Ingo Noka

Archive for the ‘Flight Bag’ Category

Give me some space

In Flight Bag, Knowledge, Navigation on April 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

Airspace around KL International Airport in Malaysia

Have you, like me, looked with green envy at the navigation apps that are available to pilots in the US and Europe? The richness and accuracy of data and the functionality of these new applications is incredible.  Unfortunately, literally none of this can be had for South East Asia.

As the readers of my blog will know, I have tried to rectify the lack of proper aviation charts for Malaysia with reporting point data and some self-created charts. The availability of  applications on the iPhone or iPad with rudimentary support for Malaysian maps has improved the situation as well.  But so far there is no application I am aware off that provides airspace information.

With this post I am giving you a little bit of the aviation chart heaven that our brethren in other countries have been flying in. Read the rest of this entry »

VFR Reporting Points Update

In Flight Bag, Knowledge, Navigation on April 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I think I need glasses.

Singapore recently changed the reporting points between Seletar and Senai.  The old “East of JB Town” is not in use anymore.  Instead there is now an almost direct route via two new reporting points by the name of Tebrau City Mall and Felda Ulu Tebrau.  Since East of JB Town is still the end point for VFR lane Delta, I left the waypoint in the file and added the new Waypoints with IDs XTEBR and XFELD.

VFR Reporting Points – Malaysia / Thailand / Indonesia – Version 140405
AirNavPro Download Can be loaded into AirNavPro through the web server interface or into google Maps through the “My Places” interface
MotionX by Name Download Can be loaded into MotionX by sending the file in an e-mail or put it into Dropbox and use the “Open with …” function
MotionX by ID Download dito
For Print sorted by Name Download
For Print sorted by ID Download


This picture below gives you an impression of the new routing, which is closer to the prohibited airspace WMP 228 (the one to the west that overlays NDB JB).

Routing from Seletar to Senai via new reporting points. (AirNav Pro screenshot)

VFR Reporting Points – Update

In Flight Bag, Knowledge, Navigation, Uncategorized on September 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

So, where should I go next?

I have updated the VFR reporting point file.  So far I have collected 137 points from the AIP (for example the VFR lanes or some of the special use airspace definitions) or by noting which points ATC would recognize.

If you come across any reporting points that are not included in my collection, please drop me an e-mail.

Read the rest of this entry »

Flight Plans in Malaysia

In Flight Bag, Knowledge, Navigation on June 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

DCA Tower Penang



The Malaysian ATC expects you to file a flight plan for all VFR flights, unless you just stay in the training areas or do a few circuits to practice your landings.

Most pilots will fill in a flight plan form on paper and fax it to the ATC unit of the departure airport. ATC will forward the FPL using the usual data exchange network. That means most of the formatting will be done by the controller and the pilot does not really need to know much about the FPL message formats.

As soon as you are crossing borders, this changes, however. Suddenly you are confronted with the need to send your flight plan to all control units along your proposed route and you have to be careful with the formatting and completeness of your flight plan message.

I have found two flight plan filing systems that work very well for me. The first one is a web based system from the UK, which is available under The second one is a Java application that is provided by the Singapore CAAS.

All three methods (fax, web, application) have their benefits and issues. I personally prefer the web-based system, followed by the Java application and finally the fax.

I usually combine the fax method with an online fax application called eFax. With my iPhone acting as a personal hotspot for my laptop, I am able to fax flight plans from anywhere, including the parking apron.

In my next posts on this topic, I’ll give you an overview of how the three methods work and how flight plan messages are formatted in general.



Two Countries in Ten Minutes

In Flight Bag, Knowledge, Navigation on April 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm

9M-DRJ in its parking spot at Seletar Airport (Compact Parking A2)

5 April 2014: Note that for flights between Seletar and Senai airport the first reporting point in Malaysia after Point X-Ray is not the small hill (East of JB town) anymore.  The new reporting points are now Tebrau City Mall and Felda Ulu Tebrau. I have updated my VFR reporting point files (click here)  and you can also have a preview on Google Maps (click here).

1 May 2013: Updated the process to file general declaration forms for departure.  It is now necessary to bring three GenDex forms to the Apron office.  Apron will keep two forms and hand back the third one with a big stamp on it that proves you have paid the passenger fee or that you do not have passengers.  The GenDex with the stamp need to be handed to the immigration officer.

Since I started to fly 9M-DRJ, which has a parking space in Singapore, Seletar airport, I routinely fly between Singapore and Johor.  The flight is very short (15 to 20 minutes) and I think it is pretty cool that you can hop over to Johor for a quick chat any time you want to.  Of course, flying to any other place in Malaysia is also more convenient.  The immigration and customs control in Seletar is very fast, friendly and efficient.  From leaving home (East Coast) to taking off can be accomplished in less than an hour.

Before I started flying from Seletar I heard stories about inflexible ATC procedures, but I have not experienced this.  Of course, safety is paramount, but within the confines of the procedures Seletar tower is very accommodating and flexible.  If they can make it happen without compromising security they will.  Just asked nicely and with proper radio protocol and you will be fine!

I only know ground operations West of the runway. The assumption in my post is that you will fly between Seletar and Senai airport. For Tioman and other directions over the Malaysian peninsular, just change the reporting points after “East of JB Town”.

Read the rest of this entry »

VFR Reporting Points

In Flight Bag, Navigation on February 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

VFR Reporting Points on the Malaysian Peninsula

28 April 2013: Added waypoints along the east coast and two routes from KL to Kota Bahru.

In Malaysia ATC follows all VFR flights regardless of the classification of the airspace and pilots must submit a flight plan for all VFR cross-country flights.  This practice requires some common understanding of acceptable reporting points between VFR pilots and ATC.  Given the importance of reporting points for VFR flying in Malaysia, there is surprisingly little information and documentation about them.  As I have written in my post about the availability of aviation charts, there is no such thing as up-to-date sectional charts that could be used for flight planning and pilotage navigation.  for small parts of the airspace (Langkawi, Johor, Tioman, KL) I have tried to rectify this by drawing my own maps, but this is a very poor replacement for proper charts.

