Selasa, 15 September 2009

The Bendang Air Show

My wife's account of her first  exposure to a real life airshow ...........

I am persuaded to write this article after hearing about the  TUDM  plane crash in Langkawi a few days ago on TV . No reason was given for the crash but I can't help recalling an incident which happened early last year. Before I begin my story, I would like to extend my sympathies to the families of the deceased pilots. I have no intention of hinting or insinuating at anything or anybody, but merely relating my encounter with the same type of aicraft.

Illustration of a similar type of aircraft

I was a teacher teaching in one of the schools in the district of Kubang Pasu in Kedah from the year 2001 until April 2008. The school is set in a rural area amidst padi fields. In fact, the school field is actually reclaimed from the surrounding padi fields. One fine morning in February 2008, all students and teachers were out in the school field for our annual heats prior to the actual Sports Day a few days later. There was a lot of cheering and shouting for the athletes who were competing. Suddenly there was a loud roar in the sky. We saw a small red and white aircraft flying above us. This was no big deal for we often see this type of aircraft flying overhead our school but this morning it was different, and I mean DIFFERENT!!!

I think the pilot wanted to show that he was a better athlete, way above us. He must have realised that nobody was paying any attention to him so he had to do something to correct the situation. He came back again, only this time it was very, very low. He sure caught our attention this time around. All heads were turned upwards in unison. We were wondering why he was coming down so low and before we could figure out what was happening he shot off again. Minutes later he came back  much higher than the last  time but this time he was rolling down rapidly towards  ground. By this time both teachers and students were spellbound by what was happening up in the sky. All attention were diverted from the field to the sky. He came back several times doing the rolling stunts. The students were so excited, they jumped and clapped furiously. Each time he rolled  down, it was so fast we felt that he would hit the ground . This sent both students and teachers scurrying away for dear life under the mango trees surrounding our field. When he shot off, we all came out of our shelter and waited for more. I have no idea whether he could see the excitement below but judging from the numerous aerobatic stunts that he exhibited that morning, I can safely conclude that he was aware of the attention he was getting. The show went on for about 15 minutes but it was enough for my kampung students. I could see their disappointed faces when our pilot friend shot off and vanished into the sky and never came back. It took  quite some time for us teachers to bring them back to the track and field events that morning. Most of them lost interest in what was going on in the field after the air show.

When I got home that day, I related the whole incident to my husband. He asked whether I wanted him to lodge a complaint. My answer was a firm "NO". Why should I complain. The mysterious pilot kept us entertained for a full 15 minutes or so. I knew he put up the show exclusively for us for he was right smack in the middle of the field. There were times when we observed some aerobatics in the sky but that was it. It was never repeated.  This was entirely different. I must say that I was awestruck by his flying prowess. Whatever it was, it was one memorable morning for all us, one which will linger on in our minds for a long time.

Well, MR. PILOT, whoever and wherever you are, if you happen to read this, that was one spectacular show  you put up for us. Thank you for an awesome performance though I must add it was pretty lucky everything went on as you planned.

Who says that you have to go to Langkawi,  Paris or Dubai or to witness an air show. My students and I were priviledged to witness it right above our school field in the "bendang" of Kubang Pasu!!!

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1 ulasan:

Tanpa Nama berkata...

Saya masih ingat lagi satu peristiwa pada tahun 2001 atau 2002, sebuah pesawat Antonov (pesawat latihan) milik Tentera Udara Diraja Kemboja telah terhempas akibat juruterbangnya, berpangkat Mejar ingin menunjukkan aksi akrobatik di hadapan keluarga dan mentuanya. Malangya, plan dia tidak menjadi.