The first airplane crash in Mindanao was at Balingasag, Misamis Oriental involving a Douglas O-5 with the tail number 24-7. It was based at Camp Nichols, Rizal and Piloted by Paul L. Williams.
The first airplanes that was seen in Mindanao skies were Hydroplanes, thus the name “edro” is commonly heard in reference to all aircrafts among locals until the late 70’s.
“Hydroplane Crash” from the book “Historical Glimpses Of Old Balingasag” (1999) by Garcilaso Fernandez Vega: “On January 17, 1926, the people were surprised to see a flying object diving from one cloud to another and creating a sound totally strange to them. The object made acrobatic exhibitions to the delight of the people who watched with awe, and wondered how a non-bird could fly with such dexterity. Suddenly, the object became uncontrollable and smoke was seen coming from its tail. The flying object was a Douglas hydroplane, belonging to the United States Air Force. It crashed at Banuot as it hit a tall coconut tree. The pilot, a certain Lt. Williams, was able to free himself from the plane before it burst. He was unhurt.” The octogenarian author is a native of Balingasag who became a lawyer in 1953 & has made Davao City his residence. (Lino Juan Roa)