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The Three F's

Feb 24 ’04

The Agusta A109 E Power on board the Tiara II at San Vicente Bay

AOPA-P Newsletter 02-04

A lot of people say that if it is any of the three “F”s(Fly, Float, F_ _ _ ), stay away from it otherwise you are bound to have trouble and enormous expenses.

That weekend, we had the three “F”s and all we had is FUN! We FLEW in the helicopter, landed in the yacht that FLOATS, and of course, we went……………… FISHING (why? what did you expect). A lot of our friends said that the other “F” was in the cabin of the yacht whose photos were kept but as far as Archie and myself was concerned, we thought that last F was the fish in the ocean.

It was great flying RP-C2726 on instruments. This helicopter is equipped and certified single pilot IFR day and night. We were at 9,000 ft and had to be on top of late morning build-ups between the Sierra Madre the Cordillera Mountains. The autopilot certainly keeps everyone relaxed and gives us time for jokes over the intercom. Actually, because of extremely good soundproofing, I could talk to Miggy who was seated at the back who did not have a headset. I did the flight plan and it was Cabanatuan-Whisky 1- and off airways Tuguegarao. This was a 260 mile leg and I planned for a flying time of 1+48. We were overhead the yacht exactly as planned. Not bad for a helicopter huh. The PAL 737 was taking off Tuguegarao and the pilots found it strange looking for traffic at 9,000 ft inbound on radial 179 and was a helicopter. Tuguegarao tower was even more shocked that we were going off airways, landing in a yacht, and staying overnight- It was like playing a trick on everyone and it brings out the Dennis the menace in me.

2726 on final approach to the helipad of Tiara II

Navigating is easy but approach was very ticklish for a fixed-wing pilot like me. It was still easier though than landing at Allied bank building with two more helicopters on your side.

The food, the butler service, the rooms, and everything in this yacht was excellent if not perfect. Tony Ang was the perfect host and all we can do is envy him for owning this extremely nice yacht and be grateful for the rest of our lives. Vic Vic Villavicencio was at his Balinese style weekend house by the beach of San Vicente town and invited us to dinner. He showed to us his beautiful weekend home and even treated us to good spa and massage the next day. We all felt that we were in an Aman resort in Bali and not San Vicente. As expected, dinner was far more better than a five star hotel and of course, fishing adventures was the main topic at the dinner table. After seeing his blue marlin trophy in his den, we were all raring to go fishing the next day.

Our fishing guru Tony Barrios gave us a wake up call at four in the morning. We were trolling in the pacific side of Luzon by about seven. We were in two speedboats courtesy again of Tony Ang and had some local fishermen to guide us and tell the secrets where the fishes were hiding. I will not tell you who caught the fish but I did have some pictures with it . Our Italian friend, Lele, was able to use the pictures to also impress his friends back home. I hope I can make you believe that I caught them.

We were able to do some swimming in the beach in between activities and after three; it was time to head back to Manila. With the speed of the Agusta, we had plenty of time to have the fish ready for sashimi appetizer before dinner and still very fresh (wonder if I should charge Agusta for advertising??). I had a great fishing outing and thanks again to Archie for the helicopter ride, Tony Ang for the accommodation in the yacht and Vic Vic for dinner, and the good company of the others in the group. I had the three “F”s, I did not spend a cent, and was not troublesome at all.

Just really nice to be an aircraft owner and a pilot huh. So if you have not renewed your membership with AOPA, please do so now. If you are not yet a member, be one so you can have fun with us.