Rejoining and the landing

30 05 2009

bridgeExiting the low pass over the Selangor river Dylan banked the aircraft left and then right so that we flew one more time around the town of Kuala Selangor. Here above you can see the bridge that spans over the Selangor river.  The bridge was only built in the last 20 years or so. Not so long ago the only way across the river was by using a ferry. Nowadays this bridge is part of the “new” coastal road that will link Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan to the South of Kedah.

Our flight back to the runway at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport took us over the Northern part of Klang where we turned inland. While we were approaching the town of Klang we heard the Air Traffic Controller attempting to contact another aircraft in our vicinity. By coincidence it was the other Cessna 152 belonging to the Subang Flying club, 9M-BEA. After a few unsuccesful tries the ATC contacted our aircraft and asked Dylan to try contacting 9M-BEA. We too had no luck.  Some 5 minutes later we heard the pilot of the other aircraft contact the tower and was rewarded with a stern warnign by the ATC to keep radio contact.  I had actually thought that9M-BEA had crased somewhere and was about to suggest to Dylan we go look for them! hahahaha!

I was surprised to see that Klang now has a Tesco outlet.  I think the road next to the tesco is jalan Meru which leads north out of Klang town.

Tesco

Very soon we were over the city of Shah Alam and already very close to the airport. Below are the two of the most recognizable bulding in Shah Alam. the State Secretariat Building and the State Mosque.

State Secretariat BuildingShah Alam Mosque

Minutes later we were given permission to join the circuit and land at the airport. Even from 1500 feet it was quite hard to make out where the airport was. It took me a good half a minute before I recognised the runway. If you’ll look carefully, there is a rather large and  annoying speck of dust on my lens which shows up quite clearly on all the pictures I have taken on this flight. I did not really notice it until I viewed them on my computer.  I wondered how it got there because I had taken time to inspect and lcean my lense before the flight.

Landing

Now I know the reason why. The “air-conditioning” on the Cessna is provided by two vents which protrude formthe wing leading edge into the cabin. You can see one of them in the picture above. These vents channel air from a snall hole in the leading edge of the wing into a retractable tube and into the cabin. I am quite sure that the dirt on my lens came from the air rushing out from this vent as I pointed my camera forward. Also in the picture is Dylan’s video camera which he lodged between the coaming panel and the windscreen in an attempt to record the landing. On viewing the tape (yes, it’s an old model videocam which still uses tape) later we realised that the scratches on the windscreen had given the auto focus mechanism of the camera a suitable target. The result – a very blurred view of the landing! Next time we’ll have to switch off the auto focus.

Flying is an expensive hobby. The cost to rent the Cessna 152 is RM420 per hour. The flight today costed Dylan RM770. I had promised to share the cost with him which I promptly did.  But Dylan loves to fly and he has to get anough flying experience to qualify him for his ATPL. This would mean he has to fly quite often and at great cost to him. In the meantime, I can get access to flying in a small aircraft. he has promised to take me up again soon, this time in the evening so I get to see the sunset from up there.





The Flight

23 05 2009

After being bugged by my readers I finally find time to update last weeks blog. Now where was I? Dylan had meticuluously checked everything on the aircraft before we started the engine. As you’ll notice there is only one of it so we cannot really afford any trouble with it midflight! Hahahaha!

Taxi out

Here is a picture of Dylan speaking to the Ground Control for taxi clearances. Ground movement of aircraft is strictly controlled. No aircraft may cross or enter taxiways without the express permission of the air traffic controller.  Runway incursions which is defined by the Federal Aviation Administration as “Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.” can and has caused mas fatal accidents. The following is a recreation of a recent runway incursion.

Dylan had actually  allowed me to taxi the Cessna up to the point where we we supposed to enter the runway but I did not have confidence (lost my guts)  and handed back controls to him just prior to entering the runway. Anyway I had pictures to take.

9M-FYA

Nowadays the airport probably handles no more than 10 percent of the trafifc it used to but even then we had to wait for this ATR72 belonging to Fireflyz to land and vacate the runway. The take off run was fairly short and Dylan rotated the Cessna at about 60 knots. The stalling speed of this aricraft is about 40 knots.

RawangHere is one of the first pictures I took after takeoff. Below us is the town of Rawang. Now 60 knots is only about 110 kilometres per hour but it took us no  more than 5 minutes to reach this point. Outbound Dylan was told to watch out for incoming traffic at 3000 feet but we saw none.  Otherwise i could have posted my own video of a close call just like what this guy had done.

Our flight plan for the day was to fly North follwing the North South Expressway up to Slim River and turn West toward Kuala Selangor, then South till we hit the town of Klang and rejoin to land at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport at Subang.

Estate Houserunwayrunway_1

We did not see the aircraft that was supposed to be on the reciprocal heading but soon the tower confirmed that both aircraft had psssed each other. Dylan then took the Cessna up to 1500 feet and gave the controls to me. I have studied the theory of flight over and over again but controlling an aircraft firsthand is really different. It takes a lot of getting used to. Mainitaining our heading of 320 degrees Magnetic while having to maintain 1500 feet altitude and a speed approximately 80 knots was tough. Turn and you will lose altitude. Pull up to recover lift and you will lose airspeed.  Remember this aircraft stalls at 40 knots. Below that we fall like a rock! On one of my manouvers the speed actually fell to as low as 60 knots and scared the hell put of me but strangely enough Dylan was unperturbed. Ok back to the view.

