Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aerial Photos Up and Around Nampicuan

Sunrise at Nampicuan

Mount Cuyapo--kudos to Cuyapo for all those trees!

Lake Paitan--farmers follow the rise and ebb of rain water to produce rice; Central Luzon's tiny version of Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia)

Mount Balungao--hot springs are found here; a dormant volcano

Friday, July 29, 2011

Grounded . . . Happy 85th Birthday Dad!

Crack of dawn, Friday, July 29. Typhoon Juaning just passed through Central Luzon and is now headed for Hanoi via the Western Philippine Sea (could also be the South China Sea, depending on who gets the Spratly Islands—those Beijing Bullies!). Typhoon Kabayan is concurrently developing in the Pacific Ocean but it appears to be moving north along the eastern shores of the PhilippinesNampicuan is overcast with dark clouds.  Even at sunrise, there is a breeze with occasional gusts.  See wind sock with Mount Cuyapo in the background.

Air Sock with Mount Cuyapo at the Background
Breeze is unusually strong at sunrise.

Warmed-up my engine but decided not to fly.  Instead, I just took pictures of the airstrip and the microlight.

Muddy Airstrip under Cloudy Skies

Aircraft and Crew
That's Otips, our new Cattle Herder, and Mang Ben, Chief Crew, Forage Expert and Jack of All Trades. 
Mang Ben has been with the family since I was a kid.

Perhaps the most important safety consideration in aviation is deciding whether or not to fly at all, based on the weather conditions.  If you’re flying for fun, then you might as well do it under ideal or near ideal weather conditions.  A few years ago, my near crash experience while landing my microlight was a result of my misreading the afternoon winds.  I thought it was getting calmer, when, in fact, it picked up considerably (and a perfect crosswind across the north-south orientation of the airstrip at that) after I took off.  Casualty: damage to the front end of the aircraft and a sprain on my right foot.  I’d like to give credit to my piloting skills but I was just lucky.

It’s Dad’s 85th birthday and he’s in great shape.  He says he now has the biorhythm of a baby; that is, he sleeps a few hours at a time in between meals and activities, regardless of the hour of day or night.  He still looks good and I mean that literally.  Dad has always been a handsome fellow—damn good looking guy if I may say so myself.  (By the way, I look like my Mom, so I’m quite objective about Dad’s looks.)  These types don’t come along too often.  Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood . . . MOG.  See for yourself below.  Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two (2) Part Video of Gliding in Nampicuan
Taken from the southeast side of the airstrip; Nampicuan Public High School across the Ranch along the Anao-Nampicuan-Cuyapo provincial road

Professionally captured and narrated by Erik Kramer.  Be sure to turn-up the volume to hear Erik's informative commentary.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My First Flight (since almost 2 years ago)

Mount Bangkay at the foreground and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range at the background

Crack of dawn, July 1, 2011, I flew my trike (also called a flexwing or a microlight or an ultralight) for the first time in nearly two years. For safety, I used my slow wing. My landings were smooth--as if I had been flying regularly. It's like riding a bike. Once you know it, then you know it for life. I need to adjust the idle and figure out why the EGT (exhaust gas temperature) readings are uneven. Overall, my new Rotax 582 Bluehead engine is performing nicely.

My initial target for first flight was April 1, 2011 or three months ago. There were additional parts I had to import and the electrical wiring seemed to take forever. Then, there was the gasoline tank, which I had fabricated in a fiberglass shop in Banawe, Quezon City. They used the wrong resin, which melted with gasoline. Entirely my fault to rely on the "expertise" of local fabricators that create fiberglass parts for aesthetic purposes. After my research on the subject, I used vinyl-ester resin on the gasoline tank and, voila, we are good to go!