Monday, October 27, 2008

Amateurs Win ARCAA UAV Competition Flying 30-Year-Old R/C Kit

Sun, 26 Oct '08

"Team Telemaster" Bests Engineering Students' Entries
Aaron Donaldson and Simeon O'Neill entered and won the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation 2008 UAV Outback Rescue Challenge in Queensland, Australia last month with a Hobby-Lobby Senior Telemaster kit purchased over 30 years ago by Aaron's dad.

Converted from gas- to electric-power, Team Telemaster's plane featured a fully articulating belly-mounted camera. Their ground-based control displayed airspeed, altimeter, artificial horizon, the plane's GPS coordinates, and included an autopilot system and a video screen.

The two other entrants, both university-sponsored teams spending four times as much on their projects as Team Telemaster, crashed their planes. "Everyone [else] was aerospace engineers," Donaldson said. "Simeon and I didn't finish more than a semester of engineering."

The 2008 UAV Challenge, a direct outcome of "The Future of UAVs -- Challenges and Applications in the Asia Pacific Region" workshop ARCAA conducted in 2005, was held from September 23 to 25, 2008 at Kingaroy airport in Queensland, Australia. Kingaroy is the site for a new UAV test and training center being used by Boeing Australia and ARCAA.

The goal of the Outback Rescue competition was to rescue "Outback Joe," who is lost in the Australian outback and desperately in need of assistance. "A total time of one hour is allowed for the mission. This includes all time for set up, launch, mission, landing and recovery," ARCAA rules stated.

"Your system must be capable of searching an area of at least 2nm x 2nm, up to 5nm from the aerodrome. The target for your search will be a human (or dummy) wearing light khaki clothes and an Akubra hat. The target will not be moving and will be positioned in a typical resting pose in a rural setting.

"The GPS coordinates representing the four corners of the search area will be provided in the days leading up to the competition. The air vehicle must not travel outside of the search area or transit lane, for its flight will be terminated if it does so. The search area will be not more that 5nm from the aerodrome.

"Over a 60 minute period, teams must deploy their air vehicle systems and conduct the search. Once the search has been conducted a decision must be made as to where Outback Joe is located. A GPS coordinate, representing Outback Joe's location, must be provided to the judges.

"Once Joe has been located with the judges' approval, the air vehicle must be tasked with delivering its emergency package. The emergency package will contain 500ml of 'life saving' water. The package must be dropped as closely as possible to Outback Joe, without landing on him. The UAV will then return to the Kingaroy airport for recovery."

Though they failed to complete the challenge after a loose wiring plug forced them to land, Team Telemaster still walked off with top honors and a $5,000 AU prize.

"The entire team at Hobby-Lobby is thrilled to see our classic Telemaster take on the big guys and win," said Hobby-Lobby President Jay Graves. "The Telemaster has been a consistently great plane for R/C pilots looking for easy flying characteristics combined with a simple assembly process."

Hobby-Lobby International is a 43-year-old, Tennessee-based company manufacturing R/C airplanes, helicopters and boats. The high-wing Telemaster comes in a variety of sizes from micro to a version with a 12-foot wingspan. Assembly options include kits, which are built piece by piece, or "Almost Ready to Fly" (ARF) planes that only require the addition of an engine and electronics.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cebu Pacific Buys Aircraft

Philippines-based airline Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its third new ATR 72-500 turbo-prop aircraft from Toulouse, France.

The aircraft will be based in the airline's Cebu hub in the Philippines to support further expansion. Cebu Pacific has ordered up to 18 new ATR aircraft as part of its overall domestic operations expansion.

Cebu Pacific has the youngest fleet of aircraft in the Philippines with 10 A319, eight A320 and three ATR72-500 aircraft.

Monday, September 1, 2008

U.S. to aid C-130 search

A US Navy vessel was steaming to the southern Philippines Friday to help locate the wreckage of a Filipino military transport plane that crashed at sea, the Asian country's air force chief said.

The oceanographic survey ship USNS John McDonnell is set to arrive in the Davao Gulf on Saturday, five days after the C-130 went down killing all nine people on board, said Lt. Gen. Pedrito Cadungog.

"The survey ship should arrive in the area tomorrow afternoon," Cadungog said. "It would help us locate the position of the plane."

He said the government needed to recover major parts of the wreckage, which lies in deep water, to determine the cause of the crash.

"We are no longer looking for survivors," he added.

The 41 year-old US-made aircraft lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from Davao airport on restive Mindanao island late Monday.

The Philippine military has ruled out its own earlier suggestion that it could have been shot down by Muslim insurgents.

Meanwhile, a civilian training plane crashed at sea off the island of Lubang south of Manila on Thursday, killing its pilot, Cadungog said.

The cause of this second accident, involving a Piper PA-38 aircraft, is under investigation by civil aviation authorities, he added.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Civil Aviation News

MANILA, Philippines — A pending bill in the House of Representatives seeks to encourage air travel and tourism by further liberalizing commercial air travel.

House Bill 4314 proposes the alignment of existing rules and regulations governing domestic and international air and sea travel and tourism.

"The country has become the laggard today in Southeast Asia with only some three million tourist arrivals a year, while most of our neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore have achieved tens of millions of tourist arrivals. Even latecomers in the industry like Vietnam and Cambodia have overtaken the country already," said Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles, author of the bill, in a statement on the House of Representatives website (

Cerilles said even if R.A. 9497 seeks to ensure efficiency and safety of commercial air travel operation, there remains a pressing need to address the "commercial and aero-political aspects" of the industry.

RA 9497, signed into law in March 2008, creates the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

In filing his bill, Cerilles said the Philippines was once the leading tourism country in the 1960s but has deteriorated in terms of growth and development in the travel and tourism industry.

He said the continuing clamor for liberalization of commercial aviation will sufficiently address not only the needs of tourists but also of millions of OFWs.

Also, he said no Filipino carrier operates in any part of the Middle East and Europe, including the Eastern Seaboard of the United States where many Filipino seamen fly to catch up with their ocean-going vessels in New York City and Miami.

"Most of the world-class tourism destinations of the country are located outside Metro Manila. We need to facilitate the travel of tourists from their point of origin to the final tourism destinations and thus there is a need to improve the tourist facilities in the major airports of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao," Cerilles said.

Cerilles added the move will result in the decongestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which can no longer cope with the influx of tourist arrivals for lack of facilities, and which now also needs expansion since it is located in a highly urbanized and populated area. - GMANews.TV

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Explosion Investigation

MANILA, Philippines--At the end of a mission to help investigate an explosion aboard a Qantas jet nine days ago, a Philippine aviation official experienced on Saturday a midair scare on a flight of the Australian carrier bound for Manila.

A top official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) was among some 200 passengers who found themselves on a jittery ride over Australia, when the Qantas jet made an emergency landing in Sydney because of a hydraulic leak.

Keen on any sign of aircraft trouble, CAAP Executive Director Daniel Dimagiba grew worried as he observed the slow ascent of the Qantas plane, a Boeing 767, just minutes after its delayed takeoff at the Sydney airport at around 2 p.m. Saturday.

"I was in business class and on a window seat—that's my favorite seat on a plane—and I noticed as we took off that the plane's rate of climb was slow. I could see the ground slowly drifting away and the sound of the jet engine was different," Dimagiba told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of Saturday.

He was flying home after he met with Qantas officials and observed the Canberra-based Australian Transport Safety Bureau's data retrieval and analysis of the flight data recorder from the Qantas Boeing 747-400 jet, which was involved in a midair decompression within Philippine air space on July 25.

The flight en route to Melbourne from Hong Kong made an emergency landing in Manila after a blast believed to have been caused by an exploding oxygen cylinder ripped a large hole in its fuselage.

Plane parts retrieved from the damaged jet, which is still grounded in Manila, were sent to Canberra for forensic analysis. The CAAP sent a representative to observe the probe in compliance with international aviation regulations.

