Saturday, February 12, 2011

Character-themed hot air balloons take flight in Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Character-themed hot air balloons take flight from an open field in Clarkfield, Pampanga province, north of Manila, Philippines, Feb. 10, 2011. The 16th Hot Air Balloon Festival kicked off with 27 participating teams, as part of efforts in tourism and aviation sports promotion in the Philippines.

Performers carry their props as hot air balloons dot the sky for the four-day 16th Hot Air Balloon festival at Clark Economic Zone at Clark Field, Pampanga province north of Manila, Philippines.

2.  Philippine Airlines launches India service
Philippine Airlines is preparing to launch services to India, offering discounted airfares from Australia starting at $1313 return.

Beginning March 27, 2011, Philippine Airlines will fly six times a week from Manila to Delhi, while at the same time increasing its Australian services to seven times a week from both Sydney and Melbourne to Manila.

The new services mean travellers can combine the culture of India with the pristine tropical islands of the Philippines on the one low-cost fare.

Return economy flights are available from Sydney to Delhi via Manila from $1331 including taxes, or from Melbourne to Delhi via Manila from $1313 including taxes.

The fares allow one free stopover in the Philippines, or additional stopovers for $50.

Philippines Airlines will increase its Australian services from five a week to seven from March 27, including four daytime flights and three evening flights from both Sydney and Melbourne to Manila.

3. PAF fliers entertain air enthusiasts
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) awed the crowd during the opening day of the 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clarkfield, Pampanga, with the fly-by and a high-speed pass of its aircraft.

A large crowd of local and foreign tourists converged at the opening day of the PIHABF which will go on until Today, Feb. 13, 2011.

PAF chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena attended the opening day together with the AFP top brass and the Secretary of National Defense.

A high-speed pass using the PAF’s jet-powered S-211 trainer plane signaled the start of the annual event with thousands of aviation enthusiasts in attendance.

The high-speed maneuver was then followed by a formation fly-by using the PAF’s SF260M Marchetti trainer planes.

After the aerial display, the PAF entertained the crowd with a band exhibition together with a performance of the Air Force’s all Female Soldiers’ Silent Drill.

PAF public information director Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto G. Okol explained that the Hot Air Balloon Festival is an annual event that features not only an exciting display of multi-colored hot air balloons from various participating countries but a host of other aerial activities such as skydiving, flag jumps, micro-light aircraft, and rocketry demonstrations, small plane fly-bys and fly-ins, remote-control airplane and helicopter flying exhibitions, among others.

4. Cessna plane crash-lands in Lingayen airport
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – A two-seater Cessna 150 plane was in total wreck after it crash-landed yesterday morning on a perimeter fence while it was about to touch down at the airport here.

Luckily, its two passengers, both pilot trainees, survived the crash and were taken immediately to an undisclosed hospital by a representative of their aviation school.

Employees here of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, however, said they could not give other details due to an existing memorandum regarding such incidents.

The STAR gathered though that the Cessna 150 plane, with marking RP-C8204 and owned by Fast Fly, took off at around 9:25 a.m. yesterday for the training of its two pilots.

But when the plane was about to touch down, it hit the perimeter fence of the airport.

Firefighters in two fire trucks immediately responded.

Several other aviation schools are also conducting their training in this capital town.

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