Ingo Noka

Archive for the ‘Flight Log’ Category

Thailand Flight – Day 1 / 27 July 2013

In Airmanship, Flight Log, Knowledge, Navigation, Uncategorized on July 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Pad James and Ingo at Phuket Airpark

Wow!  What a day. The weather in Singapore turned a  leisurely flight from Singapore to Phuket with plenty of breaks and buffer time into a mad race against time.

I arrive at about 7:30 am at the Seletar immigration checkpoint.  The METARs and the rain radar didn’t look great, but there was still room for hope that I could take off between 8 am and 9 am.  Later than planned, but still not too bad.  A front of early morning thunder storms moved from the North West down the coast to Singapore, but hadn’t made landfall yet.  I thought I could skirt the outer edges of the weather by flying inland rather along the cost to Malacca.  By the time I had the aircraft ready the situation was still borderline acceptable, so I asked ATC for clearance.  Surprisingly, they actually got it, but cautioned my that after Point XRAY the visibility would be so bad that I probably wouldn’t be able to proceed in VMC.  If you have half a brain left, you do not ignore a message like that from ATC, so I postponed the flight plan to 10:00 am. Read the rest of this entry »

Thailand – Live Updates

In Flight Log, Navigation on July 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

9MDRJ Refuel Stop

I am ready to go.  Flight plans are filed, bag is packed and lots of paper printed out in the hope that I will find the information when I need it.

Live Updates will appear on Facebook and Twitter  and I will attempt to post a summary of my exploits every day, but cannot guarantee I will have enough energy left in the evening.

If the weather is VMC at Seletar tomorrow morning, I will try to take of by 7:30 am, so that I can be in Penang before noon and in Hat Yai by 2 pm.

First fuel stop is Penang, but I am not going to fill up to the top, because I have to buy fuel in Hat Yay in 100L increments.  I am hoping they will keep the fuel I don’t need tomorrow for two days, so that I do not waste too much fuel.

A new challenge – Thailand, Part III

In Flight Log, Knowledge, Navigation on July 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Saturday is getting closer and with this my flight to Thailand. I am so looking forward to an entire week of flying in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Apart from the Thailand flight, which has a fixed route and timing, I will fly wherever the wind takes me. Heaven …

The Thai flight permit came through last Thursday. That was surprisingly fast and without much of a problem. I am cleared for a flight to VTSS and VTSW on Saturday and back on Monday. I am allowed to postpone by up to 24 hours, after which I will have to ask for a new permit.

Phuket Airpark kindly sent me an invitation letter, which helped with the Thai VFR permit. They are a bit concerned with some guy they don’t know flying into their short, soft grass strip and I will certainly try to get my landing and take-off right to be welcome again at some time in the future.

The only uncertainty is now the availability of Avgas in Hat Yai. It would be extremely disappointing if I had to cancel at the last minute, because of that. Maybe I would just fly into Hat Yai and come back, which is short enough to get away without refueling outside of Malaysia.

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A new challenge – Thailand

In Flight Log, Navigation on July 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Phuket Airpark, short 500m grass runway

Unfortunately the flight to Bali, originally planned for the last week of July, has been postponed to August and I have already arranged all my holiday and travels and cannot change again.  So what to do?  I decided I will fly into Thailand.  Maybe it is too late to apply for the permission to fly into Thai airspace, but I will try anyway.  The plan is to fly from Singapore to Penang and from Penang to Phuket.  On Phuket I am asking the Phuket Airpark to help me with the logistics.  I hope there is Avgas available at Phuket airport and the Airpark owners let me park my plane for a night or two.  Depending on weather, I may stop over on Langkawi and in Ipoh on my way back.  ETD Singapore is Saturday, 27 July and return on 31 July or 1 August.  Maybe other pilots who also took a couple of days off for the Bali flight want to join?  Please let me know.

Aviator’s Gathering

In Flight Log, Navigation, Social Life on June 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I had a whale of a time flying with WoA to the Annual Aviator’s Gathering 2013 on Langkawi

Flight Summary
Dates 8 March – 10 March 2013
Engine Time 11h 17m
Landings 6 – WMSA, WMKP, WMKL, WSSL
Fuel total approx. 100 Gallons
Fuel per hour approx. 8.5 Gallons
Pictures Click here

The Annual Aviators gathering of Wings over Asia was a magic weekend of flying and meeting like-minded people.  The crew of WoA did a great job in the friendly and efficient manner that we have all come to expect from them. They put together a great program, which started with a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and a dinner in a new aircraft hangar at Subang airport.

Dinner at a new aircraft hangar at the GA area Subang Airport

I usually keep the aircraft at the Skypark and had no idea that there is a whole GA area further down with parking stands, hangars etc. There is a lot more going on in GA flying in Malaysia than meets the eye.  It was pretty cool to sit between helicopters and airplanes while eating, drinking (no alcohol) and listening to talks about general aviation in Asia.