Then on July 28, a Qantas 737-800 was forced to return to Adelaide after a landing gear door failed to retract.

The incidents followed a series of media reports in Australia about concerns about the quality of maintenance amid an increase in the amount of such work outsourced to other countries.

On his way back to the airport, Dimagiba never expected a first-hand taste of what he has been dealing with in his career. The official knew all too well that something was wrong.

"Since I understand how planes work, I was concerned because our ascent was slow … The other passengers were in their seats, just relaxing, reading," he said over the phone on Sunday.

Trouble began before passengers entered the plane, according to Dimagiba. He recalled hearing the airline ground crew saying that the plane's passenger door could not be shut properly.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuel cost Crisis looming


Oil costs will push some Asian airlines under: analysts say, Record-high oil prices have sparked the biggest crisis in the Asian airline industry since the SARS scare, and analysts say some carriers are likely to go under if prices do not let up soon. They say many of the region's airlines are ill-prepared to cope with the price surge, which saw oil top 139 dollars per barrel last week amid wide expectation prices will only keep rising in the months ahead."No one is going to escape this crisis unscathed," said Derek Sabudin, an analyst from the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation consultancy.

He said airlines face a "severe shakeout" if extremely high fuel prices continue, with the industry already coping with the fallout from a US-led global economic slowdown."Carriers will be exiting the market," Sabudin said. "The weaker ones will go, and stronger carriers will shrink in size, if we see prices where they are above 120 dollars beyond the summer peak."Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst with Standard and Poor's Equity Research, said most carriers had not factored in prices at such "stratospheric" levels -- and that they were now not moving quickly enough in response."Few Asian airlines are reacting, in our view, adequately and aggressively enough to the oil shock and the devastation soon to follow," Shukor said.

If prices continue rising and hit 150 dollars a barrel or even higher, he said, "expect to see a rash of Asian carriers grounded and go bust."The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which had predicted an industry profit of 4.5 billion US dollars this year, is now projecting a loss of 2.3 billion dollars.The IATA, which represents more than 200 carriers that account for 94 percent of global traffic, says that every one dollar rise in oil prices will increase airline operating costs by 1.6 billion US dollars annually.Airlines already expected to pay about 176 billion US dollars for fuel expenses this year based on oil prices of 106.5 US dollars per barrel, said IATA, adding fuel accounts for 34 percent of operating costs.

Overall, analysts say, it is the worst crisis to hit Asia's aviation industry since the pneumonia-like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed almost 800 people in 32 countries in a 2002-2003 outbreak.The health scare led to a massive slump in regional travel as well as financial losses for major carriers including Japan Airlines Group, China Airlines of Taiwan, and Singapore Airlines (SIA).To deal with the crisis, SIA slashed capacity by 30 percent while Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific suspended its route to Singapore.

In the face of the current situation, some regional carriers have begun to replicate the cost-cutting measures rolled out by US airlines trying to cope with the steep oil price rise. Australian flag carrier Qantas announced plans last month to slash domestic capacity by five percent, cut payroll, and retire several aircraft. The airline also reduced service to Asia. Thai Airways said last Friday it is cancelling its direct flight from Bangkok to New York, starting July, and selling four planes used on that route. Malaysia Airlines said it would freeze recruitment and was considering axing more routes as part of cost-cutting measures triggered by rising fuel prices.

Apart from their financial reserves, the strategies adopted by Asian carriers will determine whether they can survive this latest crisis, said Jason Pereira, a senior associate with Las Vegas-based Globalysis consultancy."It is a combination of financial reserve strength and smart strategy that will see some airlines come out on top," said Pereira, who monitors the region from Singapore.Some analysts say the region's low-cost carriers are more vulnerable to rising oil prices because they are typically managed on a tight budget.

Tiger Airways and AirAsia, two leading budget airlines in Southeast Asia, have both said will survive the turbulence -- and even emerge stronger."Profits are obviously going to be affected when oil triples in price but I take a very different approach," said Tony Fernandes, group chief executive of AirAsia, which pioneered regional low-cost travel."We think the time is to grow now," he told AFP. "There is a limit to what you can cut" in terms of costs.Tiger Airways chief operating officer Steve Burns said the carrier keeps costs to a minimum and is confident it can weather the fuel price onslaught."What we focus on is to be as lean and as efficient as possible," he said.---End Quote---

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

PAL plans Persian Gulf Flights

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is planning to re-introduce flights to Bahrain and other Persian Gulf countries within the next two years, the airline's president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista told the GDN. He revealed details of the plan two years after the airline discontinued its flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and 14 years after the Bahrain route was scrapped.

The expansion, which will include flights to other Middle East countries outside the GCC, will coincide with a major expansion in the next two years - with PAL planning to buy an additional 30 planes.

Mr Bautista said "operational difficulties" and "over capacity" had led to PAL slowly cancelling operations to several Arab countries, including Bahrain, in the last 10 to 12 years."We are now conducting talks with our partners in the region to determine how best to re-start operations and how many flights to have," he said. "We are also talking with Civil Aviation Affairs officials in Bahrain and other parts of the region."We stopped Bahrain operations in 1994, Abu Dhabi a few years later and finally Riyadh was scrapped two years ago. "We were always keen to serve the Filipino community in Bahrain and the other countries in the region, but had to withdraw due to operational reasons.

"Now, since we are expanding all over the world and getting a lot of new aircraft, an expansion into the region is very much on the cards."Mr Bautista was in Bahrain en route to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend a meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).He said PAL already had several code-sharing agreements with carriers in the region, operating around 60 such flights to several Middle Eastern destinations.

It is now seeking to expand its own fleet from 39 aircraft to 59 by the end of 2010 - almost doubling the size of the airline."PAL still has and will continue to have one of the youngest fleets in the region," he added.PAL has recently been named "Airline Turnaround of the Year 2007" by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa), a Sydney-based aviation think-tank, for successfully graduating from rehabilitation and returning to sustained profitability."

Few airlines have reformed themselves so comprehensively as PAL," added Mr Bautista."An unflinching cost focus, network focus and superb productivity enhancement have provided us the platform to profitably expand and establish a strong position in the region's aviation industry."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training Aircraft To Be Built At Clark

The Philippines’ aviation sector received a lift after an Italian defense contractor and a Filipino aviation firm signed a deal for the manufacture of training aircraft at Clark Development Zone.

Alenia Aermacchi of Aerotech Industries Philippines Inc. signed the agreement to build 18 SF 260F aircraft trainer on April 24, and they will be used by the Philippine Air Force.
The aircraft, spare parts and services to be provided by Alenia will cost the government $13.8 million.

“The agreement will definitely boost the Philippines’ aviation industry,” said Teresa Parian, Aerotech Industries’ chief operating officer.
“The agreement is through 2015, which means that all orders that Alenia Aermacchi will receive worldwide up to that period will be assembled in and supplied out of the Aerotech Philippines facility.

“Considering that 27 armed forces use SF 260 trainer aircraft all over the world, with about 1,000 units in operation, Alenia Aermacchi estimates 100 new units of this aircraft type will be sold in the next five years,” Parian said.

In a statement, Alenia Aermacchi said it would start delivering the aircraft to the Air Force next April, and that and all planes would be supplied within 18 months.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sky Diving Game

Here is a simple game for all you sky divers. Simple, but have fun trying to get your sky diving girlfriends lined up in formation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots Real World Training

Authors: Jeff Van West and Kevin Lane-Cummings

Publisher: Wiley (

ISBN: 978-0-7645-8822-8

Price: $29.99(USD): $35.99 (CAN) : £19.99 (UK) Street price $16.99 USD

Self promotion text

“It’s the next best thing to being up there – Why use Microsoft Flight Simulator for real world training? Because it gives you the best possible head start and enables you to learn at your convenience. Flight Simulator provides scenario-based training that lets you practice handling in almost any situation. It offers advantages you don’t get in a real plane – the option to set up any kind of weather or equipment failures, stop midway and redo a procedure, or get the view from outside the airplane. FSX isn’t a game. It’s a training mission for virtual and real aviators alike.”

