Thursday, October 16, 2008

Singapore F1 2008

I joined the crowd to be part of Singapore's historic first F1 night race. Watching monstrous F1 cars zooming down the street circuit in deafening noise just few meters away from the barrier was exhilarating. After decades of absence, sparks firing from under the cars made a return to F1 scene as they thundered down the bumpy street and scratching with their metal underbellies. Set around the wonderful backdrop of lit city buildings and ferris wheel, Alonso took the chequered flag while the Ferrari had their worst nightmare with Kimi kissing the concrete wall and Massa launching away from pit with fuel hose still attached. The whole race was exciting but the crowd atmosphere was not there. Too big of the playground, too many and scattered side shows, too few crowds ---> Disaster. While there were security concerns, the organizer should actually find alternatives to let more of the public to walk into open space for free; therefore filling it for a huge F1 street party. Nevermind, there's always next year. Hopefully it will improve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life of a Cadet Pilot, Ultimate Jet Flying

* Hi there. Sorry for the lack of updates. Laptop died and was out of action for a month.

80 unforgettable days spent in Maroochydore. I had my first and ultimate jet flying experience. I flew the Learjet45; Ferrari of the skies.

No more flying with nasty instructors who let you make mistakes and then nail you. No more flying the hot and slow propeller plane at low levels. No more flying with ancient dial instruments.

Here in Maroochy, we call the instructors as Captains. They are retired flight captains from reputable airlines with lots of experience. Best of all, they are all patient, passionate in teaching and well-mannered. We fly the 2 crew concept and help each other to achieve safe and satisfactory flights. We fly pressurized and join the big boys in the mile high club up there. Feeling adventurous, we also got up to as high as 45,000ft. At this height close to the edge of the atmosphere, we became astronauts. The curvature of the earth and the pitch black space above can be seen clearly. This sleek jet can even go higher to 51,000ft but regulations prevented us from doing that.

This is the finale of my cadet pilot journey. When I first started my journey more than 2 years ago, I never thought I would get this far. Once again, I would like to thank all the support from my family and friends. Not forgetting the ever patient and great instructors I have had along the way. I had not been a good son for being away from home so many years. I had not been a good friend for ignoring all my hometown friends. I promise I'll make it up to all of you one day.

I will do my conversion training soon. Hopefully will get to fly the B777 sometime next year. But with the economy crisis and recession clouds looming, things aren't looking so bright. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and pray hard. I'm placing my trust on the company to weather through this storm and come out stronger in the future. Hope...I cling onto.