It’s amazing what you can see from up there. There were 3 houses situated on a ridge in the middle of an estate just to the west of Slim River. You can see one of them clearly in the topmost  picture.  You can see the road that leads up to the house in the foreground. If you were to drive past this area, you would never have been aware of the existence of these house which sits far above the estate land and factory below.  I would love to be the estate manager or owner who lives in these houses.  Just a little further on we came upon a runway seemingly in the middle of nowhere. According to Dylan this runway belongs to the estate we just left behind. Situated at the other end of this runway in the clump of trees  is a sort of  “clubhouse” where you can land and have a few drinks before you take off again. if you look closely, you can see an aircraft parked under the trees nearby the “clubhouse”. I htought this was really cool.

After a while we headed on to the coast where we will come to the town of Kuala Selangor. Just before reaching Kuala Selangor we arrived overhead the town of Sekinchan. If you’ll remember I had blogged about the paddy fields here a few months ago. Now you can see that the Paddy fields are no more green.  My guess is that the harvest was just over and the replanting is about to begin soon. Who will join me to revisit this area at the end of the year?

Sekinchan

Within 5 minutes we arrived over Kuala Selangor. This town had been my “playground when I was a little boy. My Aunt had settled down in this little town some 30 years ago when she married the town’s Penghulu and our family would often visit her and stay overnight in her kampong house. Kuala Selangor has long since changed from those days but I have never seen it from the air.

Bukit Melawati

Above is Bukit Melawati and it’s lighthouse as seen from about 1000 feet.  From up here the hill does not look very high but as you can see it is the highest point in the whole mouth of the Selangor River. Ths was why the former Sultan of Selangor built a fortress up on this hill and placed cannons facing the Straits of Malacca.

100 ft over Kuala Selangor

After receiving permission from the air traffic controller  to linger and operate below 1500 feet in the area over Kuala Selangor, Dylan took us down to 100 feet over the river!  You can see the bridge that crosses the river just ahead.





Flying with Captain Dylan Morvryn Baskaran

17 05 2009

A few months ago one of my colleagues earned himself a Private Pilots License  (PPL) which entitles him to fly any single engined fixed wing aircraft below 12000 kgs in weight. He mentioned that he had to fly as often as he can to clock flying hours so he may go on to earn himself an Air Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL). I asked him whether if it was possible that I could join him on one of his flights. So with that, I found myself waiting for him at the Old  Subang Airport. I had sometime to myself before he arrived so I wandered around the area where I had parked my car. I am quite sure i have stepped all over this area before but I could not remember what was here before. Here is how it looks like now.

Subang Terminal 1

Had it still been standing, The North wing of Terminal 1 of Subang Airport would have filled this photograph! Now, some 12 years after it was abandoned and some 10 years after being torn down, nature has once again reclained this piece of land. If I am not mistaken, the staff canteen must have sat just off to my left. IHow I wish I had taken photographs of these buildings beack then.

Dylan arrived shortly and after registering my name at the guard house, we tok a stroll to the small aircraft hangars. This is where the Subang Flying Club keeps it’s offices and aircraft. We had arrived quite early so there was hardly anyone in any of the hangars. This gave me the opportunity to nsap a few quick pictures of the aircraft that were parked there.

twin engine

BiplaneDiamondCessna 172

There were a lot more small aircraft than I used to remember back then. Lots of interesting looking aircraft. There was a yellow bi-plane.  An American registered twin engined aircraft and  a Diamond Industries DA42. That’s the cool looking twin engined high tailed  aircraft you see in the picture above. The last picture is of a Cessna 172 which belongs to the flying club. We will not be taking this one today as it is a four seater and costs more to rent.

9M-BEJ

Cockpit

The aircraft Dylan flew us in today was the Cessna 152 which had carried the registration number Niner Mike Bravo Echo Juliet (9M-BEJ).  This aircraft is a 2 seater but had lots of cargo space in the back. it also had an emergency locator beacon installed. Thank god we had no reason to use it today.  The cockpit layout was pretty simple but boy was it a tight squeeze. Now I know why pilots have clip boards which fasten on to thier thighs…..coz there is no space in the cockpit to even put a fixed clipboard!

Check1Check2

Can you guess what Dylan is doing in the pictures above? It’s part of the pre flight checks that he has to do before he even accepts the aircraft. The little wooden stick ini his hands is the fuel dip stick! Literally! Her ehe is seen dipping the stick into the fuel tank to check for the physical fuel level. There is another tank inthe other wing which he checked later. In total we had enough for about 3 hours of flying time but we will only be in the air for half that time.  More updates tomorrow and more interesting pictures.





Declan Galbraith – Tell Me Why

13 05 2009

Declan Galbraith (born Declan John Galbraith, 19 December 1991, Hoo St Werburgh, Kent) is an English singer of Scottish and Irish origin. He and his family live in Hoo, a village near Rochester, Kent. His grandfather was in a band, played several instruments, and took Galbraith to Fleadhs (concerts) he was participating in, and the mix of Scottish and Irish musical traditions inspired Galbraith and became his early musical influence.

Although he is a British citizen and singer, Declan is more famous and well known abroad. Of course still being famous and increasingly loved in Britain, the extent of his fame is widest in Germany where most of his albums were promoted, his songs recorded and videos made. His first album in Germany had soon sold 200,000 copies within the year of release. As well as Germany, many other countries in Europe consider Declan as one of its well loved celebrities. This is also the case in China, where he is also famous and where his latest album was promoted.

Also in China, his songs were chosen as part of the Chinese education curriculum for learning English. Now in Chinese schools, Declan’s songs are used to help Chinese children learn the English language in English lessons because his songs are easy to remember and suitable for children.

The words at the starting of this posting are not mine. The following are. It is amazing and refreshing that a young boy like declan can sing about the need for us to help one another no matter who and where. The video really made me think about how greedy and insensitive we the human race have become. I see it happening more and more around me everyday. In truth, I have wanted to write about this topic for a long time but never got around to composing an article. I guess this posting will have to do for a start.