“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads!”
Images of Back to the Future’s time machine flashed before my eyes as I sat behind the retro futuristic dashboard of the two-seater Cessna 152 aircraft. The control panel full of complicated-looking buttons, knobs and gauges looked worthy of powering up a flux capacitor that could take me back in time 30 years. The width of the 2-seater plane is only about one-third the size of your standard car or SUV, with two seats squeezed together and some extra space for bags at the back. But judging from my excitement level of riding one for the first time, you’d think I was riding along with Doc Brown himself in the DeLorean.
Set for 1.21 gigawatts of power!
With a few switches of the knobs and levers, Captain Dan powered up the plane and drove to the end of the runway. The propeller whirred faster and the aircraft took off. The ride aboard the 2-seater plane was surprisingly relaxing. The plane glided smoothly over the Binalonan Airfield in Pangasinan, giving us a birds-eye view of the hangar and surrounding fields and towns. I thanked the weather gods silently for the perfect weather, the clear blue skies and the postcard view of the valley below. It was a short, but really sweet ride. It’s not everyday you get chauffeured around in a Cessna and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I didn’t think it could get any better than that, but our ride on the 4-seater Cessna 172 the next day took the experience to an even higher level. According to pilots, the best time to fly is at around 6:30 am, because of the good visibility and cooler weather. While the weather from noon to early afternoon the previous day had been stifling at the hangar, the morning flight was much cooler. Captain Carlos let us experience a more thrilling ride on our way to get an aerial view of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. From the back seat of the plane, I got a chance to take more aerial photos and video footage of the islands scattered across the Lingayen Gulf and surrounding coastal towns of Pangasinan.
Flying over Hill Valley 😉
As we cruised at an elevation of about 2,000 feet I spotted another plane flying lower in the distance. A river snaked through the lush landscape dotted with houses and buildings. We flew over the famed hundred islands and just enjoyed the scenery of the stunning stretches of beach right below. For someone used to the gridlock of Metro Manila traffic, this is pure paradise. With no other vehicles or obstacles in the way and no roads for that matter, it just felt like total freedom.
The aerial perspective was an inspiring introduction to WCC Aviation, one of the leading aviation schools in the country. The awesome tour actually made me just want to sign up for flight school.