In addition to drawing my own charts, I have also collected reporting points I have used in my cross-country flying.  And with this post, I am going to share this information (download different versions here V1 V2 V3 V4 V5).  Most pilots own GPS devices and use them for navigational purposes.  Some devices or applications on the iPad or iPhone can import geographical points in certain formats, so I am providing the data in GPX format as well.  I am able to convert this file into other formats, so if you tell me what you need, I may be able to help.  I would certainly be interested in hearing if you have been successful in using the file with your GPS device or application.  I do know for certain that the file can be imported into Google Maps and into the MotionX GPS application on the iPad and iPhone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watch your Weights

In Airmanship, Flight Bag, Knowledge on September 18, 2012 at 12:13 am

This pilot has become rather heavy. Time to brush up on W&B!

During our flight training we have all learned how to do the weight and balance calculations and we have been told that this is something we must do before every flight.  Of course, even then, many of us thought this exercise was only good for watching the instructor’s reaction when you filled in his weight (for the examiner your estimate better had to be on the low side).

For me this was the state of affairs for the first 100 hours of my PPL “career”.  However, lately I am flying more and more with passengers and luggage, so I thought I’d better brush up on my W&B knowledge. As things go these days, my first thought was whether there is an App for that, and sure enough there are plenty.  In one of my next posts I will review an excellent application from Angell Development LLC by the name of WnB Pro.

Let’s talk first about the theory of W & B.  As usual the FAA has very good materials on their web site (Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, FAA-H-8083-1A).  I recommend reading this document if you are really serious about this stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tioman Checkout

In Flight Bag, Navigation on July 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Ingo and Saddiq after Tioman Checkout

Pulau Tioman was the last island with a usable airfield around the Malaysian peninsula I hadn’t been to.  One reason is that I was busy exploring the other places along the East and West coast, and the other reason is that you need to get checked out by a flight instructor first before you can fly there on your own.  The FRAS checkout consists of three successful landings with a flight instructor.

My first attempt failed.  Last weekend, I stayed a couple of hours at the club hoping that the weather would clear enough to have a good chance to return to Johor, but no such luck.  This weekend, the weather was better.  Lots of CB with a base of about 2000 feet and nice blue sky in between.  On Saturday, I practices a couple of landings and on Sunday Saddiq was available and the weather still held, so we took off at around 13:00.  With a tail wind of 10 to 12 kts, we arrived at Tioman a bit after 14:00.  Saddiq did a good job briefing me about the approach and I managed to slam the piper into the runway with lots of room to spare.  I had the same problems as in Pangkor – too slow on approach and not enough flare.  Nevertheless, I did two more landings to satisfy the club requirements and we went back with no drama.  Now I am signed off for Tioman and hope to get back there on my own soon.

For the readers of my blog, I have drawn a little map and provide a couple of notes on the procedures to approach and land in Tioman.  You can download the Tioman map here.

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New VOR/DME at Senai Airport

In Announcement, Flight Bag on July 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

New VOR/DME in Johor

(Update, 9 September 2012: Corrected Lane Delta, added JB NDB data, Moved Ayer Hitam and Renggam reporting points a bit, training area North of Gunung Pulai is now West of the North South highway)

Effective 23 August 2012, DCA Malaysia will commission a new DVOR/DME at Senai airport. Currently the DVOR/DME of Senai airport is about 5 nm off the threshold of runway 16 on a bearing of 150° (i.e. you have to set course 150° from the DVOR location to reach the threshold). The new DVOR station will be closer to the threshold (1000m) and also gets a new frequency, which will be 112.5 Mhz (Ch. 72 x). Setting up a new DVOR station requires a rerouting of airways and relocation of holding areas and reporting points. For us VFR pilots this is only of marginal interest. However, the DCA also made changes to VFR lanes and the TMA, so take note. The changes are detailed in the AIP Supplement 09/2012 dated 14 June 2012. All changes are included in the new version of my “aeronautical chart of Johor”, which you can download here.

The VFR lane Charlie does not go from Kota Tinggi straight to East of JB Airfield anymore. Instead it is rerouted via South of Kg Semangar, to make sure aircraft stay clear of Danger Area 231. For more details on that have a look at my earlier post on flying to Mersing via Kota Tinggi.  Lane Delta is also routed around the danger areas with a new reporting point “East of Kampung Sungai Tiram”.

The Eastern border of the JB TMA used to go through Kota Tinggi. It is now further West and goes through restricted area 229, which means that VFR lane Charlie (from JB Town East to Kota Tinggi) is now outside the TMA. On the Western border of the TMA not much has changed. It seems to go a little further North of Simpang Renggam than it previously did.

In case you cannot remember what a VOR is: VOR stands for VHF Omnidirectional Radio (Range). The VOR is a navigational aid that allows aircraft equipped with a receiver to measure on which radial from the VOR station the aircraft is located. The DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) on the other hand tells the pilot how far from the station the aircraft is positioned.

Langkawi – All you need to know

In Flight Bag, Navigation on July 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Langkawi VFR Map

When I came back from my “Round Malaysia” trip, I promised that I would post what I had learned about the reporting points for a Langkawi island tour.

This got a bit delayed, but now I have finished a map of Langkawi, which I think contains everything a pilot needs to know for a flight to and around Langkawi.

Read the rest of this entry »