What you get

You get a hefty 725 page paperback book, downloadable flights to do in conjunction with your reading, along with the necessary charts in PDF format. Also available for download are two bonus chapters and the practical test standards for each of the license ratings discussed in the book.

First impressions

The book is huge. Just the amount of paper and ink makes it seem like good value. The book’s illustrations are all black and white. Color versions of the images used are available on the web site. The number of chapters and subjects is impressive taking 13 pages to list. Looking through the subjects covered is daunting, but the work is obviously comprehensive.

Starting out

You will want to download the 3 zipped files of missions / charts / details etc from the publisher’s web site. The books introduction tells you exactly where to get the files from and where they need to be installed. The first chapter deals with getting FSX set up properly for the purposes of the book. It discusses PC specs and how these affect the performance you can expect to achieve within FSX, the different types of controllers used for simulation flying and the best settings within FSX to use with the tutorial flights. The book also assumes that you will be using it in conjunction with lessons at a real world flying school and so also gives hints and tips on finding the best school and instructor for you. The authors do suggest that finding an instructor with FSX experience would be beneficial especially so if they can set up scenarios for you to go through that you will be dealing with on your next lesson. FSX now has support for multi-players within the same aircraft if rain stops play and your instructor is amenable you could go through your lesson virtually with you at home and them at the flying school.

First Flight

Chapter two discusses the principles of flight in sufficient detail and explains the basics without getting too technical. Then it introduces us to the default Piper Cub.
The authors explain that the main shortfall with using FSX as a training aid is the lack of peripheral vision which real world pilots rely on to inform them of the attitude of the aircraft in flight. Simulator pilots rely much more on the instruments because they lack the real world cues. The reason for using the Piper Cub is the distinct lack of instruments to look at and a more open uncluttered cockpit so you can focus more on the horizon and get used to relying on it as you would do in a real aircraft.

The first flight within FSX raises the initial bad point, unlike the missions included in FSX or Rod Machado’s training flights there are no in-flight instructions included. The good side is there are none of the patronizing verbal compliments permeating the FSX missions. You basically load the saved flight and then have to fly with the book in one hand and your joystick in the other. Concentrating on both at the same time is impossible so prepare to become acquainted with the pause key. On the plus side the authors do include saved video’s of many of the flights so you can get an idea of what you are expected to do and how to do it prior to undertaking the flight yourself.

As an undertaking the concept and its execution are remarkable. Intensely detailed down to specific FSX recommendations for best performance, it is an awesome undertaking. Given the limitation of simulated flight, you could easily learn to fly with this book. In my mind it would be especially suited to learn systems and procedures where actual flying is secondary to learning navigation, radio use, and cockpit procedures.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Philippine Airforce Buys 18 Planes

The Philippine Air Force will buy 18 trainer planes from Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi for P625 million ($14.6 million), an air force spokesman said Saturday.

The contract for the 18 SF260 trainer planes includes pilot, technical, and maintenance training, spare parts support and other after sales services support said Lieutenant Jonelle Beltran.
The planes are scheduled to be delivered in batches starting June next year and will be used for pilot training.

Under the terms of the contract, Alenia Aermacchi will transfer some parts production technology and aircraft assembly to its local partner, distributor, and authorized service station Aerotech Industries Philippines Inc., Beltran added.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Airport Improvements Dumaguete

PresidentGloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the Air Transportation Office (ATO) to take the lead in fast tracking the improvement of the Dumaguete airport situated in Sibulan town.

The Dumaguete airport forms part of the infrastructure projects under the "Super Regions."

Dumaguete airport Manager Veronica Chuang said there are currently three projects done at the airport and these are asphalt overlay, rehabilitation of runway lights, and the renovation of the airport terminal building.

The asphalt overlay and renovation of the terminal building is done under the auspices of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) while the rehabilitation of runway lights is under the Land Transportation Office.

The runway lights project, Chuang explained, has been allocated with about P74 million from the P22.6 billion allotted last year.

The installation of the runway lights, begun on December 26, 2007, is nearly finished and is seen to end this month.

The work on the asphalt overlay is jointly undertaken by the Uy-Condev Construction and Vesa Construction.

President Arroyo said in her letter to top ATO officials that the airport, which is part of her administration's "super regions," will eventually help sustain growth that has been weighing heavily on two of the economy's key drivers -- exports and remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Arroyo has asked the budget department to coordinate with the implementing agencies for the prompt release of funds for the "super regions" projects.

Currently, the Pro-Performance System and the Procurement Transparency group formed in September 2007 have started monitoring, releasing advisories, and remedial action for projects that encounter problems.

Malacañang has allotted P156.6 billion for infrastructure spending this year, or more than P22.6 billion allotted last year.

The country posted a 7.5 percent economic growth in the last quarter of 2007, though both local and foreign analysts have warned against over dependence on OFW remittances, which make the country even more vulnerable to the fortunes of host economies.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Piper Super Cub landing on Sandbar

This has absolutely no connection to the Philippines but I had to post this short clip. If you think your good try this. Landing was in Alaska. Nothing standard about this approach. turning until touch down, swerving to miss debri and logs, Something to inspire the bush pilot in all of us.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wings of Power for FS 2004

Wings of Power Heavy Bombers and Jets for FS 2004

Microsoft flight sim 2004 is a very powerful program which allows for a wide variety of entertainment, and even serious flight simulation for aspiring pilots. It has a decided bias towards commercial and civil aviation as purchased. Not everyone wants to fly airliners carrying 200 passengers on long flights, nor do some enjoy flying sailplanes, or single engine light aircraft.
Enter Wings of Power Heavy bombers and jets add on pack for FS 2004 and adaptable to FSX. For those interested in flying World War II aircraft with unmatched realism, I highly recommend this addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. Wings of power is the product of Shockwave Productions.


Unsurpassed attention to detail
153-page manual including rare data and the real operation of these amazing aircraft.
Gorgeously constructed aircraft, inside and out, down to the last rivet.
Fully clickable cockpits with authentic working gauges.
3D cockpits so real, they look just like their 2D rendered counterparts.
The latest wind-tunnel technology helps to create for the most authentic,fluid flying qualities, including complex spins and stalls.
Enhanced visual effects and lighting.

B17F and B17G "Flying Fortress"
B29a "Super Fortress"
B24D and B24J "Liberator"
PB4Y-2 "Privateer"
Lancaster BIII and "Grand Slam"
Ar234 "Blitz Bomber"
Ta183 "Huckebein"
He162 "Salamander"

The aircraft are meticulously modeled with attention to artistic historical detail, and more importantly, dynamic flight performance exactly matching the original aircraft. Extreme pains were taken to make these aircraft perform exactly like the prototypical real examples. This means that at 20,000 feet at 46 in manifold pressure, with the throttle at 85%, the B-17G will fly and behave like the real one. You can over drive the engines over boost the supercharges, and see the effects on performance. The staff actually flew real surviving examples of the aircraft to get it right. In theory you can take the original flight manual and fly the aircraft using these as guides.

This add on is for flight sim enthusiasts who enjoy realism and historical accuracy. Set to the proper degree of difficulty as recommended, the aircraft are not easy to fly. Do something wrong and it will come to haunt you.

For those wishing to experience the world of historical war planes, this add on is a must.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Clark Aviation Flight Training

Clark Aviation is the premier flight training center in the Philippines. Located at Clark Ecomomic Zone on the site of the old Cark airforce base, it offers state of the art pilot instruction for the commercial pilot.

Opened in 2006, Clark Aviation has quickly become recognized as one of the leaders in Philippine based flight training.

