Wednesday, August 31, 2005

48 years! what next?

Two powerful spotlights dominated the darkened skies of Kinabalu, as if the Grammy's was in town. How I wish! But little did I remember, it was the night before our independence day. A huge crowd gathered around town to witness the performance and fireworks that will light up the darkness into an elegant and colourful display.

Having just arrived from a training flight, had plenty of energy left to explore the happenings around town. Streets were jammed packed. Still in the car ten minutes before midnight, I decided to stop at a spot where we could get a glimpse of the fireworks display and guess what, check out the pictures.....

Its the 48th year of Independence in our country. Malaysia has progress pretty well, but the question always in my mind is what next? We are now a well known developing country, and yet, the are still social and economical problems yet to be solved. One particular important problem is education. I dont expect our education system to be very good, but it should atleast be standardized and it should maintain a certain standard interms of teaching quality and also the effectiveness. Why education? Because thats the most important tool that will shape a young boy or girl to become a well rounded, well balanced individual ready for the challenges ahead in today's world environment.

Anyways, back to the main question still buzzin my mind! What next? I hope to see Malaysia as a comparable country amongs the other developing countries. But at the moment, its going to be a difficult task. Being in the airline industry, I've heard the saying "First world company, but Third world mentality!" This saying is VERY TRUE and it is just what is happening right now in our country. I hope this will change eventually and that will be the day when everyone can proudly call Malaysia a First World Country with First World Mentality! Happy Independence Day 2005!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

When Flying Becomes Unsafe....

Signing papers normally means a lot of hassle for someone, be it legal papers or work-related papers. It could also mean signing contract papers for your first job. For me and my close friend Alvyn, it was slightly more than a year ago that this happened to us. Contrary to being a hassle, it was possibly one of the happiest days of our lives! Not only did we manage to land a job, but it happen to be our dream job with our dream company.

Fast-forward one year and we're all at a seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. Celebrating our one year anniversary with the company. It was a nice and satisfying dinner and the conversation came about current issues at work and also aviation. The current topic, the air crash involving a 737 in Greece. I will not go into more details on the topic as it is currently under investigation. May God Bless all the souls lost in that crash.

Air travel has been touted to be one of the safest mode of transportation in our world today. It is so safe that according to an article from an aviation magazine, 'time is running out for the big boys'. Simply, what this means is air travel is so safe that those involve in improving safety have nothing to work, study or investigate on anymore. There hasn't been a major incident in years. Then... out of nowhere, it started.... First, a French widebody jet went of the runway in Canada, then a turboprop regional aircraft crashes into the water in Europe and it ends with Greece incident.

The day after our dinner, I was called up to do a single nightstop flight to Sandakan. I brought up the issue about the article to my captain to see his point of view. He said simply that "accidents or incidents are bound to happen". I could not get what that really meant at first. Then, later he said, "...aircrafts are machines, they're bound to fail one day, its just a question of which aircraft type, what company, when and where." Its pretty chilling when he told me that, but after a while, it actually does make sense. We try our best to make every flight safe. Some might argue with me that we could improve the machine, but look at the Titanic. Even the best training in the world could not safe us from meeting our creator.

Having said that, it does not mean that air travel is unsafe. No! Its still safer than driving on the highway. Safety programs by airlines all over the world has help reduce accidents and incidents. However, humans make mistakes and so does machines. It helps brings us back down to earth sometimes, especially when all of a sudden, life is precious again. By the way, just when we're talking about this topic, I managed to catch this picture (above) from my office window.....

(p.s. - thanx for all your comments guys/gals)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Recleared FL180....

Staring out from my office window, the beautiful sunset splashing a bright orange all over the City of Kota Kinabalu, just wondering the journey that took me to where I am now. The long hours, failures, blood and tears... all this for a little book with a couple of pages. But this coveted little book is not just any little book and my office is no 'glass windowed' corner room in a skyscraper.

The book that I was talking about is my Pilots License, and my office is a dark and cold room with small windows and lots of switches and button and LCD screens, a.k.a the Cockpit. Im a Second Officer for a major airline, based out of Kota Kinabalu , serving Sabah and Sarawak. Having been with my present company for over a year now and gone through my fair share of events and experiences, I hope to share this stories with all you guys and gals out there, interested in the life of an airline pilot or just to soak up the stories of an aviator.

One of the most important factor in providing a safe flight is clear and simple communication. I believe this will hold true for any job or special mission. Therefore, dont be shy and let me know what you think about my blog and what you want to hear from me. All emails, positive or negative, is always welcomed. I promise to reply to all emails although it may take sometime as I might be busy flying.

Alright, so with the introduction done, lets get it started......