Flying an aircraft.. the wide one is my dream.. For most people that don’t know, my name is muhaimin.. That’s why I enter the “So You Wanna Be A Pilot?” competition on early May 2009..
I tracked on new infos about the competition.. Suddenly there’s an entry about AirAsia having a carnival.. And the biggest attraction for me is that they will be having a Lucky Draw to ride the Simulator. This is a huge opportunity for me, a chance, a test.. My test for flying on home simulator..
The day before the carnival, all I do was stick on to the computer and flew my simulator.. Study from radio call, taxiing, take-off, navigating using VFR, VOR, and landing.. I even practice on my own to talk to the ‘ground’ and ‘tower’ personnel.. normally I use Mike India November Eight Sixer (MIN86), only this time I used Alpha Kilo (AK – co-sign name for AirAsia for radio call)..
The journey from my home to the AirAsia Academy is about 45 minutes.. Along the way, I keep on remembering the Checklist of A320.. the step-by-step manual.. reading my pilot note book.. I have 100% hope as if I am the lucky one to ride the simulator..
The booth for Simulator Lucky Draw was the first thing I looked for.. Then, suddenly a girl shouted out “Simulator, Luck Draw for Simulator!!”.. I quickly walked straight to her and fill out the form and put it inside a slotted box along with my name card.. With hopes and prayers in my heart.. I even asked her “Can I put two name cards? Please..” “No cannot, have to be equal to everyone” “Please.. Please..” “Pray hard, you might be the lucky one.. (wink..wink.. with smiling face)”
And the lucky draw took place on the centre stage.. there he was, calling out “Princess, come on to the stage”.. I think her real name was Putri.. “I pick 9 lucky peoples now”.. I stood still and listen carefully, hope my name was on the list.. First one.. bla bla bla (not my name).. okay, there still 8/9 chance.. Second, bla bla bla (not me, again).. 7/9 chance.. the third person is, MOHD MUHAIMIN.. I raised my hand as high as I could, from the back of the hall.. “There’s Muhaimin back there”.. “So, the next names should raise their hand too, it’s easier for us to notice you”
Then, a captain came and introduced himself as Captain Sukdavesing (hope I spell it correct) the instructor of the simulator.. He lead us to the simulator.. The first glance of the simulator really hit my nerve. Feeling happy to see the gigantic machine live in front of me.. I jumped up so high until I hit the roof of the 2 storey building (in my imagination la)..
I give it a flying kiss for real (the macho way ofcourse).. My love, here I come.. the captain was giving us all the explanation while I was ‘falling in love’.. He explained to us as if we are his new FO (First Officer)..
Stepping inside the, simulator made me feel like stepping into the future.. I sit at the right sit, the FO’s seat.. Never to seat at the captain’s seat until I’m one.. or being forced to seat there..
Captain Sukdavesing explained about the cockpit and few of the instruments.. Informing that we’ll be flying from WMKK to WMKK, meaning that we’ll be flying the A320 from KLIA to KLIA.. Just fly above KL area.. before taking-off, I talked to the ‘captain’, Haansel on the headset as if we were really pilot.. Haansel is the ‘captain’ and I’m his FO.. The take-off was good.. smooth and steady.. I knew that he has experienced the home simulator from the way he handled the joystick and the throttle.. I called out the “100 knot.. V1.. Rotate..”
“I think you’ve done your study”
During the flight, I asked the captain a lot of questions.. Even I can’t remember them.. when he explained it to me, I helped him to translated them for Jack Kee’s mom.. Captain Sukdavesing was using pilot language, I made it easier for her to understand since she always crooked her forehead for co-sign that the captain said.. for example “Here you can see the ILS on the runway. It is much clearer in the night”.. I translated for her “ILS is those color dots on the runway and at the left and right side. Helps pilot to maneuver the aircraft in line for landing” and then she goes “Ooo”
During level flight (fly in same altitude – zero incline), I took the control of the aircraft.. Catain Sukdavesing said, you control now and bank in around the KLCC building.. then I replied “I have control”.. The feeling as so tremendous.. Laying my hand on the joystick.. banking the aircraft 30 degrees to the left, using semi-autopilot (computer giving guide using the instrument panel, I follow that given direction).. Saw the KLCC and Kuala Lumpur from above inside a cockpit.. Amazing feeling.. I asked the captain “So, sir.. Can I come here every weekend and practice in this?” “That, you should ask the management”
After a while, then I switched place with Hansel brother.. He seem to be funny on controlling not like his brother.. The the captain goes “Relax a bit la maccha, don’t get nervous”.. We all laughed when we heard that, the standard English speaker turned out to use Tinglish (tamil +english).. Who ever thought of that thing would happen..
Then, Jack Kee have the control for landing.. The hardest part for a flight, the captain became his FO and helped him to do the landing.. The landing part was for Jack Kee to be done.. A bit bumpy landing, but no skid.. That’s a good news for him for his first flight.. I clapped my hands for him, bringing us down safely..
And that was the end of our simulator session, and I asked for the captain to do the evaluation.. He said this “You and you can go for pilot, you both have good control” while pointing at me and Haansel.. “You not good enough because a bit tense” pointing to Haansel’s brother.. “And you can go for pilot in 3-4 years to come, need some practice”..
Before leaving the simulator.. I thanked the captain for the experience and the knowledge that he gave to me, it might be a 45 minute flight but for me it’s a pusher. Pushing me to chase for my dream to become pilot.. I hug him for his sincerity to teach me and answer all of my questions.
Air Asia Simulator 1
Air Asia Simulator 2
It’s good to ave new experience and at the same time meet new friend who wanna be pilot too.. We did a little chat and changing contact number and emails.. Hopefully Haansel (No. 23) and I (No. 7) got through “So You Wanna Be A Pilot?” competition.. we even studies for physics, additional math and English as a preparation for the interview (our guess)..
Please have another Lucky Draw for Simulator in the AirAsia Culture Carnival 2010.. hmmm.. And that’s the story of AirAsia A320 simulator that I experienced.. Thanks to AirAsia for the chance that you gave me..