Clark Aviation is a member of Alpha Aviation Group's global network of International Aviation Training Centres. Alpha Aviation Group is a UK based company with extensive experience in training and management within the aviation industry. The sister company, Alpha Aviation Academy Europe operates advanced training on various systems and modern fleet aircraft.

Clark Aviation is one of the pioneers of the new ICAO Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), which has been developed specifically to train ab-initio airline pilots. Following an integrated 12 month residential training programme, successful cadets will graduate with a commercial pilot licence that allows them to fly as co-pilots, already fully qualified on the Airbus A320.
Some features of the training curriculum follow:

  • Progress is dependent on competency - not hours
  • Flight instruction hours increased over current requirements (240 vs. 200)
  • Utilization of modern training methodologies as practised by airlines
  • Emphasis on modern jet aircraft techniques rather than light aircraft techniques
  • Continuous assessment process throughout training
  • Modern simulation technology allowing weather and environmental effects
  • Comprehensive and integrated training syllabus

Clark Aviation also offers Airbus A-320 training for commercial pilots, and through it's sister company Bond Aviation, training in a number of other current fleet aircraft. you may email Clark Aviation for more information:

Or you may visit their link at the right to access their web site.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bob Hoover Flys Philippine F86F

Rare footage here of the Legendary Bob Hoover flying a Philippine Airforce F86-F at Clark Airbase in 1961. Awsome gentle aerobatics.

New FBO in Dumaguete

The following press release was supplied by Mr. Blair Saceda, one of the principles involved with a new FBO and flight training opreation to start at Dumaguete airport, Negros Oriental.

The School name is Aviation Link Asia Flight Training Center, its main office is at Pilipinas Aero Hangar, Plaridel Airport, in Bulacan. The school owns 2 Cessna 150's and is also leasing 2 other Cessna 150's. Right now the school is awaiting the release of its Air Agency Permit and the certification of its aircrafts.

When opened, the school will offer PPL,CPL,FI,GI Programs. It will also lease planes for other purposes such as aerial video/photography, coastline project inspections for NGO's & intro flights for aspiring pilots.

Blair Saceda

Monday, April 21, 2008

Philippines: Kamikaze attack

Found this video the other day, not much info on it, but apparently dated October 25 1944, it shows a Japanese Zero diving on the Carrier USS Franklin off Leyte. The ship surrvived the war after many attacks and campaigns.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grumman JF-2 Duck

Grumman Aircraft Co. produced Ducks for the Navy and Coast Guard from 1933 to 1946. The Grumman Duck was used widely in the Pacific durring World War two. The Grumman JF-2 Duck was used in the Philippines as an inter coastal aircraft and excelled because of it's ability to handle rough water.

The Duck originated with designs made by Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation. When Loening was taken over by Curtiss-Wright in 1929, several key employees of the former Loening Aeronautical, including Leroy Grumman, formed the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation which was financed by Grover Loening.

Grumman accepted the aircraft as "Design 7". After modifications to facilitate manufacturing, Grumman submitted the specifications to the Navy in 1932 and the Navy accepted it as the XJF-1.

On Tuesday, April 25, 1933, the XJF-1 flew for the first time. Pilot Paul Hovgaard, took off from a grass strip in front of the Grumman factory at Farmingdale, NY. Power for the XJF-1 and the JF-1 came from a 14 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830-62 Twin Wasp engine of 700 hp (522.4 kW) and a Hamilton Standard three blade prop.

A large single large float was mounted under the centerline of the craft. Faired into the sides of the main float was the main landing gear which could be raised and lowered by a system of motors, sprockets, chains and gears. A small float was mounted near the tip of each wing. The crew consisted of a pilot and rear gunner under the telescoping canopy. There were also provisions for two passengers located just aft of the lower wing in the main float.

A total of 632 JF/J2F Ducks were built in all. By 1945 they were scattered all over the world, including the Philippines, performing duties nothing short of amazing.

This is selected footage from the film Murphy's War starring Peter O'toole. I am not sure which I feel more sorry for, the pilot or the aircraft. Obviously a versitile aircraft it takes a beating in this video clip. Check it out.

This clip is featuring a Duck painted like "Candy Clipper", a Grumman Duck that saw duty in the Philippines during WW II. The Clipper flew medical supplies, and candy to the troops during the seige of the Philippines in 1942. It was the last aircraft to leave the Philippines before the Japanese took possession of the Islands.

Flight 541 Crash Book To Be Released

NORTH Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Piñol is planning to write a book about the victims of Air Philippines Flight 541 that crashed in the Island Garden City of Samal on April 19, 2000.

The book will cover the effect of the crash that killed 131 people on the survivors and the relatives of the victims. The crash of flight 541 became nortorious because it resulted in the biggest lawsuit award in Philippine aviation history. The 165 million dollar settlement from AAR an Fleet who leased the plane to Air Philippines was controversial.

It was implied by some observers that the Aircraft was given a rubber stamp approval by the FAA to be leased to the Philippines. The FAA was not implicated in the class action suit, but some are questioning why a plane with obvious defects was leased to a start up airline that was under funded to begin with.

Complicating the crash investigation, the plane was hastily buried after the crash to further impede the investigation.

Read more: Flight 541 Book

Friday, April 11, 2008

Airstrip repair at Pag-asa

The Philippine Air Force plans to make repairs on the old airstrip on Pag-asa island, the Philippines most significant claim to the contested Spratly island chain.

Colonel Pedro Rieza, of the 355th Aviation Engineering Wing, said engineers were to begin repairing the 1,260-meter Rancudo Runway, which has been in a serious state of neglect over the last few years. Repairs on a portion at the southwest side of the runway are the priority and are expected to begin by the third quarter. A 6.6 millon Peso fund was allocated by the Armed Forces in August 2004. The repairs will include a seawall to be constructed.

Minor repaving work and runway painting was done in 2004, but repairs on the eroded parts have been delayed.

PAL Aquires New Planes

MANILA — Philippine Airlines is acquiring nine turbo-prop aircraft from Canada's Bombardier Aerospace at a cost of 150 million dollars, the airline said on Thursday.
The move is aimed at reviving PAL's operations on secondary routes not served by its bigger jet fleet, the company said in a statement.

The turbo-prop fleet will consist of three Q300 and six Q400 Bombardier aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in the next four to six months, the company said.

PAL is 85 percent controlled by publicly-listed PAL Holdings Inc, which is majority owned by Lucio Tan.

Forbes Magazine lists Tan as the wealthiest man in the Philippines with a net worth of 1.5 billion dollars n 2007.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A New Look at Aviation Philippines

Maybe you noticed our new appearance in the last few days. We have added a new banner that we feel more accuratly reflects the current state of Philippine Aviation. In addition there is a news reader located at the top of the page with international aviation news stories updated several times a day. Notice we also have added a feed Icon so that you can read our blog from your favorite news reader.

We will continue to add features as we discover new ways to make the Blog relavant and interesting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Philippine aviation safety audit update

Aviation body readies for 2nd round of audit

Philippine transportation authorities will ask the United States Federal Aviation Administration for a new audit of the Philippine aviation safety regulatory capability within three months.
Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, said that congressmen have agreed to enact a law creating the Civil Aviation Authority, one of the requirements set forth by the FAA.
Congress will resume session on Jan. 28.

“If we have the law and we have complied with the FAA findings, we will invite them for another audit,” Mendoza said, although he admitted that it will take time for the ATO to train new personnel to fill up the large vacancy for pilots, air traffic controllers and other aviation experts.
The ATO is searching for an additional 32 check pilots, 27 airworthiness inspectors, and 300 air traffic controllers. At present, ATO has only 12 check pilots, 25 airworthiness inspectors and 700 air traffic controllers nationwide.

President Arroyo gave Mendoza three months to address the issues raised by the FAA, including weaknesses in having a primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, technical guidance, qualified technical personnel, licensing and certification, continued surveillance regulations, and resolution on safety issues.

