Monday, January 26, 2009
Aviation for Captaincy
It was THAT particular day that I officially declared myself as a future pilot. The 5th of January 2009 marked a history in my book of life, one that shall be remembered and well reserved in my psyche. Often people ask me about the sensation of being among the white milky clouds since the day they knew I was undergoing my training as a pilot. But seldom could I answer or give the exact elaboration of the emotions that the hormones release when being up there due to the fact that I haven’t started my flying yet. So I would just tell them the same story my seniors have been telling me, carrying on the sequence chain of stories or I would just simply say that I haven’t flown the craft yet not bothering to share the experience as it isn’t even my own.
Well that day changed it all. I have completed my first sortie and finally taste the air up there. Maybe I am a little bit exaggerating here. The air tastes the same but the feeling is remarkably different, I KID YOU NOT.
That morning around 11 am, I went outside the hangar (it's like a garage for aircrafts) and looked up. The sky was clear with a few milky puffs of cumulus here and there. Indeed, a definition of a great day for flying! Without hesitation, I went to Captain Fauzi, the pilot instructor in charge to conduct my first sortie today and greeted him..
“Assalamualaikum and morning sir. I’m cadet pilot Mohd Aiman Md Isa and today I’m scheduled to fly with you sir.” I said starting the conversation.
“At what time?” he replied.
“It’s supposed to be now sir. Whenever you’re ready.” I replied back.
“Whenever I’m ready? It’s whenever you are ready.” He laughed and continued,” Your first sortie? Are you ready? Scared?”
“Yes sir, my first sortie. I think I’m ready sir. I’m not that scared sir coz I’m flying with you sir.” I wasn’t trying to make a joke but that it was came out of my mouth.
“Hahahaha. We’ll see about that later. Wait for me at 9M-TAT (the pronunciation is niner mike tango alpha tango)”
I can’t believe it!! My first flight!! I mean my first flight that I'm in control of the aircraft!! I don’t know what to feel at that moment. But I was really looking forward to fly.
I strived hastily towards the flight operation room to take my headset, took my checklist and went to the aircraft. In 5 minutes time, I was already there with him. Captain Fauzi taught me how to do a quick check since the engine was already hot and we went around the aircraft to do the external checks. Later on the aircraft, he asked me if I wanted do the radio calls and I said yes. So there I was, in a Piper Cheerokee Warrior 2 registered number 9M-TAT with my headset around my head, my hands on the control column ready for my first sortie.
Me: Kota Bharu Ground, this is APAC 16 (the call sign I was using)
ATC(Air Traffic Control): APAC 16, Go ahead
Me: APAC 16, Request start for Bachok, POB 2, Endurance 6 hours in 9M-TAT
ATC: APAC 16, Wind 130/50 knots, Temperature 32, QNH 1009, Runway 10, Cleared to start
Me: QNH 1009, Runway 10, Cleared to start, APAC 16
And then I started the aircraft, taxied it to the holding point to take-off. I was kind of nervous but I did a few rehearsals in front of the mirror at home so I wouldn’t say unnecessary words. Before the take-off, I did my departure brief to Captain Fauzi:
This will be a normal take-off.
The rotating speed is 65 knots.
I will climb out at 80 knots, thereafter 90 knots.
Any malfunctions while on the roll; I will abort the take-off.
If the engine fails after take-off, I will select attitude for 75 knots and carry out the EFATO drill.
Any questions sir?
CAPT FAUZI: No, Aiman. You have control.
Me: I have control
So I was ready at the holding point on the runway to do the take-off.
ATC: APAC 16, Cleared Bachok training area, 1000 feet, Right turn, Cleared for take-off.
Me: Cleared Bachok training area, 1000 feet, Right turn, Cleared for take-off!!!
I put full throttle power. The aircraft was accelerating like lightning. 65 knots!!! I pulled the control column gently. And there I was. Rising high towards the sky and leaving the ground. Woohooo! I did it. My first take-off. But honestly, I didn’t do the landing. The Captain did it.
That was my first flying experience!!
And that's that.