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APFT Air Carnival – Kota Bahru

In Flight Log, Navigation, Weather on May 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

APFT Airshow Public Transport


Flight Summary
Engine Time 9h 46m
Landings 4 – WMSA, WMKC, WMKJ, WSSL
Fuel total approx. 78 Gallons
Fuel per hour approx. 8 Gallons
Pictures Click here

From 19 to 21 April 2013, I flew to Kota Bahru to join the Air Carnival organized by the Asia Pacific Flight Training to celebrate the graduation of their students.  Two other aircraft from WoA in Singapore were there as well (DA40 and Columbia 350), and the “Extreme Midlife Aerobatics” crew brought a Piper Arrow (Marcus Walther) and the Giles 202 for the aerobatics display.  APFT is one of the biggest flight schools in Malaysia and has their main bases in Kota Bahru, Terengganu and, I think,  smaller ones in KL and Ipoh.

While we were there, APFT offered to provide Avgas to anybody who wants to fly along the East Coast (where Petronas does not supply Avgas).  You can message me if you are looking for a contact.  Flying at the East coast is under appreciated by most pilots.  I wholeheartedly recommend you try it out.

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LIMA 2013 – 9MDRJ amongst Russian Fighter Jets and USAF Transport Planes

In Flight Log on April 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

Ingo and Max at Lima 2013

Flight Summary
Engine Time 10h 04m
Landings 5
Fuel total 90 Gallons
Fuel per hour approx. 8.8 Gallons
Pictures Click here

For the second time, I participated in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. I took 9M-DRJ to Langkawi on March 28, 2013 with Royce and my son as passengers. It was also the first time that I flew direct from Senai to Penang. The flight time is three hours and thirty minutes and basically a no brainer for the Piper endurance.

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Exhilarating and scary – VFR around Monster Thunderstorms

In Airmanship, Flight Log, Navigation, Weather on April 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

This is not how a straight in approach to Seletar is supposed to look like

As the saying goes, pilots start off with a ton of luck and no experience and hope to gain enough experience before their luck runs out. I used up a good portion of luck and learned a lot of things yesterday.

On my way back from Kota Bahru, an uneventful three hour cross-country flight was crowned by one and a half hour of the most challenging and scary flying I have ever done.

Within 30 minutes, a couple of rapidly growing and fast moving thunderstorms put Johor, Seletar, Subang and Tioman into IMC – all at the same time.

Mind you, I am not talking about a bit of bad visibility that is crappier than what we normally deal with in South East Asia. I am talking about the big black impenetrable blanket that cover large junks of the land.

While orbiting next to one of those monsters my ground speed in one 360 degree turn varied by 70 knots! The aircraft was going up and down so rapidly that the AP disengaged, my headset flew off and I banged my head into the ceiling so badly hat I saw stars in the clouds. (Advice from the “Been there, done it” department : truly tighten the seat belts and do not just chant this point on the check list. )

If you know the layout of the airports in Malaysia, you will also know that there was literally no viable option to land anymore and I was at the end of a 3 hour flight with about 2 hours endurance left if I would have flown the tanks empty.

So I was flying up and down the East coast between Sidilli Besar and Desaru to find an opening, but every time I thought I had found something, ATC told me that the weather radar looks even worth where unwanted to go.

Eventually, ATC negotiated with Singapore a 4000 feet climb and track to VJB, which is the VOR station there. With the up- and down-drafts yanking me around like mad I even had problems to remember what a VOR was, let alone how to track to one. However, many hours of lonely flying in my new airplane with plenty of time to play around with the avionics paid off.

I managed to go in the right direction, but lost my nerves close to Kota Tinggi, where I descended to 1000 feet again to track the ground.

Again, many flights to Mersing in the past gave me the confidence to navigate by ground features alone. I was even able to identify the danger areas by the the change in vegetation, but why I bothered to avoid the areas when I thought I might not make it to the airfield is one of those mysteries…

Finally I had the airfield in sight and what a beautiful sight it was! I guess this put me into such a calm and relaxed Zen state that I did one of my best landings ever – an absolute greaser. (Good landings only happen when nobody else is in the aircraft to witness it. But whether you believe me or not, I know what I saw… Or maybe my butt was just desensitized. )

After big thunderstorms the view is often gorgeous, with unlimited visibility and haze rising out of the jungle in columns. And that was the sight Mother Nature greeted me with on my flight from Johor to Seletar in cool air and just the slightest drizzle. Maybe it was an apology for her earlier misfits?

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.

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Where the wind will carry me …

In Flight Log, Navigation on October 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm
Flight Summary
Engine Time 11h 51m
Landings 7
Fuel total 85 Gallons
Fuel per hour approx. 7.2 Gallons (28 Liters)
Hotel cost approx. RM 240 (SGD 100)
Pictures Click here

The flight safari has been postponed, so I had free time on my hand and decided to jump into the club piper to see where the wind would carry me.

13 October 2012, 14:00 LT, Malacca Airport

Empty Airport Terminal in Malacca

Well, as it turns out the wind decided to carry me exactly 100 nm before putting a full stop on my plans with thunderstorms over Subang. Now I am sitting in an empty airport terminal in Malacca and hope I will later make it to Penang and Langkawi.

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