In particular, among the FAA’s concerns are outdated aviation regulations, poor training for safety inspectors, and substandard licensing for airframe and engine inspectors.

To address the issues raised by the FAA, Mendoza said the ATO will be reorganized within the next six months to fill up the huge number of vacant positions in the agency. Of the 7,000 plantilla positions in ATO, only 3,500 posts or only half have been filled, he said.
Mendoza said that while they are waiting for the passage of the bill, ATO is already preparing the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Under the proposed bill, ATO will have fiscal autonomy to use all of its revenues for its operations. In 2007, only P1.3 billion or less than half of the ATO’s revenues were allocated for the agency under the General Appropriations Act.
This year, the ATO will receive P1.6 billion out of the projected P3-billion revenues of the agency.

The ATO is still governed by Republic Act 776, enacted on June 30, 1952, otherwise known as the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Silly Aviation sim...

OK, so not quite a sim, but it is addicting. No instructions, have fun!
You can turn off speaker to view additional blog posts in silence.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sky Diving Philippines

Skydiving is popular in the Philippines. Here are some of the most popular skydiving destinations in the Philippines, with contact information if available.

Tanauan Aerial Sports, Batangas

Accessible in less than two hours south of Manila, the small town of Tanauan is the self proclaimed skydiving capital of the Philippines. The drop zone is between Mt. Makiling and Taal Volcano. The Skydiving Center in Tanauan has a 1200m airstrip with several aircraft available to take you aloft for jumping. The standard equipment is state-of-the-art square parachutes, which all have Cypress automatic activation devices fitted for maximum safety. No contact info available.

Cebu Sport Parachute Club Inc.

Mactan Cebu International Airport

PACO Hangar, General Avaition Area, Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Lapulapu City, Mactan, Cebu,

+63919-356-0178 (1053 Hits)
Aircraft: 172, 182, 206, Aero Commander
Training: , S/L, Tandem
AAD: Not Required
Hook Turns: Allowed
USPA Membership: Not Required

Butuan Sky Diving

bancasi airport

c/o pecbc, imadejas subd
butuan city, 8600

(085)341-5882 (fax)
http:// (112 Hits)
Aircraft: cessna 150,cessna 172
Training: , S/L
AAD: Not Required
Hook Turns: Allowed
USPA Membership: Not Required

The drop zone is within the airport just 5 kilometers away from the city proper. The aircraft comes from Cebu City.

Tropical Asia Parachute Center

Omni Aviation complex
Clark Special Economic Zone
Clark Field, Angeles City,Pampanga
Contact: Martin Imalong
Cell: +63917899554
Dial locally: 09178995544

Friday, April 4, 2008

Submarine launchable UAV

Perhaps off topic from Philippines Aviation slightly, this video grabbed my attention. This morphing UAV is the next step. It smacks of Star Wars technology and actually reminds me of a scene right out of the Terminator. A formidable if not somewhat frightening concept. Nevertheless awsome video of a concept probably not far off. It had me until the under water robot started reeling in the cable...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Air Philippines Landing at Ozamis

Watch the first part of this, surprise! Ouch.

And how it was supposed to be done...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Update on FAA safety rating of Philippines

MANILA — President Gloria Arroyo announced the setting up of a new regulatory authority to reform the country’s substandard aviation sector. The new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will replace the Air Transportation Office (ATO), which has been blamed for the nation’s air safety rating being downgraded by U.S. authorities. “Thanks to this new law... the air travel in this country will be liberalised and the obstacles to the entry of tourists and investment will be removed,” Arroyo said after she signed a bill setting up the authority. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December reduced the Philippines’ rating to Category 2 from Category 1, saying the ATO had failed to meet international safety standards. “With the passage of this law, we are confident that the U.S. FAA can have a review of our system and come up with a better rating for civil aviation in the Philippines,” Arroyo’s chief aide Eduardo Ermita said.

The new aviation authority will be allowed to retain earnings from its fees and set its own salaries for employees. It can then address the FAA’s concerns by spending more on safety upgrades and offering competitive salaries to retain skilled personnel. Under the ATO, the money from fees went to the government, meaning it had to go cap-in-hand to Manila every time it needed to pay for any projects.

Industry leaders now hope the country’s safety status could be raised within four months.National carrier Philippine Airlines earlier said it may lower its 2008 growth targets due to the FAA’s rating, effectively putting its expansion plans on hold. The FAA decision prohibits PAL from increasing its flights to the US from 33 a week and from changing the type or number of aircraft used on those services.

(See related article)

BD 5 microjet for FSX

Had to share this great sim plane for Microsoft Flight Sim X. The BD-5 series includes three complete aircraft, a BD-5 piston engine model and two BD-5J models. the jets are the Coors Light edition and the James Bond movie model. This one was used in the film Octopussy.

I have been a fan of the BD-5 since its beginnings, was even on the original mailing list for kits. As it turned sour for kit builders due to powerplant problems and other issues, the BD-5 concept was simply too cool to die. Still available in kit plane for a prop, turbp prop, and jet version from BD Micro Technologies.

I had the thrill of seeing the Bud Light version do a demo at an airshow circa 1990's. Not sure which of their pilots was flying it at the time, but it was unlike anything I had seen before, almost silent at full thrust, you never saw it coming, and didn't hear it until it was long by. The pilot would sneak in low and fast, pull up slightly and roll one wingspan from the ground.
I have included two clips I found on You Tube to give an idea of the awsome performance.

The sim versions are excellent flying, realistic, and very cool. The jet is fully aerobatic with good vertical, the piston version is fun as well, but does not have the vertical performance of the jet.

The BD-5 Home Built Experimental aircraft collection featuring a new Prop version designed with the co-operation and help of the aircrafts original real life owner. This package also includes an all new version (new model, dynamics and paint) of the 'Coors Light' Jet and a new paint of the 'Acrostar' featured in the 1983 James Bond Movie 'Octopussy'. The flight model was co-developed/tested by D. A. Beebe (Original owner and builder of the real N340DB) and both aircraft flight tested by Peter Browne. Available at

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PAL service to China

Philippine Airlines launched a regular service to Chongqing on March 14, the first direct air link between the Philippines and the scenic southwestern part of China . On Tuesday, March 18, a second PAL destination in southwest China will be opened when service to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, commences.

Both services will operate twice a week. Departures from Manila for Chongqing (PR 356) are every Monday and Friday at 9:55 a.m. Arrival at Jianbei International Airport is at 1:15 p.m.
The return service, PR 357, departs Chongqing on the same days at 2:15 p.m. and arrives in Manila at 5:35 p.m.

For Chengdu, departures from Manila (PR 354) are every Tuesday and Saturday at 9:20 a.m. Arrival at Shuangliu International Airport is at 1:00 p.m. The return flight, PR 355, departs Chengdu on the same days at 2:00 p.m. and touches down in Manila at 5:35 p.m.

New Airbus A320 aircraft, which seat 12 in Bussiness Class and 144 in economy, will be deployed on both routes.

Chongqing and Chengdu are PAL’s fourth and fifth destinations in mainland China. The airline already operates daily services to Shanghai and Xiamen, and a five-times-weekly service to Beijing.

On March 15, 1941, with a single-engine Beech Model 18 aircraft, PAL entered the ailine bussiness, when it completed a flight from Manila to Baguio. That trip made PAL Asia’s first airline. Over the years, PAL has grown to become the country’s national flag carrier and largest airline. It currently operates a fleet of 34 aircraft, including five Boeing 747-400s, four Airbus A340-300s, eight Airbus A330-300s, 13 Airbus A320s and four Airbus A319s.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Philippine Army Sky Diving Team

Here is a clip of Philippine Army Parachute Team (PAPT) . Th plane is a Cessna 172. UH-1H Helis and C-130 aircraft are also used. The drop zone is located in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. The team shows it's stuff nationwide in the Philippines, and at selected airshows around the world. Enjoy.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Kamikaze Field

The first Kamikaze attack force was formed in the Philippines by Vice Admiral Takijiro Onishi. In a meeting at Mabalacat Airfield (Clark Air Base) on October 19, 1944, Admiral Onishi met with officers of the 201st Flying Group. The Marcos Santos residence served as the headquarters of these Japanese Kamikaze pilots during this time.

