One Day Pilot

Special thanks to Seeties for extending this event invitation.

One Day Pilot is a chartered flight tour operated by KL Hunter. Its office-cum-hanger is located near the control tower of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, which was formerly known as Subang International Airport.
Once the main hub serving Kuala Lumpur, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport has declined in usage since the opening of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang in 1998. Airlines that currently use this airport are Firefly, Malindo Air and Berjaya Air. The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) also stations a base here.

For today's flight, the aircraft of choice is the Cessna 172P Skyhawk. This 4-seater plane is one of the most popular fixed-wing aircraft in the history of civil aviation. The Skyhawk has a single engine and a single two-bladed propeller. The system redundancy on this aircraft is virtually absent, so I believe it is more suitable for short-distance flights.
With a service record spanning 6 decades, the Skyhawk's manual flight control system appears primitive compared to modern airliners. Nearly everything on the dashboard is analog in nature; there is hardly any digital instrument. On the instrument panel are subsystems such as throttle control, transceiver, compass, altimeter, fuel gauge etc.

Unlike a car, the person-in-charge of an aircraft (captain) is seated on the left. The co-pilot (today it's me) sits on the right. Both pilots can control the aircraft through an interconnected yoke and a pair of rudder pedals in front of each seat.
An aircraft has three principle axes of rotation. Pitch allows the aircraft to increase or to decrease altitude. Roll rotates the plane clockwise or counter-clockwise with the nose pointing in the same direction. Yaw turns the plane to the left or right, usually useful when taxiing. For the Skyhawk, pitch and roll are controlled using the yoke, while yaw is controlled through rudder pedals.

Today's flight plan is to take off from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, climb to altitude of 1,500 feet (around 460 meters), head east towards the financial center of Kuala Lumpur, fly around the city center in clockwise direction, head west back to Subang, then land at the airport of origin. Flight time is approximately 30 minutes.
Throughout the entire flight, there is much radio communication between the aircraft and air traffic control (ATC). Under explicit instructions from the ATC, we taxied the aircraft towards the runway and hit the skies as soon as we are cleared for take-off.

Once we climbed to 1,500 feet, we adjusted our heading and proceeded eastward towards Kuala Lumpur.
In the air, it is only a matter of minutes before we crossed the Selangor-KL boundary. Istana Negara (National Palace) can be seen at the extreme right.
Once near the city center, the Petronas Twin Tower comes in view. The river at the foreground is Klang River (Sungai Kelang).
Flying around the eastern side of the city center, Jalan Tun Razak comes into view. The white building at the foreground is Prince Court Medical Centre. Across the road is the exclusive Royal Selangor Golf Club.
As we complete our circuit around Kuala Lumpur, the KL Tower rises prominently above the city skyline. Notice that the KL Tower is situated on a hill called Bukit Nanas.
Time really flies as we fly in the skies. After 15 minutes around the city center, we turned westward and headed back to the airport. With guidance from the captain, I am given the opportunity to land the aircraft and taxi it back to the hangar.
The One Day Pilot costs RM699.00. Additional passengers are charged at RM300.00 per person, up to four additional passengers. The breathtaking bird's eye view of Kuala Lumpur is truly an enjoyable flying experience. It is nice to gain a different perspective of this vibrant metropolis.

Name: One Day Pilot
Address: Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, 47200 Subang, Selangor
Contact: 03-9200-2998
Business hours: By appointment only, weather permitting
Coordinates: 3.13014 N, 101.55434 E
Directions: From Federal Highway (Lebuhraya Persekutuan), take Exit 219 towards Subang Jaya. Follow directions to the airport for approximately 7 kilometers until you see a control tower on your left. The entrance to KL Hunter is the next entrance on the left. Security clearance is required. For parking, there is a small open area at the entrance.

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