Souring above the clouds and catching a birds eye view of both land and sea is a view worth looking at. The view from above is simply breathtaking.
Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives. — Socrates
A week back, I visited the Malaysian Flying Academy in Batu Berendam, Malacca for an experience like no other. The basis of the visit painted a picture and an opportunity to experience the life of a cadet at the flying academy.
At the Malaysian Flying Academy(MFA) hangar
The trip down from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca started off as early as 8 a.m. on a rainy cold Saturday Morning.It was nice seeing a familiar face in SarenRaj from The Star's Brats program together with his team of young writers at our meeting point in Bangsar.
We arrived at the Malaysian Flying Academy at Malacca just before 11 a.m. and we were greeted by Principal, Captain Stephen Terry, Mr Allen Kee and his team of flight instructors and cadets.
We started our day with the:
First Exercise Class: Principles of Flight by Captain Karambaya
In Captain Karambaya's class, we were paired each with a cadet and we learned about the many different parts of an air plane.We also learned about air flow by lift and drag and the aircraft flying experience during in flight. We were told besides understanding the most importance of safety during a flight, the lessening of drag while take off plays an important role in giving better fuel consumption too. He even demo-ed the movement of the flaps and how a plane turns and glides while flying.
Here is something new I learned, a Boeing plane takes off at a much stealer angle because of its flaps. Being a big plane, this is essential in using lesser runway and avoiding any obstacles in the surrounding areas. Food for thought definitely.
For an individual who signs up with the Malaysian Flying Academy as a cadet, they would have to learn and have extensive knowledge on the lift and drag components on an aircraft and at the same time understand the altitude and terrain of the flying aircraft. One of the basic requirement of a cadet is to have a good command in English and extensive understanding in both Maths & Physics prior to application.
In order to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), a cadet would need to go through and complete 920 hours of ground school and 200 hours of flying as explained by Principal, Captain Stephen Terry in the video below. During the duration of flying, cadets will firstly fly in single engines and after they have mastered that, only they would be moved on twin engines which requires more experience.
The course is broken down into two phases:
The First phase of the course is to earn and receive a Private Pilot License (PPL) which is achieved through 3 months of ground school and flying each.
The Second phase of the course is where cadets would have to go to ground school for another 5 months and with additional flying hours under their belt to achieve in total 200 hours of flying.
The total duration of the flying course is 18 months.
Next we moved on to the:
Second Exercise Class: Navigation Planning by Flight Instructor Sharron Yee
In this class with Flight Instructor Sharron, we learned the navigation route that we were going explore, and with that we learned various terms in relation to flight plan and flight log. The navigation route given is shown above and the route covers from take off at Malacca-->Tampin--> Tangkak--> Parit Sulong--> Muar--> Back to Malacca.
Flight Plan & Flight Log
Below is a Step by Step Guide in creating a Flight Path, which is one of the usual flying paths for the Cadets at The Malaysian Flying Academy.
The end product of a completed Flight Path
We also learned lil details on flight plans which consist of Aircraft Details followed by Terrain, Airspace of safe altitude and also cruising altitudes. We learned the term Notams - Notice To Airmen, Track and Distance - To calculate our routes and to enable sufficient fuel to take on board. The most important of the lot would be Ground Speed, where wind conditions and flying speed are to be determined.
It was soon time to grab a quick lunch before heading on over for flying time followed by an exam which would consist of 100 questions. Oh yes putting all that learning and digesting of information together before the exam.
I had loads of fun flying at night and probably the most tricky part was running through a dark cloud on the way and with low visibility it was a pretty sticky situation. Fun Nonetheless.
Next up we proceeded on to the Examination classroom where the hours of learning we had earlier on in the day would come into play. The questions were all based on the classes of Captain Karambaya & Flight Instructor Sharron.
The highest marked obtained from the exam was from a young Brats Writer.
Next on, we headed on the MFA Hangar to have a closer look at some of the single and twin engine planes. Such a priceless experience indeed!
On a lovely Saturday outing, I vividly experienced one of the greatest experience anyone can have. If I could turn back time, I would definitely take up a flying course and learn the ropes of being an established pilot. To top it all, end with an achievement of a captain with my white uniform on. While I continue to digest that valuable experience I had, every young, both male and female individual should not shy away from becoming a commercial airline pilot. To my surprise there was a number of female and male cadets as young as 18 years old. This show, you learn fast when your young and you grasp the many opportunities that comes your way. The Future in the Aviation industry is bright for Malaysia!
There is no sport equal to that which aviators enjoy while being carried through the air on great white wings. — Wilbur Wright, 1905.
For More Information on the course offered and the experience that awaits you, do head on over to their official website at http://www.mfa.edu.my/
The Malaysian Flying Academy(MFA) is licensed and approved by The Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia(DCA).