Planespotting for Ultralights
This weekend I accompanied my friend Kohei to the Woodland Airpark in Magalang, Pampanga, to fly in an ultralight. He wanted to do the same after seeing my posts and picture about my ultralight experience. I did not fly this time as I was reserving my budget for next week's Boracay trip. Instead I stayed on the ground to do a bit of planespotting while Kohei is up in the air.
|An ultralight flying overhead
|My favorite ultralight among those I saw in the airfield. Something to do with the shark teeth?
The airpark has a two-storey building that contains their office and classrooms. On the second floor was a restaurant with an open side that overlooks the runway. This is the ideal place to planespot, as there are chairs and a roof, and it sits almost on the edge of the runway.
|My friend taking off
While taking pictures I got the chance to chat with two pilots, one a general aviation pilot who works in Kuala Lumpur. He discussed how flying an ultralight is different from flying a Cessna for example, as piloting the ultralight, with its mechanical controls, made flying more "real." I think this was in line with my observation that it was a visceral experience for me.
|The ultralight with the Philippine flag motiff
The second pilot made the pitch for the flying lessons that the Angeles City Flying Club is offering. That conversation actually made me even more resolved to save up so I can eventually sign up for the classes.
|The ground crew preparing the plane
How to Get there:
Woodland Airpark is in Talimundok, Magalang town in Pampanga. If driving from Manila, take the North Luzon Express Way, exiting in Angeles. From the exit, take the roundabout then go north to Dolores. Drive for about 1.5 km, then take a right at the junction. Drive for about 800 meters then take a left, to Talimundok.
Alternatively, you may take the Sta. Ines Exit, and follow the Mabalacat-Magalang Road all the way to Baranggay Dolores. Drive for 1.5 kilometers then take a right, and take another 800 meters until you see the ACFC marker after the elementary school.
ACFC website: angelesflying.com.
Rates: 10 mins - PhP1650; 20 mins - PhP 2900; and so on. They also offer lessons leading to a sports pilot license, with lessons at PhP4,600 an hour.
In case you're also interested, second-hand ultralights are sometimes offered for sale there. There's one I saw that has an asking price of $20,000, about the price of a small car.