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Monday, December 17, 2012

Joy Flight - Care Haven Dec 2012

Thanks to our last Charity Joy Flight in Sept, we managed to gather some fund for the youths from Care Haven to share the similar experience. A big thank you to the guys that attended!

Also thanking Mr Tham, for organizing the trip for the youths.

The joy and experience I believe, is the most important. Something they will always remember. See you all again soon and a Merry Christmas!



Checking Fuel Quality
Explaning How To Check Eng Oil


Group Photo
Ready To Go...



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Journey to Becoming a Pilot - Part 9

After my 1 week reservist, I returned to Ipoh to continue my flying training. The pace was still very slow. Not much flying, doing about 1-2 hours a week. After a few weeks, I realized I had to shift out of the hotel and look for an apartment to rent as I predicted the stay was going to be longer and that will help save some cost.

During my free time, I will look for career opportunities online. Through a kind friend, I got to meet up with a very kind samaritan who was also in the airline industry. He told me to apply to one of the airline as it was recruiting and I did. About a week later, I was quite surprised they replied to me and asked me to attend an interview and a simulator check. So I took some time off and went for the test which I eventually passed. However they could not take me in yet as I still need to complete my training in Ipoh.

At one particular day, I met one of the directors of the school Maj N, he was just passing by the school and he happened to speak to me, asking me how was my training going. I told him it was not very productive as there were too many students and not enough instructors and aircraft. Also i currently had a very good opportunity in Singapore and all I need to be accepted is to finish my training in Ipoh.

Maj N was very nice, he told me not to worry and whenever he was free, he will personally fly with me to help me complete my training. At that stage, I had only about 8 hours, Maj N would come fly with me during the weekends and it was really very nice of him to do that. Within a month, I completed all my 35 hours of multi-engine IR. I was so happy and also thankful to him.

Without delay, I settled all my housing and licensing paperwork and returned to Singapore. In the next few weeks, my new company arranged me for all the emergency, crm and first aid training lessons and eventually I was set to depart Singapore for my aircraft training oversea. It was fast pace and at the same time exciting as I was finally embarking on my dream of becoming a commercial pilot.

Till this day, I am still very much indebted to the 3 person above whom indirectly helped shaped my career. A BIG thank you!
(To be continued….)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Aviation Knowledge 2

Hi,

Today let us talk about aircraft's Auxiliary Power Unit. Ever wondered without the engines running at the gate, how does the aircraft receive electricity for the lighting and also air-con when you are boarding the aircraft?

This is because at the tail section of the aircraft, there is this little magical unit called the APU in short that can provide not only electricity but also compressed air that drives the air-con when the engines are not running.

Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)

After the door is closed and aircraft starts to push back, you will notice the engine will be started at this time and soon after, a flicker of the lights in the cabin will occur. This is the time when the engine's generator kicks in and take over the load from the APU generator to provide electricity. So after the second engine start, normally the APU will be shut down at this time and compressed air will be provided by the engines to sustain the air-con. The APU will be left off until the aircraft reaches its destination and the APU will be turn on again when the aircraft reaches the gate before the engines are shut down.

What happens if the APU is down and not working? How does the aircraft gets electricity and air con at the gate then? There are 2 equipments called the Ground Power Unit and Ground Air Unit which could also be attached to the aircraft to provide both electricity and air-con.


Ground Power Unit

The next time you board an aircraft you will have a better understanding of how the APU works and try spotting the Ground Power Unit too!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Flying Across The Causeway - Sunday Life!

An article about flying across the causeway. Featuring in the interview we have our Dream of Flight Team Members, Dinesh and Thomas. Enjoy!

Go Light, take flight - Sunday Life Aug 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Journey to Becoming a Pilot - Part 8

Reading back on my previous post  (Journey to Becoming a Pilot - Part 1), I remembered mentioning I would share with you my experience applying as a trainee with the Singapore Air Force. Before I started training as a recruit in BMT, I have no knowledge of flying at all. It was after I started training in Tekong that the recruitment officers from the air force came to give us a career seminar. The seminar was quite impressive, giving us the opportunity to experience flying and also maybe eventually piloting one of the F-16 sounds too good to be true for a recruit. Therefore after consulting with my parents, I signed up.

