Thursday, March 24, 2011

Soaring into the sky on an ultralight plane

Yesterday would have been an ordinary day to most of us ...but not for me.... yesterday, I rode an ultralight airplane and flew close to Mount Arayat, Rio Chico, the Bamban River where the lahar deposits from Mount Pinatubo passed and the Cong Dadong Dam in Arayat. How did that happen?? Iggy had a pre-nup photo shoot in Pampanga and the couple wanted something different... Iggy suggested having a prenup shoot aboard the ultralight plane... When Iggy asked me to go with them... I immediately asked if I COULD RIDE one of the planes... when he said YES.... I immediately packed my gear ( camera and lens ) and off we went to Pampanga. On our way to Pampanga -- I was hoping that it would stay sunny till the mid afternoon.

that's my pilot, Boy Guevarra..

When we arrived at the Angeles City Flying Club, I immediately went to the front office where I had to register and sign a waiver. After inquiring about the prices, I met Max ( Boy ) Guevarra, who was the head flight instructor. I got more excited when I found out that he was going to be my pilot!!! Great!!! I asked him about the terrain --- I explained to him that I was there as a photographer and I was after landscapes, etc. I asked Boy where he was going to take me... Feeling satisfied with all his explanations on our flight plan, he took me around to  be able to take some photos of the other planes they had. I told him I was not new at this sport since I had flown on a microlight plane last December in Chiang Mai, Thailand. More or less, I knew what to expect. The only thing I requested was an ultralight that had no protective covering ( like the windshield ) in front of me and if I could ride on a ultralight that had seats that had seats side by side...

As I walked around with Boy--- he started giving a brief background about the Angeles Flying Club.

The Angeles City Flying Club is the oldest flying club in the city. It started out in 1994 and was located at the Clark Airbase. Later on when they converted the airstrip of Clark into an International Airport, the Angeles City Flying Club moved to its present location at WOODLAND AIRPARK, Barangay Dolores in Magalang, Pampanga. This club has the distinction of being the ONLY facility in the Philippines that offers full service sport aircraft aviation. They maintain 12 planes ( mostly ultralight ) and I saw one microlight ( like the one I rode in Chiangmai, Thailand ). Most of the pilots at the Angeles Flying Club are retired pilots of various international airlines.

From what I gathered from Max ( Boy ) Guevarra, who is the flight instructor at the Angeles City Flying Club --- there are at least 3 ultralight planes that are for rent and the rest are privately owned. If you would like to take a ride on the ultralight ---- you will have to call up and make reservations... The price for the ride depends on how long you want to be up in the sky.... The maximum time on an ultralight is an hour.  I opted for 40 minutes.

Their location in Pampanga makes it very suitable for flying. Pampanga has the largest area of plains in the country. According to Al Malcolm, another member of the Angeles City Flying Club, the weather in Pampanga is ideal for flying conditions throughout the year. The best time to go on these ultralight planes would be at 7:00am and 4:00pm to get the perfect lighting for your photos. 

There are several different setups for these ultralight planes. Some have fiberglass protective coverings and some have none at all... The one I rode had no glass infront of me. The plane that I chose was a side by side configuration with seats mounted onto a basic frame. It felt like I was going to ride a go-kart up into the sky...

I had Iggy take some shots of me getting all geared up on the ultralight.

OKAY ---- here we go!!! Come with me on the ultralight plane.... Let me share with you some of the photos I took..

MOUNT ARAYAT - It is considered a mystical mountain, the legendary home of the diwata Mariang Sinukuan. As we flew nearer to Mount Arayat, there were a lot of turbulence.... it was like riding a rollercoaster.

BAMBAN RIVER - this was where the lahar deposits passed when Mount Pinatubo erupted.

CONG DADONG DAM - it was named after the late President, Diosdado Macapagal. According to Guevarra, my pilot, this dam releases its water to irrigate at least 5,600 hectares of farm lands in Pampanga. It also diverts the water coming from the  Rio Chico into several canals leading to farms in Arayat, San Simon, Candaba and Apalit.

RIO CHICO - It is one of the longest river in the Philippines.

YOU should try the ULTRALIGHT adventure!! Experience the thrill of a lifetime flying on a go-kart contraption into the sky, With the wind in your face , flying an ultralight plane can provide the type of sensation that is hard to explain. These ultralight planes have dual bucket seats, flimsy wings, light metal frames and a solitary rear engine. They are indeed the closest thing you can get to wearing wings!!!


take the North Luzon Expressway ( NLEX ) till the end and turn left driving thru the old national road going to Magalang , Pampanga. At the end of the road you will see a sign " Angeles City Flying Club ". You will enter Barangay Dolores, and drive another 2 kms. on a dirt road. It is not hard to find. There are signs once you enter Barangay Dolores.

Woodland Park
Sitio Talimundok
Magalang, Pampanga

tel. nos. ( 045 ) 802 2101
             ( 0918 ) 920 3039

TRY IT and ENJOY your experience up in the sky on an ultralight plane!


  1. I will definitely try this one of these days. How much did that tandem flight cost?

  2. It depends on how many minutes you want to fly..... for a 30mins flight it is 3900PHP.

  3. What fun, Asunta!!! I must try that... with the "old girls"!!! Hahahah!!! :D

  4. cool! i've tried ultralight in bukidnon and really enjoyed it. hope to try this someday :)

  5. Wow, this is an adrenaline pumping adventure, with an amazing view from the top. I wanna try this one day and hopefully I could stop myself from taking pictures and just enjoy the moment.