Ingo Noka

My first flight with Charlie Foxtrot in 2011

In Flight Log on January 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Check fuel on Cessane 172 9M-WCF

Went to FRAS in the morning. Tahir was already there and Alvin arrive a bit later.

As usual Nurul arrived at 8 am with the keys. I discovered that Captains Singh and Muk were not coming to the club today. The Singh family is on holiday until Wednesday next week.

It felt a bit strange to decide on my own whether to take off or not, with nobody there to check it is ok what I am planning to do. Nurul also looked a bit doubtful, not really believing that I finished the PPL training already. But I am supposed to be a pilot now, so I better get this right.

The weather looked a bit borderline. Low clouds and a weather front apparently coming from the northeast. Tapir and Alvin decided to take off for a navigation exercise to Malacca. I thought that was a bit optimistic and scrapped my own plans to do a short navigation to Batu Pahat and back. But I wanted to do something, so I went out onto the cargo apron to get CF ready. Kaz (not sure whether I get the name right) was already there and help me prepare the aircraft. He is really is a nice, cheerful guy. You have to like him. And very diligent as well.

I actually thought that Singapore airlines was doing circuits in the morning, starting at 9 or 10. It turned out however that MAS was scheduled for circuits in the morning and in the afternoon. And indeed they showed up at about 8:45.

So I decided to ask for south of Gunung Pulai, which was approved with 1500 only. I took off and realized that the cloud base was really low. So I spent about an hour dodging the clouds with the an anxious eye on the GPS NDB pointer. I didn’t want to join the ranks of fresh pilots getting lost overhead the airfield. Eventually, I felt so uncomfortable with the situation that I asked to rejoin the circuit. Arriving west of the airfield I had to hold on long downwind to let the MAS aircraft (Airbus, I think) do their touch and go. I think the tower was actually asking me for hold and long downwind procedure, which I didn’t read back correctly, so that she just had me circle on long downwind. (if the controller ever reads this – I am sorry! And thanks for the fabulous job keeping us all organized up there in the air!)

My base leg was a bit short, I turned into final too early and overall speed on base may have been on the slow side (60-65), but I thought my setup for final wasn’t so bad. I flared slightly too high, but thankfully didn’t make the mistake of easing on the back pressure, so I was able to continue with my flare and touched down very nicely, which I think is mostly because I got the speed right.

Alvin and Tahir had obvious problems to stay clear of the clouds and maintain visibility of the ground. They turned around at Batu Pahat coming back via Simpang Reggam, frequently as kings for new altitude clearances. A few times the tower had issues reaching them on the radio, which may have been because of the low altitude they had to fly. I can say that having been in the air only a few months ago while the tower couldn’t reach an aircraft that turned out to have crashed, I absolutely did not like listing to the tower unsuccessfully calling an aircraft that was flying low!

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