My Road to The Skies Part II – The Flying School

This is the second part of my road to the skies. The first part was written 13 months ago and can be found here

The reason why I chose today to publish this post is because it marks a very significant point of my life.

This time, today and exactly 365 days ago, 16 of us departed from Kuala Lumpur coming over to Langkawi to begin our 18 months long flight training.

Everything was really alien to us. Everything was new to us. I think none of us would have ever dreamt that this day will be possible. Everybody looked really fantastic and everyone is clearly excited. At least that’s what I felt.

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The 16 of us posing for pictures with our ride behind us – 9M-MMB.

This is the beginning of a new journey…..

We started our training with the Private Pilot’s License (PPL) Phase which consist of 4 weeks of ground school and we study all the basic stuffs. Stuffs like airframe, engines, theory of flight, basic navigation, meteorology, radio telephony and air law.

I think everyone in the batch would remember this picture.

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For the first 2 weeks we are here, we need to attend Physical Training(PT) sessions. Twice per day actually. 0530 hours and 1700 hours. Waking up at 530 in the morning? Not easy at all! But after all, a pilot needs to be fit and healthy all the time. We still have PT now but only during the evening. >.<

After the 4 weeks of PPL, we proceeded to this stage called the DCA Technical (DCAT) Phase which consists of 9 weeks of ground school.

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During this phase we go more into details of what we have learnt in the PPL phase and also the subject are a lot more technical. There are also more subjects to learn.

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The books that we use in DCAT….P1050712

And Captain Swaminathan. One of the best Captain I have met so far. Too bad he has already left the school. ToT

After a total of 13 weeks in ground school, we proceeded to the PPL Flying Phase. This phase is suppose to take about 2 months but due to certain complications, we took more time than planned.

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My first ever flight license, the Student Pilot’s License.

You know, I remember during my interview, I asked the Captain who was interviewing me, what was his most memorable moment in flying up to now.

His answer was simple : “The only thing that you can really remember for the rest of your life is when you do your first solo”

For me, there are a few really memorable moments for me.

The first one was during my familiarisation flight. It was a short one. Less than 10 minutes. But it was enough. The very moment the Captain taxies the aircraft onto the runway, the feeling that I felt is just amazing. Its like your inner self is shouting at you “Hey look, we are on the runway! And its extremely wiiiide” >.<

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The second thing that I really remember and perhaps the most precious one for me is when I first start up the aircraft.

The moment when you insert the keys and turning it from the Left Magneto position to the Right Magneto and then onto the On position was really priceless. And when you finally depress the starter and it engages, the rumbling of the dashboard and everything coming up to life is just WOW!

And my third most memorable moments is like the Captain said, during my first solo. Did my first solo on the 1st of December 2008

Going for a solo flight means that you have met the minimum requirements and have at least the most basic knowledge of how to handle the aircraft. There will not be an instructor sitting next to you anymore to monitor your mistakes. You have to realise and monitor yourself. You have to be able to understand what the controller is telling you. There will no be anyone there to help you. You have to decide for yourself what you are going to do. What actions you are going to take in case things doesn’t go as planned. You are the pilot in command. You decide where to go and when to go. It might seem as if it is something simple. But trust me, it can get pretty intense up there.

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My solo flight was quite adventurous. I flew in the morning so there were lots of commercial traffic coming in and departing. I was ordered to hold in the circuit for about 10 minutes to allow for an arrival and a departure I think. And when I was just cleared to make the approach, an Air Asia Airbus was just taxiing out bound for Kuala Lumpur. My feeling? “Oh shit! An Airbus is going to have to wait for me.”

I landed and the Airbus was cleared to line-up while I was taxiing to clear the runway. Can you imagine a huge Airbus sitting in front of you with its landing lights on ready to go waiting for you to clear the runway? Its like going chicken race against an airbus and we all know who will be the winner here. >.<

After that, the tower controller congratulated me and then somebody came on the radio and said “Congratulations on your first solo”. I think its from the Air Asia aircraft. ^^, First Solo flight’s call sign is a little different (it has a Sierra added behind the call sign) so they know we are flying our first solo.

