becoming lost during gunnery training.

Sixth loss, eight aircraft not airworthy, 10 air-worthy.

04.07.95  

09006

Both crew ejected safely.

Crashed (also at Baler, Aurora?) during Exercise SANAY-SIBAT 95 while en route from Basa AB to Wallace AS, San Fernando, La Union. Aircraft is now described as „damaged“ and has been noted

active again.

14.12.98  

07009

Both crew suffered only minor injuries.

Written off in emergency landing at Mabiga, Pampanga, following engine failure during routine flight training.

After this accident the government cancelled all plans to acquire further S.211s.

14.01.02  

07017

Instructor Cpt. Leo Maurice Ramos and student Lt. Arby Bryan de Guzman were killed (as were at least three civilians on the ground).

Crashed into houses inside the National Food Authority compound in Brgy. M.S.Garcia, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, due to mechanical problems after making several low passes over Cabanatuan during a „contact proficiency“ flight from Basa AB. It was reported that the pilot had been giving „salutes“ to friends on the ground.

Only five S.211s remained in airworthy condition following this accident.