Archive for the 'Aviation' Category

Navex 5 – TGG -> Kerteh -> TGG

P1070086I guess the title says it all. ^^, Its the navigation ‘season’ again. ^^,

Well, I did my 5th Navigation sortie a.k.a Navex 5 yesterday. What a great way to start my October. ^^, I remembered I did my first solo on the first day of the month also – the 1st of December.

Anyway, it has been quite some time since I last did navigation sorties and from my past experiences, navigation is really fun. You get to enjoy the great view from above and practically it is quite simple in terms of flying because most of the time you will just be flying straight and level. ^^,

What makes navigation sorties complicated are the various preparations required. To put it simply, its like cooking a dish. You need all the ingredients, then you have to clean them, rinse them, cut them up, slice and finally mixing it all together to make a mouth-watering dish~! ^^,

I will not go into detail on how to prepare for the sortie. But if you need any info, feel free to ask. ^^,

Anyway, let’s get into the main dish for the day! As always, navigation sorties = tonnes of pictures + videos. I would first of all like to offer a huge thank you to my batch mate, Mohd. Afiq, for taking all those pictures and videos and the best of all compiling all of them into a single video. ^^,

Without further delay, I present to you, a 2 hours 10 minutes navigation sortie reduced into a 14-minute video. And just to help you to get your bearings right, please look at the picture of the map above at the beginning of the post. We will start from the Kuala Terengganu airfield (circled green) and would proceed in the clockwise direction (green arrow) with each tiny red circle on my map indicating a waypoint which you will see in the video.

Note : Since I am unable to upload this video to YouTube due to its length, I uploaded it to Facebook instead. Here’s the link to the video. I hope it works.

Navex 5 video here


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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” >.<


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.


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~!


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


Which consists of both internal and external checks.


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


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.


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


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.


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


….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…


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


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.


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.

training area datai

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.


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…. >.<


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…


After all, the sky is where my heart belongs.

World Air Traffic – Over 24 Hours

World Air Traffic

World Air Traffic

This is a short video of the world’s air traffic over the period of 24 hours. Thats a lot of yellow blips!

Flying The Chinese Style – No Seats Attached

I am sure air travel will never be the same again with this….

A Chinese low-cost airline, Spring Airlines is planning to run flights with standing room only tickets, with passengers being made to stand for the entire duration of their flight, in which by doing that, it allows up to a 40% increase in passenger load.

Here’s a part of the news :

Spring Airlines’ President Wang Zhengua said he was confident the government would approve the request. He claims the idea was actually mooted by China’s Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang.

“He suggested that, for a lower price, passengers should be able to get on a plane like catching a bus, with no seat, no luggage consignment, no food, no water, but very convenient,” Wang said.

Full news here

Apparently Airbus also has plans for standing passengers in aircraft :

Allegedly plane manufacturer Airbus has previously suggested standing-room areas on planes. Its plans reportedly had passengers held against a backboard by a harness during take-off and landing.

I am not really sure if this is really legal or not, but as far as I understand, the Malaysian Civil Air Regulation states that:

The commander of a Malaysian aircraft, flying for the purpose of public transport of passengers shall before the aircraft takes off, and before it lands, and whenever by reason of turbulent air or any emergency occuring during flight, he considers the precaution necessary, take all reasonable steps to ensure that the crew of the aircraft are properly secured in their SEATS and all passengers age two years and above are properly secured in their SEATS by safety belts, or safety harness and that all passengers below the age of two years are properly secured by means of child restraints devices.

So I guess in Malaysia, there shall be no standing passengers? >.<

I don’t know about you, but I honestly feel that this will greatly compromise the safety of the passengers should an emergency situation arise during flight.

Missed Air France Flight, Only to Die in Car Crash

 Stumbled upon this piece of news while surfing and it somehow reminded me of the movie Final Destination. 

A woman who dodged death when she and her husband narrowly missed Air France Flight 447 before it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 aboard, was killed in a car accident just over a week later.

Johanna Ganthaler a retiree from the Bolzano-Bozen province, was on vacation inBrazil with her husband Kurt when the pair miraculously missed the doomed flight to Paris. But their luck ran out on an Austrian road earlier this week when their car swerved into the path of an oncoming truck outside the town of Kufstein, the Times (U.K.) reported

Kurt Ganthaler was badly hurt in the accident.

Flight 447 disappeared from radar shortly after leaving Rio de Janeiro and is believed to have broken apart shortly after it left the airport in Brazil on May 31 with 228 people on board.

Some three dozen bodies have been fished out of the ocean where the Airbus jet plunged into the water. A nuclear-powered French submarine has begun scouring the seafloor for any sign of the black box, which could hold the key to determining what felled the plane.

The Ganthalers flew out of the country on a flight the day after the jet went missing.

Via NBC Chicago

I guess we just can’t escape our fate. May those perished rest in peace. 

Air France Flight 447

I just found out about this news today. An Air France Airbus A330 went missing over the Atlantic. 

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Search planes scoured the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, looking for the remains of an Air France jetliner that disappeared in a storm with 228 people on board.

