Ingo Noka

KL City Tour

In Flight Bag, Flight Log on February 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

KL City Tour

On my way back from Langkawi, Captain Aziz (he is based in Subang) was so kind to reveal the secrets of  a proper city tour over Kuala Lumpur.  We flew in loose formation on an anti-clockwise course around the city center with its twin towers, around Batu Caves and back Subang.  The weather was  good and the usual haze  hadn’t descended onto the city yet.  Ear;y morning was “clearly” the right time to marvel at the glory of KL.

From the air, KL doesn’t actually look that big and there are a couple of easy to recognize reporting points. Nevertheless, next time I want to do this on my own and so I created my own  map to remember the reporting points, air spaces and so forth.  As usual the map can be downloaded in the download section of my website.After taking off from Subang (runway 15), you turn to the East to the PJ building (105º/6.2 nm/4.1 mins).  The PJ building has a very particular shape.  PJ stands for Petaling Jaya (a district of Kuala Lumpur) and which building exactly is the reporting point is a matter of debate, but I settle for a building that looks like it has a big crown on top, next to the highway and close to a road that is bend into a near perfect half circle.  This is the place where Aziz told us the reporting point would be.  And it makes sense too, because at this point you would enter the Simpang Control Zone.  Here you are also handed over to Simpang tower (126.50), which is controlling the air space over the KL city center.

The next leg (051º/5.1 nm/3.4 mins) gets you very close to the KLCC (i.e. the twin towers) and the telecommunications tower.  On my map I drew a circle with a radius of one and a half miles around the KLCC, which I believe is the distance you should keep from the towers.  It would be a shame if the air space over the city is shut down for GA aircraft, because somebody flies irresponsibly close to the towers.

The minimum altitude over the city, by the way, is 1,500 feet, which appeared slightly lower than the top of the twin towers (but it is actually about the height of the towers).  The next “stop” is Batu Caves (342º/5.3 nm/3.5 mins).  When you come out on the other side of the Simpang control Zone (close to the water reservoir) you may be asked for your position and you can use Ulu Kelang as a reporting point.  Batu Caves cannot be missed as it is a huge rock that sticks out of the city landscape.  This would be a good place to do a few orbits to get a good view at the city center from the North. (If the visibility is good, you can see the white buildings of the Genting Highlands at the top of the mountains to the North-East.)

Batu Caves is the starting point for the published VFR lane (230º/6 nm/4 mins).  On the way to the final reporting point (Bukit Nibon Gila) you should report at Bukit Lanjan, because that is where you enter the Subang Control Zone  and Simpang will likely hand you back to Subang at this point.  Nibon Gila (239º/3.6 nm/2.4 mins) is a small hill with a radar dome on top, which looks like a giant golf ball.

From here it is all standard.  The most likely instruction will be to join downwind for runway 15 left, or to go to base directly.  In my case we had to hold for some time, because Subang was quite a busy airport that morning.  Including about 10 minutes holding, the entire flight took about 40 minutes (52 Engine time) and should normally, without delay and additional orbits etc, take about 20 minutes.

  1. Sounds like a nice day. Next time should take and post pictures.

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