I know it’s been a while, but now that we’re all on Covid-19 lockdown, I thought I’d used the time to update my blog! I really have no excuse now! Expect lots of fresh new content in the coming weeks! I have to check on my assignments & classes now, but after I do that I might update my blog again!
Progress Test 3 is all about testing our cross-country navigation skills & also general handling within a smaller error margin. Students must show the ability to successfully plan for a cross-country flight in a suitable amount of time. The cross-country trip should be allocated before the flight test date, and students should make tentative plans before the flight test, such as flight plan submission to control tower, map planning, track & heading calculation, selection of potential alternative airports, and initial flight log entries.
The cross-country phase of training lets you step (or fly) outside the comfort zone of your home airport and experience landings and take-offs at other airports. You’ll make your first cross country with an instructor, then on your own in a solo flight. This exciting milestone brings you one step closer to finishing your training. CPL allows cadets to fly solo up to 300nm of distance. The furthest I have been on solo is to Ipoh From Langkawi. The furthest navigational flight with the instructor was to Terengganu. Truly an amazing experience to fly to most of the airports as an HMA Cadet.
Students will be required to plan a VFR cross-country flight in this part of flying, including an intermediate stop at an aerodrome, to a destination that is at least two hours cruising range distance away after taking off. The flight would be planned depending on the current weather conditions at the corresponding legs. For my check ride, I had to fly Route B under the supervision of Captain Rozie, a former RMAF pilot. My progress test route was as below. Date of Flight 20th October 2020.
The initial part of the flight phase from Runway 21 departure to Kuah was pretty rough with crosswinds from the east and scattered clouds at 2000ft. After some time the clouds began to clear up but then haze started to appear with winds pushing from the south. The visibility was poor, but with great navigational advice from the chief instructor, I managed to locate every checkpoint full of confidence. That is when I realized that flying skills is not solely based on the book or standard operating procedures, but it requires a combination of experience and knowledge. Huge thanks to Capt Zul & Capt Zaw who corrected me a lot throughout all my navigational exercises while flying in Langkawi. I gained back my confidence in flying navigation solo under the guidance of these 2 legendary instructors. Flying with them was a truly amazing opportunity and am honored to get an instructor like them. They emphasized more on flying skills know about their student very well.
So right after departing from Langkawi, the flight was smooth with minor changes, but once we reached Kulim, my instructor requested a diversion to Sik Kedah, at this point he was testing my dead reckoning and multi-tasking skill. Without hesitation, I pulled out my diversion ruler and immediately made a correction to the track & heading navigating to Sik. It was a satisfying moment as I always had trouble doing diversion in flight especially when it’s windy. Then made a touch n go( touch down and immediately take-off) at Alor Setar airport before the general handling test.
When it comes to flying skills, the challenging part of this check ride is the diversion. When requested by the examiner, we should be able to make a decision and divert to an alternate point within the actual range of the aircraft. My diversion happened when we were approaching Kulim. The Kulim District is a district and town in the state of Kedah, Malaysia. It is located in the southeast of Kedah, bordering Penang. I decided to make an immediate diversion to Sik, Kedah then resumed navigation to Naka. Thereafter a touch n go in Alor Setar Airport. Everyone in HMA knows that MAHA03 ( instructor ) loves to conduct general handling skill tests at WMR 404. This is a military training area for the Royal Airforce cadets Based In Kepala Batas.
Finally completed my last single-engine test. 20th October 2020
Will explain more on multi-engine on my next blog