Ingo Noka

West coast weekend flying

In Flight Log, Navigation on December 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm
Sunset over Pulau Paya

Sunset over Pulau Paya

Flight Summary
Engine Time 14h 43m
Landings 8
Fuel total 94 Gallons
Fuel per hour approx. 7 Gallons (26.5 Liters)
Hotel cost approx. RM 700 (SGD 280)
Pictures Click here

The trip from Johor to Langkawi presented most of its challenges while we were on the ground than being in the air.  In Johor the fuel bowser was broken, in Subang we arrived at an unfortunate time (lunch) and in Penang the fuel truck wouldn’t start.  Thankfully the weather was on our side and we made it to Langkawi despite all the delays.  For our troubles, mother nature rewarded us with a gorgeous sunset over Langkawi. With the last rays of sunshine we just about made into Langkawi airport around 19:00.

Sunset Langkawi

Sunset Langkawi

Langkawi Sunset

Langkawi Sunset

Langkawi Sunset

Langkawi Sunset

Langkawi Sunset

Langkawi Sunset

On Saturday, our plan was to have lunch on Pangkor and then to proceed to Subang, so that Sameer could be back on Johor on Sunday.  And we almost did it.  Initially the weather was nice and the landing in Pangkor no drama, but then the radar image showed a weather front closing in from the South-East.  We cancelled lunch and took off after only 30 minutes on Pangkor.

Pangkor Terminal Building

Pangkor Terminal Building

Pangkor

Pangkor

Pangkor food stall next to runway

Pangkor food stall next to runway

Initially, white puffy innocent looking clouds floating in the sky as far as one could see to the South and North.  At Sabah Bernam, Lumpur Info came on the radio and let us know that Subang is close to IMC.  We kept going for a little while to see whether the next METAR would bring any change.  As we all know, hope is not a usable concept in aviation, and so we eventually decided to turn around and fly back to Penang.

Unfortunately, the other direction suddenly didn’t look so innocent anymore either.  Going the usual Port Weld/Bagan Serai route was out of the question.  The only option was to skirt around the edges of the low clouds along the coastline to Tanjung Piandang and Pulau Aman.  I must say I have seldom be so relieved to finally be close to an airport, which I could still sort of see.  After a bit of holding over Pulau Aman (in rain and some lightning activity in the distance) we finally landed in Penang, and not too soon.  I think no more than half an hour later Penang would have closed on us as well.

Visibility over Port Weld

Visibility over Port Weld

We staid over night in Georgetown. We spent about 45 minutes in a taxi to get to Penang Street during the afternoon rush hour.  Most hotels were fully booked, but there are plenty of budget hotels that are good enough for one night.  Penang Street seems to be the center of the Georgetown nightlife, with plenty of pubs and restaurants.

On Sunday, we managed to get back to Subang.  Another aircraft lost radio contact close to Subang airport.  It was interesting to see what actually happens in such a situation.  The aircraft still had its electrical systems and squawked 7600.  Lumpur Info told them to proceed to West of Airfield, but I don’t think anybody knew whether the aircraft could hear the instructions.  We all got handed over to Subang tower a bit earlier than usual and were spaced out a bit more. There was lots of holding over unusual places and one commercial flight (I think firefly) that was already on the approach had to do one orbit before continuing.  Never seen anything like that.

Because of weather, Sameer took a commercial flight to Singapore and Sadiq stayed over night. On Monday morning at 6:30 an inner voice told me I should check the NOTAM for Subang (funny how that works).  To my surprise Bay 38 and 40 at Skypark were closed from 09:00 to 16:00 for a VIP ceremony.  Bay 40 is where our planes were!

I messaged Sadiq who managed to get his aircraft out before 09:00.  I arrived shortly before 09:00.  The MAB duty manager and the tower allowed me to leave the aircraft were it was and even helped me move the aircraft out of the way a bit. (Thank you very much guys! Great service and apologies for not reading the NOTAM earlier!) As it turned out, the Defense Minister of Malaysia took delivery of two Eurocopter 725 Super Cougar and Bay 40 was needed to park all the black VIP cars.  I stayed for a few hours to watch the proceedings from the McDonalds and to make sure I was around if the poor little piper got in the way of the proceedings.  To my relief nothing happened, but unfortunately, because of this I could not do a City Tour as planned.

9MFRM participating in VIP ceremony

9MFRM participating in VIP ceremony

  1. Ok, I will sign up, thank you!
    By the way, which chart are you using?
    I have seen people use the L10CS which does not have any TMA, CTR, WMR etc etc.
    There is also the L10A to D which has TMA, CTR etc but is out of date.

    Wish Malaysia has published VFR charts that are regularly updated like how they have it the UK. I think it’s not even legal to fly in the UK if you don’t have the latest VFR nav chart.
    But then again, those things cost $$$!!!

  2. You seem very experienced in flying VFR in Malaysia.
    I understand that official VFR charts (1:500,000) is practically does not exist, but like yourself I manage to get my hands on the old L10CS & also L10A, B, C & D (If anyone wants them I can provide the pdf version).
    Can you share with us the VFR reporting points generally used when flying in Malaysia?
    Cheers!

    • Thanks for comment. I have actually collected reporting points over the years and was planning to publish what I have in a separate blog post. Your comment reminded me of that and I will do the post as soon as I can. If you sign up for e-mail updates on my blog site or on my twitter account you should get an automatic notification.

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