(Above) Japanese Zero hit and diving at U.S. ship

Onishi told them that he believed the only way to maintain control of the Philippines was to put a 500 pound bomb on a Zero fighter and crash them into U.S. aircraft carriers. He believed this would wreak havoc on the U.S. Fleet and disable them for weeks if not months. When the pilots and their officers requested to hear approval for the suicide program from their own commander, Captain Sakai Yamamoto, Onishi lied, saying that Yamamoto had already been advised. In reality Captain Yamamoto was hospitalized near Manila from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, totally unaware of what Onishi was telling his men. All 23 pilots volunteered.

Commanded by Onishi, on Clark Air Base, the first Kamikaze missions were launched. The pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 201st Kokutai, 1st Air Fleet would go down, literally, in history. These pilots were divided into four separate groups: Shikishima, Yamato, Asahi, and the Yama Yukio Seki units.

At 07:25 October 25, 1944, the Shikishima unit departed Clark lead by Lieutenant Yokjo Seki. At 10:45am they attacked U.S. ships stationed at Leyte Island, Philippines. Credited with the first planned Kamikaze attack, Lieutenant Yokjo Seki actually succeeded in striking and sinking the United States carrier USS St. Louis in the first official sinking of a ship by Kamikaze attacks.
According to Captain Rikihei Inoguchi, I.J.N., Approximately one-sixth of all Kamikaze planes used in the Philippines hit their target. The plan was to use them primarily at dusk or on bright moonlit nights using Shiragiku, Zero and Willow fighters. Most of the men in the Philippine Campaign had about 300 hours of flight training. Almost all of the Japanese pilots hoped to get into the Kamikaze Corps, and tried to volunteer. However a few of them with the most flight time were prevented by order of the commanding officer. Torpedo bombing took a greater amount of accuracy, so these few experienced pilots were put aside for those missions.
Inoguchi was an officer of 23 years service, and although not himself an aviator, he spent the last year and a half of the war in aviation activities. In August 1944 he became Chief of Staff of the First Air Fleet in the Philippines, the unit which first employed organized suicide tactics.
According to Inoguchi, the causes of the Japanese failure to defend the Philippines were lack of planes, lack of experienced pilots, and the superiority of the U. S. GRUMMAN fighter over the ZERO and the fact that the P-38 could get such good altitude.

Launching sorties from bases in the occupied Philippines presented special problems, chiefly because the Filipinos were hostile to the occupying Japanese forces. This had its small benefits. It helped instill and sustain a stronger fighting spirit and the sense of antagonism essential for those on kamikaze missions. In addition, in the Philippines the Japanese still had a belief that they would prevail. Better aircraft were used than in the Okinawa Kamikaze attacks, more seasoned pilots were generally at the controls, and more often than not they were protected by fighter escorts. These differences had a considerable impact on the emotional state of the Kamikaze pilots, and ultimately, on their view of life and death.

Zero photo courtesy of C. Peter Chen, World War II Database
Color photos courtesy of Gino T. Manalastas

International Aviation News

To stay connected to Aviation Philippines right click Orange links and open in new TAB or Window.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

RC Flying in Dumaguete

RC modeling is well established in the Philippines. There is an annual competition called the PNATS, based in part on the U.S. AMA system, and the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) rules. Predominantly Pattern flying, Helicopter flying and funfly events are held. This years competition will be held in Bacolod, Negros Oriental.

There are dedicated groups of flyers all around the Philippines with groups active in Luzon, Angeles City, Manila etc., plus in Dumaguete and Bacolod, Negros Oriental. Other flyers have fields and clubs scattered all over the Philippines. If your out there reading this let me know about your group.

Here are some photos of Harry Taylor's 1/3 scale Extra 300 on it's maiden flight in Dumaguete. Harry is a member of the Dumaguete Aeromodelers club, and competed in pattern aerobatics when living in the U.S. I happened to be there with a camera on the big day and captured these photos. This giant true to scale model of a full size aircraft, has a 100cc gas motor for power. It will go straight up out of sight, and is capable of every aerobatic maneuver it's big brother can perform.

Citabria roll in Luzon

Here is a short video of a Bellanca Super Decathlon doing a roll. Instruction flight from Omni Aviation at Clark. Instructor showing his stuff on way home.

Video courtesy of Carlo and Tonet, from Flying in Crosswinds, at Flying in Crosswinds

Helio Courier high wind landing

This Helio Courier made a high wind ultra low speed landing at the 12th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, February 2008. He dumped it right on the spot with a last minute flair, nice.

Video courtesy of Carlo and Tonet, from Flying in Crosswinds, at Flying in Crosswinds

Thursday, March 20, 2008

cool hang glider sim

Dan Burton from the UK has made this little Java applet simulator. He is a hang glider pilot and simmer. It is the equivalent of the bubble popper game for flight sim nuts, simple but addicting. See if you can get to the goal and beat the other gliders. Very cool, and surprisingly realistic.

Here is a screen shot, not so clear, but gives you an idea.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Philippine Flight simmers Group

Just found and recently joined this dedicated Philippine flight sim group forum.

These guys are on top of their game with backgrounds, landscapes, and add ons for local airports around the Philippines. They even have plane repaints for their own airline, Philskies. Many are using Microsoft flight sim, if not all of them, and are avid supporters of the hobby. So if you are a flight sim enthusiast in the Philippines check out their forum.

Paragliding in the Philippines

Paragliding is gaining popularity in the Philippines. There is incredible potential here in Negros and many other locations throughout the mountainous regions of the Philippines. In addition there are many coastal bluffs which just cry out to be flown. The problems center around accessibility, sources of supply, and infrastructure. This is changing. There are a handful of dedicated Paragliding enthusiasts here in the Philippines.
There is a Yahoo group for sharing interests and information.

Here are some paragliding sites located in the Philippines.

1. Montalban Rizal - This site is 1 hour drive east of Manila. 312 meters high. Good for west and west-southwest winds from June to October. Drive up. Plenty of flat space below for landings.
2. Dingalan Aurora - This site is 4 hours drive northeast of Manila. Coastal ridge at 253 meters high. Good for east and east-northeast winds from November to May. Bottom landing is on the beach. Top landing areas are plentiful.
3. Nabas Aklan - This site (called Max ridge) is 15 minutes drive south of Boracay island. Coastal ridge at +200 meters high. Good for east and east-northeast winds from November to May. Landing is on the beach.
4. Sta Cruz Zambales - This site is 5 hours drive north of manila. +500 meters high. Good for west and west-northwest wind from June to October. Site is drive up.
5. Sual Ridge Beginners site - This site is 5 hours drive north of Manila. Inland ridge at 76 meters high. Flyable all year round on both west and east sides for westlerly and easterly winds respectively.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Nardi FN-333 Riviera for Microsoft FSX

Simviation has a good list of add on planes for Microsofts Flight Simulator X. One in particular is nicely suited to flying around the Philippines and island hopping.

FSX Nardi FN-333 Riviera Package. Meticulously modeled and featuring animated gear, dampers, propellers, doors, and control surfaces, Dynamic Clickable VC (virtal cockpit). The classy looking Riviera amphibian is "Seabee" in Italian style... Built by Nardi and Siai-Marchetti, supposedly only 23 were built during the early 1960ies by Siai-Marcheti, the majority of them being sold to America. As every italian design, it is built to go fast. It seats 4 people including the pilot, the reversible propeller gives it superb manouverability in water (and taxi). It is a high-wing anphibian aircraft with double tailfin and pusher propeller. Read notes before flying! (FN333_check.htm, FN333_ref.htm & panel_FN333.htm, plus the document you are currently reading. This model features advanced flight dynamics, detailed external model, detailed photreal virtual cockpit and virtual cabin with night lighting, custom effects, etc. Design & Artwork by Mario Noriega. 15MB.

