Ingo Noka

Young Eagles Day, 7 September 2013 – Subang Airport

In Flight Log, Social Life on September 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

More than 60 children became Young Eagles this weekend.

Much has been written about the lifelong passion that many pilots have for aviation and how this passion was ignited by this one flight when the pilot was still a small child.  Even more has been written about the need and the pleasure to give back to the community what we have received from aviation over the years.  The Young Eagles Day organized by the Malaysian chapter of the EAA (Captain Siva and his crew) was a rare occasion at which we could do both.  The EAA invited children from Community Children Homes and anybody who wanted to come along.  The response was overwhelming and while I didn’t count, I am sure we had close to 70 kids.  (see picture gallery here)

Everybody got a t-shirt – same size!

And we managed to fly with every single one of them!  This was possible because of the fantastic support from the pilot and owner community.  We had five aircraft to fly sorties with children and one aerobatics display: Piper Archer 9MDRJ, Piper Warrior 9MGIG, TB10 9MJEG, Z701 9M EEL, Piper Warrior 9MCTM and an Extra 300L.

All participating aircraft.

The weather was beautiful with white puffy clouds hanging in the sky at about 2000 feet and great visibility.  Anybody who has flown in and around Kuala Lumpur would know what an unusual weather that was.  The weather held up the entire day ad only after we had completed the last flight heavy rain showers came in from the north and made further flying impossible.  But, I couldn’t have done much more flying anyway.  I flew 18 children in 6 sorties with a flight time of almost 4 hours. Nevertheless, I was happy that we managed to get all kids into the air despite the flat tire that grounded me for about an hour.

Flying is hard work!

Disaster struck. A flat tire grounded 9MDRJ after just one sortie. I was “deflated”.

The tire with a new tube was fitted within one hour. I am thankful for the great support and team spirit that put 9MDRJ back in service.


We all arrived between 7 am and 8 am at the DCA hangar, checked the aircraft and got a pilot’s briefing from Captain Siva (the driving force behind the Malaysian EAA).  After that we had a few speeches from friends and supporters, including the Deputy General manager of the DCA.  In fact, the DCA made this event possible by allowing the EAA to use the DCA hangar at Subang Airport.  What a great gesture towards general aviation and charity,  Well done!

Pilot briefing in the morning. Maximum safety, maximum information, maximum fun.

The Deputy General Manager of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation flagging off 9MDRJ for the first flight of the day.


And in the end everybody received a certificate.

The EAA organized lots of activities for the children, including flying in a simulator, visiting the tower, building your own airplane and answering a quiz about aviation.  The main attraction, however, was the 30+ minutes flight over the City area.  I think most children were super excited and many would have loved to fly again.

Many activities besides flying.

In the evening the pilots and EAA organizers got together at “Runway 33”, a nice pub at the Skypark terminal.  For me that is the perfect place – they have Kilkenny on tap, play cheesy music videos from the 70’s and 80’s and you only need to walk 10 meters to see whether you aircraft is still parked safely.

Runway 33 in use.

Not having a buffer day for the return to Singapore is always somewhat of a risk, so I got out of bed early and took off a bit after 8 am.  The early morning light and low clouds  created magical views against the dark green backdrop of the  palm oil plantations.

Magical light over Malaysia. On my way back to Singapore.

At Johor, I was greeted with very low clouds, so that I had to backtrack along the north-south highway to get below the clouds.  Seletar was in IMC with heavy rain showers and the clouds on the way to East of JB didn’t look inviting ether.  I decided to land at Johor to wait for the weather to improve, but while taxiing on the runway to exit in the cargo area, the controller told me that Singapore could accept me now.  So I asked whether I could take off straight away and indeed received clearance.  That was very quick thinking and flexible air traffic management by the controller! The approach into Seletar wasn’t the easiest with lots of clouds hanging around in inconvenient places and altitudes, but I touched down safely and was home before noon.

Without a question, this was one of the best and most rewarding flying I have ever done.  Thanks EAA!  Please invite me again next year.

  1. Dear Ingo
    The clouds look frightening!
    Edmund & Joan

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