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!

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