It’s raining daily here at the Leading Edge training hub, but it is also soloing season, thanks to the high heavens for the providential blessing of a continuous good weather during daytime despite the official declaration of the rainy season by Pagasa. It is also expected that due to the influx of presolo students lately, release for 1st Solo Flights will be a regular activity at LEIAAI. Just like this morning, a Wednesday, June 27, 2018, two (2) young and daring flightless eaglets of Batch Bravo and Charlie realized their dream of a lifetime by achieving the most significant event in their early flying careers, the unforgettable “1st Solo Flight”. First to solo on or about 1045H today, flying RP-C6932 courtesy of Capt JC Asuncion was 26 year old Student Pilot Rafael Alfonso Diaz Atienza, resident of Las Pinas City and a product of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. Ten (10) minutes later, on or about 1055H, flying RP-C1300 courtesy of Capt Elcid Tolentino was 22 year old SP Katrina Perlas Ingco, a very young female student from Antipolo City and a graduate of UP Diliman, BSE, Major in Special Education. Both checkers were impressed on the skills and performance of SP Rafa Atienza and SP Ini Ingco and undoubtedly released them within the standard flying time before solo. It must have been in the genes, as both are descendants of veteran aviators in the Philippine Air Force. Apparently, SP Atienza is a grandson of retired Col Gregorio “George” S Ferrer, a member of Aviation Cadet Class’69 and once a upon a time highly respected Instructor Pilot, Test Pilot and Checker in the PAF Flying School. Likewise, SP Ini Ingco, who made it in just 10.7 flying hours before solo, broke the school’s record of 11 flying hours before solo by LEIAAI female student pilots set by former student pilot and now flying with PALEX, F.O. Ren Pollicar sometime in July 3, 2015. Obviously, flying runs in the blood of this record breaking young and charming female aviator as his dad, Capt Leopoldo Ingco Jr. a member of PAFFS Class’79 was a seasoned Fighter Pilot of the famous 5th Fighter Wing, PAF in the 80’s and currently a Pilot-in-Command at Philippine Air Lines. Henceforth, effective immediately, the 2 brand new 1st Soloists for the day may now unfurl their frail feathers, extend their limited wings and fly high to safely explore and conquer the infinite vastness of the universe and clear blue skies of SFLU where the Eagles Nest of the Leading Edge is located.
Once again, congratulations Student Pilots Rafa Atienza and Ini Ingco for attaining the most sought after feat by all the young and daring eaglets in the aviation industry, the unforgettable 1st Solo Flight! Likewise, the same accolades goes to the proud and very supportive parents. Happy Flying and have a Safe Flight always! God bless and Cheers!✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈✈