Ultralight plane flying? Who knew that hidden in the fields of Pampanga, a 50,000 ft adventure is awaiting for us to be explored. Well, this time, my research skills was on point. Buti nalang.
For the past few years, I try to find adrenaline-pumping activities for me and my travel crew. Like scuba diving in Sarangani, canyoneering in Badian, target shooting in Guimaras and even Go Karting in Makati. But I am quite particular with adventures which involves height. Like I always say to them, the higher, the better.
Okay, I have to be honest. I am not good with directions and yet I was the one sitted at the passenger seat. Well, mainly because our Ultralight Plane activity is my ‘pakana.’ So like every other sane person, I turn to Waze. There were times that we thought we were lost since we were already in a small subdivision which was followed by vast greenery…but Waze, fortunately, did not fail us.
The map from the Angeles City Flying Club’s website showed that we just need to go straight until end of expressway, even ignoring the Dau and SCTEX toll gates. Then go around the bend towards Mabalacat-Magalang road. But it doesn’t end there, there are still turns that needs to be taken, so trust me when I say that Waze was really a good help. Though if you are good with reading maps, you can go use the one from their website. Click here for the map.
What We Did
This pakana of mine was a pre-bday gift to myself. And since I don’t want to do it alone (ang corny naman kasi nun), I had my brother, sister and my beau to tag along. What we did was leave Makati around 5:30 am to avoid traffic and arrived at ACFC before 9 am. The staff were actually not in that time so we have ample time to survey the area.
And of course, we were the first ones on the line! After we got our number and our flight instructors ready, the ultralight planes we are to use were set. We finally got to see what it actually looked like. No enclosures. No windows. Just a seat, propeller and the wings.
Did I get nervous? Honestly, I was excited as hell! There was a brief orientation from the flight instructor as to what to do and what will happen when we are up in the air. Little did I know, we were already taking off! While in the air, Sir Max pointed to me some of the famous spots as Mt Pinatubo and Hacienda Luisita.
The view from the top was amazing! It was almost all green because of the massive fields below. During the orientation, my instructor already told me that he will let me control the plane. And so I did for a couple of minutes. After trying out the controls (up, down, left and right), I wanted to go down for a bit.
You know that feeling of a sudden descent? That one! It also came across my mind to do a nose dive but before I can even execute it, my instructor already got a hold of the controls. Apparently, our 10 minutes was up.
Okay, now the landing. I was expecting a rough one given that the plane that we’re on was, well, very much open. I was thinking, kung iyong airbuses nga ramdam mo pag naglanding, eto pa kaya. So there I was, my eyes almost half-closed anticipating the strong impact. But then, we’re on the ground. Just like that, no barraging noise, walang kalog-kalog. We were on the ground. All I can think was: ANG GALING! That was one hell of a flying experience and I want to do it again!
Me and my 2 other siblings tried the open ultralight planes while my bf tried the closed one for 20 minutes because he wanted for his instructor to really teach him how to fly the plane. Controls are quite different but he said he got to control such for a longer period of time.
Our ultralight plane experience was finished before 10 am. Honestly, the drive to Pampanga was even longer. While we were waiting for our certificates to be given to us, we got to chat with on of the resident instructors, Sir Mike, who is apparently a retired British Airways pilot. He told us some bizarre stories about his past job and even experiencing flying across the northern lights. So envious of him when he was telling that story.
Us with our instructors and flying certificates.
We ended up staying another more hour just savoring the experience and exchanging stories while we were up in the air. Everyone was all smiles. It was a quick flying moment but we didn’t think of it as that. It was a moment to remember. Actually, we have more videos than pictures. Will share it maybe when di na ko nahihiya. Mostly shrieks of excitement kasi eh. Haha.
• Since the ultralight plane doesn’t have any enclosures, it is better to wear strappy sandals or closed shoes. This is just to prevent footwear slippage when you are thousands of feet above the ground.
• We contacted ACFC beforehand to reserve our slots. Though they accept walk-ins, it is good to know that we will be accommodated at the agreed time and date of our arrival.
• If you are coming from Metro Manila, better to leave early to avoid traffic. And Waze will be your friend when navigating towards ACFC.
• ACFC offers a free shuttle pick up at KFC Dau at 7:00 am and drop off time at 5:00 pm on weekdays and 5:30 pm on weekends.
Travel Expense Summary
>> According to Angeles City Flying Club (ACFC), their rates includes 1-day free membership and free use of facilities (like the nipa hut and swimming pool) for a whole day.
>> Rates are per person per aircraft. Maximum weight limit is 100kg or 220 lbs.
ACFC Rates as shown below:
|10 mins||P 1,848|
|20 mins||P 3,584|
|30 mins||P 4,468.8|
|45 mins||P 6,552|
|60 mins||P 7,392|
For groups, it is best to contact them to reserve your slots though walk ins are also welcome. You can drop by Angeles City Flying Club’s website as well as their Facebook page here. Or you can text them at 0918-920-3039 / 0916-456-8588.