This description is acurate, and after downloading, I fell in love with this amphibian. Perfectly suited for tooling around either from land strips or water, it flys fast, and is very realistic. A sexy Italian design would not be complete with out a beautiful woman. So the authors have given you a nice up scale female copilot. Be careful don't get distracted while flying! This is a full featured aircraft worthy of anyones hangar.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Learning to fly in the Philippines

There are two methods of learning to fly in the Philippines. That is if you only desire to fly for recreational or personal reasons. These programs are available to both foreign visitors and Philippine citizens.
The first method is to take the standard PPL course culminatiting in a Private pilots license. The Philippine license is recognized in any International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member country. U.S., Britain, etc. The conversion process varies from country to country.

This course requires 40 hours of dual and solo instruction, ground school and a medical certificate. The basic requirements are as follows;

  • Be at least 16 yrs old to get a Student Pilot's License, 17 for PPL liscense
  • Read, speak, & understand English.
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance. Check out for more info.
  • Immigration Clearance
  • X-Ray & ECG (submit at Air Transportation Office)
  • Medical Exam (ATO honors FAA medical)
  • Notarized Application Form
  • ID Pictures (2x2 & 1x1 white background, white polo shirt or preferably pilot's uniform).
  • Payment of corresponding fee.

The cost (based on the minimum hours required) about 280,000 Pesos, or about $7000 USD. depending on the current rate of exchange. This only an average fee, actual costs can vary depending on where you take your instruction.

If you would rather not go through this amount of training and expense, learning to fly an ultralight aircraft may be your alternative. There are active Ultralight clubs and flight schools in the Philippines. One, Angeles City Flying Club, uses the standard U.S. training manual written by Curtis Hughes and published by the United States Ultralight Association, Inc. (USUA).

Flight training is similar to the PPL course, but much shorter and less technical. Their is no license issued by the Philippine Aviation Authorities for this pilot training, You will be issued a certificate to fly ultralights which is recognized by the Philippine government. Airspace restrictions may apply depending on where you learn, and where you will eventually fly .

The full training course will include a least 30 flying hours. Of these a minimum of 10 hours dual and 10 hours solo are required. There is no formal separate ground school; the ground school is conducted in conjunction with the actual flight instruction. There is a written test and check rides are given in one of several tandem aircraft.

Maneuvers required are:

  • Straight and level flight
  • Climbs/descents
  • Stalls, power on/power off
  • Emergency procedures
  • Slow flight
  • Turns around a point
  • Normal and crosswind landings
  • Slow flight

Dual instruction in a Rans S12 will run approximately 3700 Pesos per hour ( 90 USD). Flying an average of 2 hours a day it would take about 8 days to first solo and 16 days to get the Sport Pilot Certificate.

Happy flying!

See links at the right for detailed information for each type of license.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Philippine Airforce

Heavily dependent on the U.S. for it's air defense, modernization of the Philippine airforce has been on hold. Recently with the help of U.S. anti insurgent advisors, especially in Mindinao, this is slowly beginning to change. Technology and hardware is being updated.

By the time the United States Armed Forces left the Philippines in 1991, the Philippine Air Force was direly in need of modernization. By the 1990s, it was still using 30-year-old F-5A fighter jets. The first aircraft to be acquired during its five-year modernization plan were the Aermacchi S-211, and the McDonnell Douglas MD-520MG Defender.

The planned purchase of modern fighter aircraft, with the IAI Kfir, F-16 Fighting Falcon, JAS 39C/D Gripen and the F/A-18 Hornet being the most popular choices, has been put on hold as the PAF concentrates in bringing its current fleet of aircraft into current and flyable standards.

Current efforts are concentrated on the acquisition of aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations, in particular, more helicopter gunships and transport aircraft. The PAF has put up a requirement for Night Capable Attack Helicopters (NCAH), and a replacement for the UH-1H, with 8 units planned initially. There is also a requirement for additional T-41 and SF-260 training aircraft.

At present the of the PAF inventory consists of:

17 -Aermacchi S-211 - for ground support and jet training
7- Aermacchi SF-260TP/-WP - for primary training and counter-insurgency (COIN)
14- North American OV-10A/-D Bronco - for light ground attack
15 -McDonnell Douglas MD-520MG Defender - attack helicopter
1- Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk - multirole helicopter
4- Sikorsky S-76 Spirit - multirole helicopters
2 -Aérospatiale Puma - multirole helicopters
3- Lockheed Martin C-130B/H Hercules - heavy transport aircraft
2 -Fokker F27 Friendship - mainly as support to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules
2- GAF Nomad - light transport aircraft
18- Britten-Norman Islander - light transport aircraft
55 -Bell UH-1H Iroquois - for transport duties
1 -Fokker F28 Fellowship - mainly for domestic trips of the president of the Philippines
14- Cessna T-41 Mescalero - used for primary training
8 -Bell 412 - for VIP transport

Wherever possible the PAF has relied on local skills for modification projects as in the recent Huey II program.

The Philippine Air Force retired its fleet of Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter with a ceremony on October 1, 2005. While retired, they are still being maintained and are serviceable in case of future need. The F-5s were used by the PAF's "Blue Diamonds" aerobatics team, and have appeared in several films and television programs shot in the Philippines.

Friday, March 14, 2008

US Navy planes raid Philippines

Here is a very interesting short video clip of U.S. Navy planes raiding Philippine targets during WW II. Notice the way the ship in one strafing run blows up with an incredible force. There must have been ordinance aboard.

If video is not visible as imbeded try this hyperlink: Navy planes raid Philippines

WW II Philippine Airfields

Here is a list of early WW II airfields and bases in the Philppines. Some have links to Google Earth.

Airfields & Seaplane Anchorages PhilippinesAlphabetical Listing (Icon indicates coordinate for Google Earth available)'Airfield' includes all wartime variations: Aerodrome, Drome, Field, Strip

Aparri Airfield (Aparri I, Aparri II)
Bamban Airfield
Bataan Airfield
Bayug Airfield
Buri Airstrip (Buro)
Caldera Seaplane Base (Recodo)
Clark Field (Clark Air Base)
Davao Airfield (Sasa, Francisco Bangoy)
Del Carmen Airfield
Del Monte Airfield
Dewey Boulevard Airstrip
Dipolog Airfield
Dulag Airfield
Floridablanca Airfield (Basa Air Base)
Grace Park Airfield (Manila North)
Guiuan Airfield (Samar)
Kindley Field
La Carlota
Lahug Airfield
Laoag Airfield (Gabu)
Lingayen Airfield
Malabang Airfield
Mangaldan Airfield
Matina Airfield (Navy No. 2)
Nichols Field (Manila Airport, Nino Aquino Airport)
Nielson Field
Opon Airfield (Mactan Air Base, Cebu International)
Pampanga (San Fernando)
Porac Airfield
Puerto Princesa Airfield
Puerto Princesa Seaplane Base
Rosales Airfield (Carmen)
San Fernando Airfield
San Jose Airfield (McGuire Drome)
San Pablo Airstrip
San Roque Airfield (Moret Field)
Tacloban Airfield (Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport)
Tanauan Airfield
Zablan Field (Manila East, Murphy)

Flying around Luzon

Here is a taste of flying around Clark Economic Development zone and Manila in a Cessna 150. Nicely edited video...

Ultra light aircraft

Ultralight flying in the Philippines is well established and popular in a several regions. Angeles Flying club is a dedicated Ultralight flying organization in Luzon. Angeles Flying Club is located in Central Luzon just north of Manila, only 15 kilometres from Clark Special Economic Zone. The Central Luzon region contains the largest plains area of the Philippines. This makes it an ideal place to fly.

