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Lady military pilot commands C-130 transpacific flight

A first in PH military history

WOMAN POWER – Philippine Air Force (PAF) Major Marjorie D. Mukay poses in front of the PAF’s newly acquired C-130 aircraft after it arrived in Manila, Monday. Mukay was with the PAF crew which took delivery of the aircraft in the US and thus became the first Filipina PAF pilot to fly a transpacific flight. (Francis T. Wakefield)

WOMAN POWER – Philippine Air Force (PAF) Major Marjorie D. Mukay poses in front of the PAF’s newly acquired C-130 aircraft after it arrived in Manila, Monday. Mukay was with the PAF crew which took delivery of the aircraft in the US and thus became the first Filipina PAF pilot to fly a transpacific flight. (Francis T. Wakefield)

The latest acquisition of the Philippine Air Force – a C-130T cargo plane made its transpacific flight from Tucson, Arizona under the command of a female military pilot, a first in the history of the Philippine military.

“Actually I’m not the first (female) pilot to fly a C-130 plane but I’m the first to be certified as pilot in command. Of course it’s flattering that the command allowed it. There is no restriction for females for as long as you are qualified,” Air Force Maj. Marjorie D. Mukay.

She thanked the Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership for making her a part of the team which brought the aircraft to Manila.

The PAF flight crew was headed by Lt. Col. Jason Rom J. Lacida.  Assisting him in operating the aircraft were  Major Anthony Amora, Test Pilot; Major Meritto Jay Quijano, Pilot-in-Command; Major Ronel L. Salas, PIC; TSg. Jonathan J. Tuban, Flight Engineer; SSg. Ryan T. Magpantay, Propulsion; SSg Edgar M. Hermina, REI Specialist; TSg Manuel G. Saavedra, Hydraulics Specialist; Ssg Donald T. Badoy, Crew Chief; Miguel V. Denito, Load Master;. TSg Ferdinand M. Orias, Load Master; and SSg Robert Ceasar M. Madanguit Inventory/Record Custodian.

Mukay, a member of the Philippine Military Academy  Class  2005 (Sanlingan) said the C-130 T plane will boost their capability during disaster operation. “The plane can be use for disaster relief and transport military troops anywhere in the country. It can also be used to fly in the West Philippine Sea to transport supply and troops there,” she said.

 

Full mission capable

She also allayed the fears of some quarters that the plane acquired from the US is already old and no longer serviceable.

“Kapagsinabing refurbished aircraft functional siya.  Full mission capable siya.Nagkataon lang na nagamit na siya but all systems are working,” Mukay said.

“It previously came from US Coast Guard and used to be a tanker. Purely transport siya,” she said.

The newly refurbished aircraft is the second and last C-130 T aircraft acquired from the United States through its Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program.  The first cargo plane arrived in April.

The PAF has now a total of five C-130 aircrafts — two C-130T, two C-130H and a C-130B.

The C-130T aircraft was formally turned-over to the 220th Air Lift Wing at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City Monday.

Outgoing US Ambassador to Philippines Philip Goldberg, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya, Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Edgar T. Fallorina, Air Logistics Command chief Maj. Gen.Arnold A. Mancita and 220th Airlift Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Nicolas C. Parilla welcomed the arrival of the cargo plane and attended the blessing that followed.