Thursday, November 22, 2007

P3 Check: The Day Murphy's Law Strikes

10.00am, 20th Nov, 2007: Ring...Ring...Ring...Damn! Who would have call me at this time early in the morning. "Hello, this is the planner speaking. You have been bumped off again for P-check tomorrow". What the hell? I have already waited 10 days for P-check and still couldn't get it done. How much longer should I wait and be stuck with the Cessna 172? Feeling grumpy, I threw down all the charts and maps. Bah! Another unproductive day ahead. Might as well just relax for now and prepare my flight another time.

1.30PM: Ring...Ring...Ring..."Hello, this is the planner again. You're up for P-check." "Oh, that's great. When will it be?" "It is 1 hour from now." I nearly fell from my chair. WTF? How on earth can one be prepared when the flight normally needs 2 hour planning ahead and also some revisions the day before? "Who will be the instructor?" "It's Andrew Spencer." Hmm...wait a minute. Now that changed the whole scenario. I did my P2 check with him as well. It was great and fun to fly with him. "OK! I take it."

When I got over to the ops room, I only had another 30 minutes. Oh no, this is getting bad. In a rushed and unprepared state, this where Murphy's Law comes to strike. Started the engine of VH-YXZ, but the ADF was found not working. Crap! More delays. Managed to change to another aircraft of VH-BZI. But by this time, my departure time was already 30 minutes behind schedule. Everything seemed fine after I took off. But Murphy visited us again. Unknowingly, the DGI had precessed more than 10deg from the compass. I was darn sure of it being set correctly as I had synchronized it just before entering the runway. Also on a climb, it was still showing 240 and I was aligned with the runway. I was flying all over the place trying to figure out what went wrong. There was no way to tell the problem as I was in a climb and cannot synchronize the DGI yet. Perth Radar started to call in to inquire about the erratic movement of my aircraft. Only when I reached the top of climb, I was able to find out the problem and quickly rectified it. By this time, I have already lost half the confidence. Add in the bad turbulence, my concentration was thrown off further.

On the way back, I had already lost all hope on this flight and was prepared to repeat it. Andrew broke the silence and said overall the sortie was a pass. I couldn't believe what I just heard. I wished I could have done better and I felt so bad at that moment. He said he will not pass a student without any reason. That lifted up my spirit. I kept thinking about the bad things and never see the good points in my flight. He was right when he advised me to correct the mistake found and then move ahead, don't dwell on the past. Thanks Andrew, for your advice and the flight.

So, that was my last flight on a single engine Cessna172. Till now, I have already completed 3 phases and will be entering the final phase. Baron, here I come!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Internet On The Go

Forget about touch screen PDAs and portable WIFI devices. You just need one Moto Q9 with a little love from Tuzki to rule them all. The Q9 has redefined mobile internet and IM. Featuring a full QWERTY keypad, nothing can beat this baby when it comes to the ease and speed in messaging. It comes fully installed with Windows Live Messenger with other IM applications. With certified pre-installed applications, you can be assured of stable and seamless connectivity. It runs on the fast HSDPA network and you'll never miss a moment with your loved ones.

To find out more about what makes the cute little Tuzki fall in love with the Q9, click on the picture below and discover a whole new world in mobile IM.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Freo Day Out 2

This was my second time to Fremantle in a month time. This time, I was there with a smaller group of friends. Less people, less demands, less complaints and thus more time to explore. I spent the whole afternoon there to explore almost all the places of interest. I had a great time photographing as the sky was sunny with cool breeze from the sea. The old buildings and structures are all still standing strong and looking magnificent against the stunning backdrop of blue skies and ocean.

Later in the evening, Ariel invited us over to her house to try out the piano. I was very excited the first time I saw the piano. It is an antique piano in mint condition. A closer inspection revealed that this piano is actually a mechanical piano which can play by its own by loading up paper scrolls with punched holes and pedaling the motor with the feet. Long before the invention of electric piano, this gem already existed. The engineering of this is a marvel. This was also the first time I've seen such a piano.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Real Down Under Trip: Albany

My last visual navigation flying brought me 400km down south to Albany, which is located in the most southerly tip of Western Australia. This was to be my qualifying navigation for my Commercial Pilot License. And also my last time flying navigation visually as I will completely move on to instrument flying which is done under the hood; sort of being blindfolded. The journey itself took more than 2 hours from Perth. Just before Albany, a range of mountain that was formed in the middle of vast flat terrain greeted me. A close check on my map revealed that the highest peak is named Bluff Knoll with an elevation of 3600ft above sea level. I was excited as I knew before hand that Bluff Knoll is the only place in Western Australia that gets snowfall. I glanced at the instruments in my aircraft, indicating my cruising height of 3000ft and outside temperature of 6 degree celcius. I was disappointed at that moment because I knew it was not cold enough for snowfall. I looked up ahead into the horizon and I could only see a brown "Mount Fuji" instead of snow clad peak. After I have landed and parked the plane, I quickly picked a nice spot to watch my coursemates coming in to land as well. 9 of us went to Albany that day. As it was Sunday, the airport terminal was deserted and we had it all to ourselves. The mini picnic we had inside the terminal was fun. As usual, Ron the drama queen had a field day in the terminal trying to act cute for pictures. The one he posed as a car rental receptionist in the picture below was comment, haha. After a nice break, we took off again on a long journey back to Perth. On the way, I spotted an "atomic" bomb explosion in the forest. RON!!! Was that you again with your farts?