Since I had a few days to spare in Kuching before celebrating Chinese New Year, I dropped by Mukah to visit a good friend. This will also be the second time that I’ll be flying on the Twin Otter, previously during my trip to Mulu a decade ago.
I bought a standby ticket to Mukah after lunch and was on standby for the 3:45pm flight. Bookings for that flight was full, but after I packed and went back to the airport, they managed to get me a seat on that flight.
It was raining so umbrellas were provided. No aerobridge to get you to the cabin.
I almost forgot how small the aircraft was. There are no seat numbers so it’s free seating. No cabin crew to serve drinks either. There was no requirement since the aircraft seats 19 people or less. There were 11 passengers on my flight.
Getting to Mukah was an adventure itself. Flying in a small plane means you’re pretty much at the mercy of the weather. The takeoff roll was very brief. It was raining in Kuching and visibility was not very good. But once we broke through the rain clouds, it was all clear and sunny. And soon we were climbing to 7500 feet. The aircraft is unpressurized so it cannot fly too high. So there’s plenty to see if you look out from the window.
The many rivers of Sarawak snaking inland.
Flying at about 7500 feet at 300km/h.
Houses can be seen as we approached Mukah.
Sharp right turn as we approached Mukah. Flaps down in this photo.
The plane came down very fast during landing. The pilot then made a U-turn and headed back to the terminal. After the passengers left I talked to the captain and pilot. I asked them how they navigate the route and they say mainly VFR (visual) and GPS. They had about 15 minutes before taking off again to head back to Kuching.
Very simple flight instruments.
Very small cabin.
Admittedly, I got lost in this airport when I arrived because they had closed the front doors by the time I got down from the aircraft.
More to come. Stay tuned!