Sunday, November 17, 2013

#TSBreakAway - Come Fly With Me

Captain Godric Hong was passionate when he talked about his works as a ground instructor and club pilot. "It was my dream to become a pilot," he told us as we waited for our turns in a cafe inside Skypark Terminal, Subang. There was no reason to doubt him.

As the other team, Anis and Isaac, roamed around the city skyline with Captain Badrul Zaman, Vanessa and I were chatting away with the young captain who just graduated from a flying school in Langkawi this year. "At the moment, I am working here in Air Adventure Flying Club while waiting for replies from airline companies," he said. According to him, he was among the lucky ones for securing a flying gig not too long after graduated. Apparently, there were many pilots in Malaysia unable to land a job.

While unemployment rate in Malaysia is still in a manageable level, there are many fresh graduates unable to find a job. Economic downturn causes most companies to downsize. I myself is part of the unemployed group, though in my case, it was my own will. For me, I rather be temporarily not working than slaving away in dead-end jobs.

Cessna-172, a small aircraft we flew with

We took off in a small aircraft enough for 4 persons, a Cessna-172. Both of us took turns being a co-pilot and a passenger with Captain Godric in charge of the plane. This allowed us to experience both sides, we were told earlier during briefing.

Captain Godric Hong, with Vanessa as co-pilot

I may not be a strong advocate for KL skyline but the city sure looks pretty from up here. We flew by both the city's landmarks, the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Tower, and seeing them up close was just amazing. The scenery changed from clustered skyscrapers to dense housing areas as we moved further away from the city centre. The greenery shrubs we saw while up in the air astounded me. I didn't realize there are so many recreational parks and forests still exist in the city.

We passed by both KL Tower and Petronas Twin Tower

Where the earth and sky meets

When it was my turn to man the aircraft, excitement overwhelmed me. I have been on a plane before but never the one to pilot it. Although our control was restricted to just maneuvering the vehicle up and down, left and right, it was more than enough for me. I can just imagine the pressures that come with being an actual pilot, the need to do everything right, knowing that lives are stake even for a minor error.

While we were flying around the city, Captain Godric told me that he never get bored with the city sky view every times he took a client for a spin. "Now you understand why I like flying," he said. I believe I do.

Flying is the theme of Day 4 of #TSBreakAway, a pilot program initiated by Tourism Selangor. 12 Xplorers were divided into 3 groups, each having its own adventures. However, due to unforeseen weather complication, only piloting and paragliding took place. The other adventure, paramotor, had to cancel and the paramotor group merged with paragliding as one.