Merry Christmas 2006!

Merry Christmas! Sorry, haven’t been updating regularly. Been busy paying my sleep debts and living an idle life. Here are a few updates over the past few days.


Christmas dinner during Christmas eve. Nothing beats home cooked food. Haven’t been enjoying good food until I came back.

23rd night went out to Tao with friends. Haven’t seen a lot of them for a long time. 24th night, had christmas dinner at home. 25th night, had pot luck over at Joanne’s place.


Joanne and me.


Clockwise: me the Intruder, Joanne the Host, Pei Ren the Artist, and The Queen Jocelyn.

The food was great. Someone actually brought matterhorn! It would be complete with kolo mee but then Indra would be left out… and then later we had a game of poker. Unlike casino royale, we were playing with even higher stakes: water. We used cups of water as stakes, with the loser drinking his “losses”.


Derek and his 6 cups of “losings”


Uhh… not exactly the best cards in the world.


Junella raising the “bets”.


On other news… someone actually don’t know how jambus look like =D Now you know…

It’s great coming back to Kuching, hanging out with friends, doing nothing for a change ;) Continue reading

Jumpseat!

You wouldn’t believe how I came back to Kuching this time round! I also couldn’t believe that I would be able to get a flight back because the amount of people on standby was exceeding 100 and business class seats were all snapped up like hot cakes. I thought maybe I won’t be going back to Kuching anymore this Christmas. But it all changed because of one SMS.


Waiting at KLIA Flight Ops.

9:00PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – I’ve almost given up hope of coming back to Kuching. All flights full, confirmed tickets all sold out, no chance of standby. There was almost no way of coming back to Kuching on the 23rd. That is until I sent the crucial message to Alvin.

9:50PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – I rushed to MAS complex B to catch the staff bus to KLIA. Almost missed the bus. But we were on our way to KLIA at 10PM. This is where the real journey begins.

11:00PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – Reached KLIA. Located the Flight Ops room. A steward was kind enough to let me use his pass to enter the room. Met with an officer who helped me arrange for a jumpseat. But I will still have to get permission from the Captain when he arrives in the morning.

12:00AM – 6:00AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – Tried to get some sleep on the couch.

7:30AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – Met the Captain and he approved. Got the chop from Flight Ops and the signature from the Captain. Went and checked in immediately. The procedures were different from normal check-ins because I was on the jumpseat. The stewardress who checked my ticket at the gate was surprised to see me on the jumpseat haha


This is my ticket back home. My seat number is 000.

8:30AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – I’m in the cockpit with my housemate and the Captain and the co-pilot. I’ll let pictures and videos to do the talking.


The 737-400 that I used to come back.


Observing the whole length of the flight from the cockpit.

I got two videos here: the first is an overview of the cockpit during the flight (754KB) and another one on the approach and landing (3.81MB):

The flight was pretty uneventful. I had business class food =D If you want to know more about it, ask me personally when you see me. But what matters most is that I managed to get back to Kuching at 10AM =D


Nice view outside.


Plane taxiing to the aerobridge after landing.


KCH airport as seen from the cockpit.

Being in the jumpseat is probably one of the most exciting thing I’ve experienced in the aviation industry so far. It’s amazing to witness the take off, how pilots make full use of the auto-pilot and how they land the plane. It’s really interesting. I’m really glad I choose to use standby ticket back this time round. Continue reading

6 days notice

3 posts per day is usually too much, but then it’ll make up for the days I didn’t blog. Anyways, 6 days till I’ll be back in Kuching. YES! My leave has been approved! I’ll be holidaying from 22nd Dec until 2nd Jan 2007! That’s 12 days! Now what to do in Kuching?

Been working non-stop everyday for almost 2 weeks. I’m finally taking a rest tomorrow. I know, I may have neglected my friends, but work was my first priority because it involves my career. But I will try my best to balance things out. Got to start studying soon, going to sit for my EASA exam next August if everything goes well ;)

So I hope I’ll see you all back in Kuching! =D Continue reading

Vodka lightning

Vodka bottles not only contain fun when they are full. When they are empty, they can be fun too! Some pictures using torches to illuminate the bottle. I’m having a crazy night by the way…


Illuminated using led torch.


Illuminated using a conventional torch.

Warning to the general public: Don’t drink and drive. Continue reading

Cockpit

Anyone, even those who don’t like planes, will surely be hooked when they enter the cockpit for the very first time. There’s just too many things to see and touch. Buttons are everywhere, dials, guages, screens all displaying meaningless information, the whole layout and ambient lightning is just so captivating. Today I’ll show some shots from the cockpit and throw in some explanation.


Overview of the 737-400 cockpit.

Basically from the cockpit, you can control EVERYTHING on the plane. From how much thrust you want from the engines to whether you want the “No smoking” sign to be switched on or not. There are countless buttons and dials and pilots and engineers should know each and every button and what they do and the consequences of pressing the buttons.


Overhead control panel. Click for large version (652KB).

The overhead control panel controls most of the acessories on the plane. From pneumatic air supply, battery power, apu and engine starting, to condition monitoring gauges, lights and cabin temperature. Today I will explain briefly on some of these controls.


Air cond controls. Controls the cabin temperature. Similar to a car’s climate control. Except that this is more advanced. In order to get the right temperature, the plane mixes cold and hot air. Hot air comes from the bleed air from the engine and can be as hot as 232C. Cold air comes from the aircond pack and can be below 0C.


The temp gauge shows the temperature in the cabin. Yes, it is close to 40C because all equipment are running and they generate a lot of heat.


Bleed means bleed air from the engines or the APU. It’s called bleed because there is a pipe that channels some of the hot air from the compressor section for pneumatic use. The pipe “bleeds” some of the air from the engine, hence the name “bleed air”. This section of the control panel also controls the GPU (ground pneumatic unit) input.


The pneumatic gauge has 2 needles, one indicating the left pack and the other indicating the right pack. You can see the top needle with a “L” on it.


AC supply control panel. AC supply on the plane can come from 3 sources: the engines, the apu or the inverters. Each engine has its own AC generator that generates 115V 400Hz AC when the engine is running. The APU also has its own generator. The inverters uses 28V dc voltage from the batteries to generate 115V 400Hz AC. Now it’s showing 0 amps for obvious reasons.


Engine starting. Unlike the car’s engine, you can’t start a turbine engine by a turn of the key. The engine has to spin up to approximately 20% N1 before ignition and fuel can be introduced so it will reach its self-sustaining speed. More on this next time because this is complicated.


Self-explanatory. For the emergency lights, if it’s set to OFF, it will stay off no matter what. If it’s armed, when power is severed, it will come on. If it’s ON, it will stay on no matter what. Emergency lights are powered by their own rechargable batteries.


Electrical power control panel. Top-left: DC +- 50V. When the needle is pointing at the -ve portion, that means the battery is supplying current but it’s not being charged. If it’s at the +ve portion, it means the battery is charging (note: not too sure about this though, will reconfirm). Top-right: CPS (cycles per second). It should be showing around 400Hz. Middle-left: DC volts. Should be 28volts. Middle-right: AC volts. Should be around 115V AC. I’m not sure what the dials below are used for.


Showing 28V dc.

That’s all for today. More to come next time!

ps: don’t come into this field if you have no interest in any of these because you’ll be dealing with this for the rest of your life. Continue reading