And the best part of it all? My instructor was inside the Airbus. >.< Greaaat~!

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Before every flight, we have to make sure everything is functioning as it should have.

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Which consists of both internal and external checks.

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And pushing our aircraft out onto the apron. ^^,

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Even had time to pose for a picture before flight. TB-10 if I am not wrong first flew in the 1970’s. A very old airplane but a very reliable one to my mind. The component is for it is quite difficult to purchase already as some of the parts are no longer manufactured as far as I understand.

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But nevertheless, its a great aircraft to fly. My first ever aircraft that I flew. My first ever cockpit. My first ‘love’. ^^,

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Seen here, I am changing frequency and tuning onto ATIS to get weather information. Before I came here, like all pilots wannabe, I played the flight simulator. Tons and tons of hours in front of my computer.

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But no matter how well a simulator is made, no matter stunning the graphics is…

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….or no matter how many add-ons you install….

P1060037 Nothing will beat the real thing!

P1060045 And I really mean nothing! The feeling of flying in the air, the G-force…

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…..the cotton-candy-white-fluffy clouds. They are all really magnificent!

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But all in all, at the end of the day, PPL Flying Phase has to come to an end. And after about 3 months of flying in the PPL stage, its time for the phase that everyone feared…. The CA6!

The CA6 is the longest phase in the ground school. Consuming over 4 months of your life and in the process, tries to shorten your life span by giving you so much stress, you felt like you have turned into a zombie.

CA6 is a critical stage and this is the stage where you have to really study really really hard. And I mean really really hard. On an average, I study about 11 hours per day. And honestly, Form 6 felt easier. And even with that amount of time spent, at times I am still struggling. There is no time to play or relax. Its all about the books.

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This is the amount of books you have to study in 4 months time. Each page, each picture and each word has to go into that tiny little brain of yours. And at the end of the stage, you will be so thorough that you can remember exactly where each sentences comes from.

After the CA6, there will be another 9 weeks of CA2 before you finally say Bye Bye to the ground school.

The 9 weeks in CA2 will be like heaven. The subjects are less taxing and it is more interesting in my opinion. ^^,

leaving training area point

I have just finished my CA2 last Thursday.

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And now am in the middle of my conversion to the Diamond DA40, which will be the aircraft I will be flying for the next 100 plus hours.

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I am sorry my dear TB-10. You are very pretty and charming….but times have changed…I have to move on….You have to let me go…. The thing is that, the Diamond has more curves that you…. >.<

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Till the day I see myself sitting in the cockpit of a commercial airliner, I will continue to work hard and continue to climb and pave my own road to the skies…

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After all, the sky is where my heart belongs.

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8 Responses to “My Road to The Skies Part II – The Flying School”


  1. 1 Gyee July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Interesting sharing ^^v

  2. 3 Aaron July 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Damn Nice!! memories…

  3. 5 sammified July 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

    i loved reading this entry! very inspiring and touching in some parts.
    congrats on surviving your CA6 and CA2 stages and now for your 158 CPL hours… may all the luck from the skies guide you through to a fantastic career! (:

    p/s: your breakup with the TB-10 was too evil, tsk tsk. your new Diamond better be emotionally ready when you break up with her and move on to the Boeing’s and Airbuses. 😀
    AND i think your first solo with the AirAsia pilot congratulating you is absolutely priceless! (:

  4. 7 Ray January 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    hello ! i just finished my spm in St Xavier Inst ! =D
    im deeply happy to found this blog of a pilot of my senior
    hahaha.. how can i contact u? besides tis blog?


  1. 1 Starting out: Sports pilot or private pilot license? | Pilotage Moto Trackback on July 23, 2009 at 12:20 am

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