AFP chief Gapay pilots ‘champagne flight’ weeks before his retirement
MANILA, Philippines—Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay, who is retiring in a few weeks, flew his official last flight as an Army aviator during his visit to the Army Aviation Regiment at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province on Tuesday (Jan. 12).
Also called the champagne flight, the last flight is a tradition observed for military pilots before they retire from active service.
Gapay flew a Cessna 172 aircraft which was followed by a traditional champagne toast, the regiment said in a Facebook post.
The outgoing AFP chief strongly supported the regiment’s hardware upgrade. Three helicopters acquired by the unit in recent months would be used to train student aviators, the regiment said.
Gapay, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986, will reach the mandatory age of 56 on Feb. 4. He took the reins of the AFP in August 2020.
The AFP has yet to make public his possible successors.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.