The Angeles Flying club offers flight training, rental aircraft, and Sport Pilot Certification. The Philippine Air Transportation Office Does not offer liscenses for Ultralight Aircraft but allows trained certificated pilots to fly in certain airspaces near Clark economic development zone. Flights outside this area can be arranged.
The club owns a small fleet of single seat and two person training aircrat. Their planes are Quicksilver MX-2's, A Rans S-12 65 HP, and a couple Max-Air ships.

See their link in the resources on the right.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Philippine Airline Companies

There are many ways to travel from island to island as well as internationally in the Philippines. Flying is the most convenient and in some cases as economical as other means. Here is a quick breakdown of the major hubs and the local airlines serving the Philippines.

Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Subic, and Laoag are the international gateways, with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila as the premier gateway. It is served by more than 30 airlines, which fly to different cities around the world.

The Mactan International Airport (MIA) in Cebu handles regular flights from Japan, Singapore, and Australia as well as flights from Hong Kong, the United States, and other major travel capitals. Davao International Airport handles regular flights from Indonesia and Singapore.

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and Subic Airfield in Central Luzon service both chartered and cargo planes. Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte services regular flights from Taiwan and Macau.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), the national flag carrier and considered “Asia’s First Airline,” remains the country’s biggest airline company. It has the largest number of international flights to the Philippines as well as domestic flights. PAL links Manila to 14 cities in 8 countries, and flies regularly to 41 domestic destinations outside Manila.

Cebu Pacific Air (5J), the low fare leader in the Philippines, is the country's leading domestic airline with the lowest year-round fares, most number of destinations, most number of routes, most number of flights, most number of passengers flown in its domestic network and newest fleet of brand new Airbus A320s, Airbus A319s and ATR 72-100s. It links Manila to 21 domestic destinations and the Philippines to 12 international destinations with its direct flights. It also makes its international and domestic destinations virtually accessible to each other through its extensive connecting flight network. The airline currently operates hubs in Manila, Cebu, Davao and soon, in Clark.

Other airlines that presently fly the Philippine skies are Air Philippines, South East Asian Airlines, Laoag International Airlines, Asian Spirit Airlines, and Pacific Airways – each serving popular tourist destinations at pocket-easy prices. For a more personal experience, chartered flights are available via small air companies such as Airspan Corporation (helicopters), A. Soriano Aviation, and Aerolift Philippines (small-to-medium-sized planes).

Microsoft Flight Sim X

Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Flying a good flight sim like the unparalleled Microsoft Flight Simulator X is a great way to get a sense of flying in the Philippines. Whether you are a seasoned pilot or a beginner, the realism offered in Flight sim X gives real time experience with accurate geophysical features.

For example if you are a VFR pilot flying an ultralight, it is easy to navigate by landmarks to find your way around. The limitation in the latest version is that the generic features assigned to rural areas do not give you accurate vegetation and or buildings to use as landmarks. That said, there is a third party add on that will allow you to use Google Earth terrain mapping with Flight Sim X. This will require two computers to run each program on a network. Plans are already in the works for Microsoft Flight Simulator 11, as they are calling it now, and this will include the Google Earth feature as part of the program. There are no details on what kind of system you might need to run such a resource intensive program. You can bet that a dual core 2 gig processor with 2 gigabytes of ram would be a minimum!

Siquijor fly by

As a test flight, I flew a DC-3 from Dumaguete Negros Oriental to Bacolod in Negros Occidental. Both small airports with limited infrastructure, I was able to easily set a VFR flight plan and do a stick and rudder flight using the compass and topographical land marks. Even set on low resolution on my laptop, I was able to pick out the prevalent landmarks to find my way across the Island. Of course if you use the ATC function everything is there for you as well.

As a potential pilot in the Philippines The Microsoft Flight sim X is a good way to familiarize yourself with the topography and the proximity of the various islands in the Philippines. The Dehaviland Beaver on floats would be a super way to explore all the nooks and crannies of the Philippines. On towards Negros Oriental

Here included are some screen shots of a flight from Siquijor Island to tiny Apo Island, part of Negros Oriental. Descent to Apo Island.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Philippine Air Safety Records

Philippine air safety records kept by the FAA show that the Philippines has a number one rating(out of 2). Records kept since 1945 show that there have been a total of 67 fatal occurances with 1118 fatal casualties. The data is interesting to look at for several reasons, for relic devotees, it gives dates and approximate locations for all accidents, as well as the type of aircraft. DC-3's take the number one spot for crashed type. Since the DC-3 was a stable flyer, this may speak to the sheer numbers of them here after WW II.

The data are indicative of the higher standards met by the Philippines as compared to other developing nations. Here is a link.
Aviation Safety

Silver Fox UAV Flies In The Philippines

The Silver Fox UAV.
by Cpl. Kamran Sadaghiani
31st MEUFort Magsaysay, Philippines (AFNS) Nov 05, 2007

Providing a forward set of eyes from above, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force, launched the Silver Fox unmanned aerial vehicle for the first time to conduct an operational evaluation here, Oct. 19, during Amphibious Landing Exercise '08.
"The Silver Fox UAV system was provided to the 31st MEU by Advanced Ceramics Research based out of Tucson, Az. and the Office of Naval Research, in order to conduct an extended user evaluation of the system in support of 31st MEU operations," said Maj. Brendon Harper, the MEU's intelligence officer. "This week of operations was certainly an important and successful beginning to the continuing evaluation of the system to support MEU operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region."

Throughout a week-long assessment of the Silver Fox's capabilities to support the MEU's operations, the four-man operator team comprised of Marines from the MEU's intelligence section, conducted many successful flights and supported the actions of the MEU's Battalion Landing Team at Fort Magsaysay, said Capt. Jude Shell, the MEU's assistant intelligence officer.
"Essentially, the (Silver Fox) has primarily been used in desert environments where the terrain and vegetation are rather benign," said Shell, a native of Anderson, Ind. "However, the MEU's area of operation in the Asia-Pacific is completely opposite from the desert," explained Shell.
"The environment here consists of weather that is less than favorable, and there are additional planning considerations with terrain and vegetation that typically are not encountered in locations such as Iraq." said the native of Anderson, Ind. "These aspects can affect flight and the ability of the sensor to operate properly. Ensuring that the Silver Fox UAV's abilities suit the 31st MEU is an important part of this extended user evaluation," Shell added.
Flying the Silver Fox UAV in an "all weather environment" with heavy rain and high humidity provided very valuable learning experiences for the pilots who were trained in the dry, arid desert of Tucson, Az. "This is a piece of equipment we can use in the forward battle space. As a forward deployed unit, we typically operate in a self-sufficient environment and anything that is a force-multiplier becomes a valuable tool for us," said Shell.

Weighing 25 pounds with a wing-span of eight feet, the Silver Fox is a small, lightweight, rapidly deployable short-range Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance system designed to provide commanders with day and night surveillance capabilities, said Cpl. Jesse Urban, an intelligence specialist and a Silver Fox Flight operator with the MEU.

"This is an important asset for us because the Silver Fox can support a wide variety of missions, ranging anywhere from route reconnaissance, rear-area security, search and rescue, to battle-damage assessment," said Urban, a Minneapolis native.

Shell added that the Silver Fox provides the MEU information on intelligence gaps that other assets may not be able to provide in a time-sensitive fashion.
"Most importantly, as a maritime contingency force, the MEU requires a system that is quickly deployable, flexible, mobile and compact. The Silver Fox provides that," said Rafael Gaytan. Gaytan deployed to the Philippines with the MEU and is a Silver Fox instructor from Advanced Ceramics Research.

"I like the flexibility of the whole system and how easy it is to deploy. You can set it up on a Humvee and be completely mobile and miles away from the objective area, which makes it a great (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) asset."