The response from the recruitment side was quite swift, within a week I was called up to attend a 5 hrs psychomotor test which consist of many questions and things you have to do with a computer apparently to test your reflexes and response. It was tiring facing a computer for 5 hrs.

After the test, about another week, I was called up to attend the medical check. Thereafter, once you pass all these tests, an interview with the management will be arranged, which it happened to me.

I was dressed up in my smartest uniform and entered the meeting room, to my shocked, the long table consist of about 8-10 panel mostly high ranked officers (Maj and above) which I had never seen. The highest ranked officer I met so far was maybe my company OC - a Cpt.

Anyway I saluted them and sat on this one chair prepared for me opposite them. They asked me all kind of questions and I tried to answer them and also show my enthusiasm. After the interview, I waited in a room for the result. A lady came in and told me I made it for the interview and I was required to sign a provisional contract which I gladly did.

I was very satisfied and I still cant believe I am joining the air force. The remainder of my training in Tekong, I did my best to get the best grade. However when the posting came after the BMT, they told me I did not make it for OCS and so they could not accept me into the air force. It was quite a shock after all the tests that I had gone through.

After my posting to SISPEC, I continued to appeal but they just couldn't help me. So my hope diminished with the air force but my appetite to be a pilot grows.

I remembered I still tried to apply after my 2 1/2 yrs national service. However I was told by the recruitment officer that the computer system will reject me because I did not make it to OCS. I told them I do not mind restarting my whole training again if need be to go through OCS again…but to no avail.

I am still pondering how do they gauged if a person is suitable to fly if they do not even give them a chance to be in a plane. Time to look for other alternatives…which I did.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joy Flight June 2012

Did a joy flight for Natalie, Sufiyan and Wai Lay. Also thanking Thomas and Dinesh for making this happen. Hope everyone gained something from this event and really enjoyed the day with the fulfillment on everyone’s face.

Getting Ready...
Thomas and Natalie
Joy after flight...
Group Photo

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Journey to Becoming a Pilot - Part 7

As I slowly progress through my instructor career, I started accumulating flying hours as well. As I only hold a Private Pilot Licence, I need to upgrade to a Commercial Pilot Licence and also to get my Multi Engine Instrument Rating before I can at least be eligible to apply for the airlines. So the requirement at that time in Malaysia was to have at least 500 Hours of flying time before I can apply to sit for the CPL Exams.

After some time, I did accumulate that 500 hours and went to apply to sit for the exams. I still remembered there were like 6 Local papers and 8 UK papers to pass. I studied really hard but without proper guidance and relying on self study, I only managed to pass all papers after 3 attempts. Which was a lot of money wasted and also time traveling to KL each time I had to take an exam. After the CPL exam was completed, I know I still had to do the Airline Transport Pilot Licence papers which was the same as the 8 UK papers but at the ATPL level. So back to books again for the next few months and surprisingly, I passed all 8 papers at one attempt this time.

That was just the theory part. Now i had to do a flight test with an examiner to complete my training to obtain a CPL. Waited for another few months before I can arranged for an examiner to come down to Johor to do my flight test. The test went on quite smoothly and after about an hour, we landed and he congratulated me.

With a CPL in hand, next step will be to get my 35 hours of multi engine instrument training. As only major flying schools owns multi engine aircrafts in Malaysia, I had to apply to the flying school to do the training. I tried many schools and all told me they were fully booked. It was painful having to wait with no definite starting date. Then after some time, a school in Ipoh called Integrated Training & Services started having this training with 1 multi engine aircraft. So I applied and they accepted me.

Time to move to Ipoh. 6 hours driving time. Stayed in a hotel reasonably nice and went to report to school. The school was quite old and small and I saw many students wandering around. They gave me my uniform, epaulette, name tag and wing. A little not used to being a student again.

Every Morning we need to report to the school for FLAG RAISING and singing the national anthem. Of course I just stood there without singing haha. After that ceremony, we need to report to a classroom where everyday, a rotating student will give a morning brief, indicating the weather for today, schedule of flying, duty instructor and also the morning prayer. I am really feeling very unsettling. After all these, I thought great now we can do some real flying. That was not to be, as there were too many students and only 1 plane with really bad maintenance, i only managed to fly 1 hour in 1 month.

