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dance on a volcano

2008 Dec 18

Last week I went to the Philippines for the first time. I stayed in Angeles City and visited Omni Aviation next to Clarke International (RPLL). Circumstances have worked against me recently but despite license delays and civil unrest in Thailand I piloted an aircraft again. I logged 2.2 hours in a C172M:

  • 2 circuits OMNI RPLL Rwy 02 (normal for here but low level for anywhere else).
    • General handling in area C1.
    • Steep turns.
    • Clean and dirty power on and off stalls.
    • VOR radial intercept and track to waypoint.
    • Procedure turn.
  • Track to direct entry and two holds at CIA.
    • VOR/ILS to RPLL runway 02R.
    • Missed approach.
  • Flew to the Mount Pinatubo crater and experienced some significant downdrafts downwind of the peak:-) The terrain rises steeply so I always had an escape by turning towards the lower slopes. Really good views of the crater lake. The ash smothered terrain downslope has a lush patina of vegetation cut through with deep gray ravines.
  • Midfield crossing at RPLL
  • Landing at OMNI RPLL 02

I was supposed to fly the Seneca I the second day (brave soul that I am). It played the hangar queen with battery problems. I still found the time useful for familiarization, especially starting, and I got to run through an engine shutdown scenario with an instructor.

The Philippines has a somewhat longwinded license conversion process. I will have to do a PPL medical (despite holding a Class 1 Canadian Medical), and pass a flight test after a mandatory 10 hrs in type for a type rating. I will do the Seneca type rating first and try to get more multi engine time. A Philippines license will allow me to fly without too many restrictions on VFR and IFR cross country trips. Cebu Pacific flies Hong Kong to Clarke direct daily. I can get to Clarke is easily.