This website was initially conceived to connect long lost friends: pilots, aircraft mechanics, office employees and their families who were once part of Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. (PADC).
On a bigger scope however, we are not limiting this website exclusively to pilots, aircraft mechanics and airline employees. From the early 1970’s until the late 1980’s Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. had two subsidiaries, namely Philippine Aerotransport, Inc. (PATI) and Rotorcraft Philippines, Inc.
I joined Philippine Aerotransport in 1974 as a 20 year old pilot trainee in the BN2 Islander fleet. I was sent to PATI’s base in Mactan, Cebu for my training. After a few months I was released as a line captain and sent back to Manila where in addition to my duties as a pilot in the Islander fleet I was also part of the Market Research department which was responsible for selecting the routes we fly to as well as figuring out the fare structure and sorting out the data and statistics of our operations.
In mid 1978 our BN2 Islander operations was absorbed by Philippine Airlines and our Islander fleet and most of the pilots were moved to PAL. I was among those who was accepted at Philippine Airlines. A few months later, Malaysian Airlines System (MAS), based in Kuala Lumpur, was in need of pilots as they had a rapid expansion in their international operations and were very short of domestic pilots. They started interviews in October 1978 and of the over a hundred interviewed I was one of the fortunate 8 who were the first batch of Filipino pilots hired.
In the years that followed MAS hired many more pilots from all over the world, the majority though, were Filipinos and Swedish. At the height of that expansion, we had Australians, British, Americans, Burmese, Indonesians and some other nationalities that I can’t remember. Malaysian Airlines System (now Malaysia Airlines) was formerly the other half of Malaysia Singapore Airlines (MSA) which split up in 1972. The other half of the split is Singapore Airlines. Both belong to the world’s major airlines for the last 4 decades.
After I left MAS in 1983 and immigrated to the United States, I never went back to professional flying. What I heard of our BN2 Islander operations was they were eventually phased out and replaced with Shorts 360 aircraft. The pilots that were absorbed at PAL were integrated with their flight crew and many went up in ranks over to the bigger airplanes in the following years. Some of my friends left PAL and ended up scattered all over the globe. Some went to Air France, Air Vietnam, even to Russia. Many, like me, immigrated to the United States but many more ended up all over Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. I believe that most of them are retired now and I haven’t seen most of them since I left for Malaysia over 35 years ago.
Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. is still operating up to this day. Philippine Aerotransport, however eventually ceased operations and the 4 L 100-300 (C-130) planes were either sold or turned over to the Philippine Air Force. When PATI was disbanded (and even before that) many of the pilots and mechanics who did not join other airlines worldwide shifted to other fields of interest. The office employees who migrated to different parts of the world found jobs in different industries. The connection to people outside aviation is really widespread throughout the whole world. We want to keep these connections intact as when people move contact is lost and sometimes it is too late to re-establish this connection.
Our common bond is aviation which we all love and cherish whether we are in it at present or just a wonderful memory. Many of the original PADC group are now retired. For the older ones keeping in touch keeps these memories alive, reliving those great times. For the younger ones this is your chance to create an unbreakable bond with people close to you that will last a lifetime. For everyone this is an opportunity to widen our horizons, meet new exciting people and create everlasting friendships. The internet has been around for a while now and there is no excuse why we can’t keep in touch with these old and new friends in the moment that we want to.