It was really tough, not flying. Reminded me of my earlier training in KL for my instructor rating. Waiting and waiting with money depleting. Soon I managed to have a couple of buddies and we played table tennis at the corner of the school every morning. One of my friend couldn't play at all so I had to teach him the basics. As time passes, his skill became better and we actually had some nice time sparring. To add matter worst now, with not much flying and student jumping to every opportunity to fly, it was like a tactical situation to put yourself in the top list. Started seeing students apple polishing the instructors, back stabbing one another etc..it was messy.

Suddenly at this crucial stage, I got called up to do my reservist! AGhh! I applied for deferment but was unsuccessful so got to go back to Singapore for 1 week. It was very sad time thinking of only having 1 hour out of 35 and also the opportunities wasted while I was away and serving the nation is confusing and hard time.
(To be continued...)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aviation Knowledge 1

Hi All,

Just thought that i have been sharing so much about my journey to becoming a pilot i may as well also share with you some general knowledge about aircraft which can be interesting to many. Today let’s discuss about Cabin Oxygen.

Ever been in a situation where, as a passenger on a commercial aircraft you suddenly sees a yellow mask dropping out from the ceiling? Guess not many of us will have such experience and if you do, please share it with us. Also, if this situation does happen, what should we do?

Cabin Oxygen Mask
Time for photo when mask drop?










I believe not many of us listens to the Safety Demonstration performed by Cabin Attendant before each flight. So before we really know what and how we should react, we should have a brief insight to how the system actually works.

Let’s first discuss when will the oxygen mask drop out from the ceiling. For most aircraft design, oxygen mask will drop down automatically if the cabin altitude exceed about 14000 feet. It will be followed by an auto seat belt sign on, a chime sound and then an automated message telling you to put on your mask.

So why 14000 feet? That is because 14000 feet is the average altitude a normal human can sustain normal breathing without being affected by hypoxia, which would make us unconscious followed by some symptoms before death.

In normal operation, a commercial aircraft flying at about 38000 feet will pressurize the cabin altitude to about 8000 feet so that we can function normally in the cabin. As you can see, if the oxygen mask does drop, something serious is happening, so time is very crucial because we could go into hypoxia if we do not put on the mask as soon as we can.

So with a cabin altitude of 8000 feet in normal operation, how can the cabin altitude ever exceed 14000 feet? There are a couple of scenarios.

We could have a sudden structural damage, giving a big hole in the cabin. So what happen if there is a big hole in the cabin? The pressurized air will rush out increasing the cabin altitude to almost the same as outside which is 38000 feet.

A Qantas with a cabin hole near the wing

Also an interesting fact to know is, how long does a normal human take, to go into unconsciousness with the change in altitude? As you can see below, given the scenario above if the cabin altitude was to shoot up to 38000 feet, we will have about maybe 15-20 seconds to stay conscious if we do not have the oxygen mask on.

Time of Useful Consciousness Chart

Of course the above scenario with a hole in the cabin will create loud noises and mist in the cabin which would alarm most passengers. What if there is another scenario whereby there is a failure in the air conditioning system. To make it simple, with no air coming into the aircraft, air will slowly escape through the toilet ventilation system as well as small leaks around the cabin. The cabin will appear normal and we call this a gradual depressurization. The cabin altitude will slowly increase and we might not even notice it. Only tell tale sign would be the oxygen mask.

So the next time if you have a mask drop down, do not be deceived by the fact that the cabin feels normal or thinking that it might be a malfunction or joke. Do put on the mask quickly.

Lastly just want to share with you on the duration of the oxygen mask. The oxygen is initiated when you pull the mask from the ceiling and wear it. A small oxygen canister is activated just above the mask and it will normally supply the row of 3 or 4 masks for about 15 minutes. Why 15 minutes? Isn’t that a little too short? Well, that is because pilots are trained to start their immediate descend if there is a situation to do with depressurization. Descending from 38000 feet to a safe altitude of 14000ft will take not more than 15 minutes. That’s how they derive that figure.

Hope we all learn something here and if there are any queries please email me. Thank you.