Passengers wait at the Air France check-in counter at the Tom Jobim International airport in Rio de Janeiro June 1, 2009. Search planes scoured the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, looking for the remains of an Air France jetliner that disappeared in a storm with 228 people on board. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes)

The Airbus A330 went missing on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said there was little chance of finding any survivors.

France and Brazil sent military aircraft and ships to try to locate wreckage between Brazil and West Africa.

Brazilian carrier TAM said the crew of one of its planes saw “bright spots” on the surface of the ocean. But Brazil’s air force said a merchant ship in the area found no signs of burning debris from the Air France jet.

“We will search all night long and keep going through dawn,” said Colonel Jorge Amaral of the Brazilian air force. “We have to work as if it were possible to find survivors.”

If none are found, it would be the worst disaster in Air France’s 75-year history, more deadly than the crash of one of the company’s supersonic Concorde planes in 2000.

Air France flight 447 left Brazil on Sunday night and lost contact with air traffic controllers in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was carrying 216 passengers of 32 nationalities, including seven children and one baby, Air France said. Sixty-one were French citizens, 58 Brazilian and 26 German. Twelve crew members were also on board.

Tearful relatives in Paris and Rio were attended to by teams of psychologists.

One of the Brazilians on board was Pedro Luis de Orleans e Braganca, a direct descendant of Dom Pedro II, the last emperor of Brazil, a spokesman for the royal family told Reuters.

Executives from French tire company Michelin, the Brazilian unit of German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, and Brazilian mining giant Vale were also among the passengers, said company officials and family members.


The Air France plane flew into turbulent weather four hours after taking off from Rio and 15 minutes later sent an automatic message reporting electrical faults, the airline said.

The company said a lightning strike could be to blame and that several of the mechanisms on the Airbus 330-200, which has a good safety record, had malfunctioned.

But aviation experts said lightning strikes on planes were common and could not alone explain a disaster.

They also said the plane could have suffered an electrical failure, effectively leaving the pilots “blind” and making the plane vulnerable in an area notorious for bad weather.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Europe 1 radio that while no scenario could be ruled out, there was no evidence pointing to an attack on the plane.

Brazil’s air force, which last had contact with the plane at 0133 GMT on Monday when it was 565 km (350 miles) from Brazil’s coast, sent six jets to look for it and the navy dispatched three ships.

Morin said France had sent one jet from Senegal, two from France, as well as two naval vessels. The United States agreed to assist in locating the crash site using satellite data.

Air France said the plane, which was powered with General Electric engines, went into service in April 2005. It last underwent maintenance in a hangar in April this year.

Source : The Star Online

It is really bizarre that such a modern airliner can just vanish like that. I can’t really think of reason for this except that the emergency must have happened so fast that the crew didn’t even have the time to sent out a distress message. Maybe an explosive decompression?

This news shocked the hell out of me because last Saturday, I dreamt about a Concorde crashing at an airport. It was very vivid and I can still remember I was standing just about 100 feet way. >.< 


Job Stress

I am currently studying this subject called Human Performances & Limitations and came across a rather interesting fact. I do know that pilots have one of the highest divorce rate but did not know that pilots are also ranked quite high in the charts in terms of job stress.

According to my notes, a survey in Britain carried out in 1986, pilots were ranked third in terms of stressful jobs and are sharing the same spot with journalists! The surprise here is, Actors and Doctors are both ranked 5th and 6th respectively. That I really did not expect. I thought a doctor’s job is pretty stressful and should be higher up the chart.

As usual, this intrigued me and I would like to see where pilots ranked today. So Google is again my best friend! ^^,

And here is the result – A survey by CareerCast surveying some 200 jobs carried out in February 2009 if I am not wrong.

The following eight jobs are considered the most stressful according to the CareerCast survey.

  1. Surgeon
  2. Commercial airline pilot
  3. Photojournalist
  4. Advertising account executive
  5. Real estate agent
  6. General practice physician
  7. Newspaper reporter
  8. Physician assistant

Visit to view a list of all 200 jobs.

Viola! Commercial Airline Pilots – number two! Much of the job have dropped out from the chart, like in 1986, miners were ranked number one instead of surgeons. The only 2 familiar jobs that I see still on the charts from 1986 are pilots and journalist.

Why would pilots ranked so high? Well, this survey is carried out based on a few stress factors which is :

Stress Factors Used in the Most Stressful Jobs Survey=

For the survey, 21 job demands that cause a stress response were assigned a range of points. The higher the demand levels of a particular stress factor, the more points that job received. The following are the stress demands used in the survey.

  • Life at risk
  • Life of another at risk
  • Stamina required
  • Precision required
  • Quotas
  • Deadlines
  • Competitiveness
  • A win/lose situation
  • Advocacy
  • Working in the public eye
  • The use of tools or machines
  • Environmental conditions
  • Required lifting
  • Physical demands such as climbing or bending
  • Initiative required
  • Working outdoors
  • Meeting the public
  • Detail
  • Confinement
  • Hazards encountered
  • Speed required

And as you can judge for yourself, almost all of the stress factors applies to a pilot. >.<

So again a question popped up in my head.

Is your current job/school/university/college/training stressful for you?

Of course there is always a solution to every problem.




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