Asian Air Safari


Dragon's Tail Fly-In

June 24 ’07

Seven helicopters flew in to the Dragon’s Tail last Sunday.  The Dragon’s Tail is a peninsula in lake Caliraya and is the weekend house of Archie King.  Of course, he flew in Saturday in his silver Agusta Power and set up the place for our arrival. Fritz Segovia assisted by our car buff mutating to a helicopter buff Boy Ochoa planned parking.  It was hard to figure out exactly how to fit in the seven helicopters in this narrow piece of land filled with healthy trees.  After playing and exercising with the rubic’s (did I spell that right?) cube all day Saturday, the three figured out the solution.

Two helicopters were positioned on the southern tip of the property.  The Bell was parked just by the shoreline in the cove, and the four others were parked close to each other at the northern tip of the Peninsula.  It was fun watching everyone come in; hover, and parking very close to each.  Fixed wing pilots would normally freak out but all our helicopter pilot friends pretended very well that they knew exactly what they were doing.

I flew in with Jacques Branellec in his Dauphin and took off from Manila together with Robert Cua’s Agusta and Levi Laus’s Bell Jet Ranger.  We tried very hard to slow down and wait for Levi. Levi has to go to Banawe and look for speed mods for his Bell.  It was fun flying formation and figuring out what the best and fair speed should be for everyone.  Photo sessions were really easy and would like to share a good photo of the A109 II. A couple of minutes after the three helicopters landed, Ed Mijares came in with his Hughes 500D from his weekend house in Tagaytay.  Ed has been piling up the hours and it was obvious with the way he made his approach.

He came in like a professional pilot.  He has been with his helicopter almost everywhere within his 2.5 hours endurance range.  Ed is one of the most popular pilots in Mt. Pulag.  We enjoyed listening to his adventure stories and the moral lesson was that if you land anywhere that is not familiar, introduce yourself as “Capt. Ed Mijares”.  This will ensure you safe passage, fuel availability and will surely get you out of trouble because they thought you were Ed. Sonny Lim came just in time for lunch in his AS350 B2.  Meynard Halili was able to hitch a ride with Sonny and enjoyed the leather seats and the extra sound proofing of the squirrel-definitely a far cry from Meynard’s Robinson. 

Everyone agreed that Sonny’s helicopter still smells like new and could be a candidate for a helicopter show. Lingling King took care of lunch preparation.  The best dish for me was the spaghetti and chocolate cake dessert.  Pastor Meynard led the prayers for lunch but did not have enough time for the marriage ceremony of Fritz and Ging.  Next outing for sure!! Only Jacques B. was in favor of postponing the wedding and giving more time for Fritz S. to decide.

Just hanging out. First row L-R: Levi Laus, Robert Cua, Tess Laus Second row: Ed Mijares and Jacques Branellec Third row: Fritz Segovia, Meynard Hallili, Sonny Lim, Archie King

Jack B. Jr provided instant entertainment.  He brought his saxophone and played both romantic and dancing music for us.  Meynard H. and Ging revealed their ages when they danced the boogie so well. It rained after lunch and we were just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.  Pacqui Ortigas was really late and flew in with the Madrigal Agusta Power. We have heard rumors that Pacqui has already given a down payment for this helicopter.  Watch out for the next episode and we will tell you more. This was one Sunday when you forget about helicopter parts expense, insurance payments, Fuel, maintenance and hangarage expenses.  It was just simply fun to own a helicopter and nice to be a part of the group. Happy Flying!