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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Experimenting A Technique

Episode 1 - While serving at No 3 Sqn, RMAF Butterworth

In the afternoon of 4 March, 1979, this hero of yours was tasked for SAR (Search And Rescue) mission somewhere in the Straits of Malacca, off Penang island (actually, I was the standby crew that day...he...he). According to the Base Ops Room (BOR), the national SAR agency requested the assistance of the RMAF to search for a boat, 'WHISTLER', which had encountered engine malfuntion. I was given the 'long & lat' based on the last radio call made by the boat. No problem........up....up....and away with the faithful nuri...FM1720. My crew were 2Lt Ng and the late Sgt Hamzah de Souza. The callsign was Cepung 231 Juliet.

 I carried out the search using the patterns as stipulated in the SOP (sorry I can't remember the techniques). Well, with only the God-given 'mark ll eyeballs', I managed to locate the Whistler. It was drifting aimlessly. It was something like a leasure boat. I saw two 'palefaces' (Mat Saleh lah) waving at the nuri, however, we were unable to communicate with each other.  BOR  was informed of the boat's location and requested BOR to give the radio frequency of the boat. I wanted to communicate with the sailors to know what sort of assistance they wanted from me.  BOR informed me that they would advise later.

Now, what to do while waiting for the response from the BOR? I read an article about how a chopper pilot assisted a sailor in his boat. Basically, the chopper was used to 'push' the boat. Well, why not experiment it? Who knows, it might work. So, I started to 'blow' the boat from behind using the power of nuri's downwash - not directly over the boat, of course. If I'm not the mistaken, the speed of the downwash was about 60 knots. At  this speed, the Whistler would be in Penang in no time.....Right? Wrong.....the boat nearly capsized...... abandoned  the experiment.......! If  it was a sailing boat, the trick might work, I think.  Luckily for me, BOR informed  that  the sailors contacted the SAR agency telling them that they managed to restart the engine. Or something to that effect. For all you know, my 'pushing' could be the triggering factor for the engine to come back to life.  Well,  I waved them good bye and flew back to Base. Mission accomplished......

Hours flown for this sortie was 1 hour only.

In memory of the late Sgt Hamzah de Souza....Al-Fatihah.

Episode 2 - While serving at No 5 Sqn, RMAF Labuan

My task was to send water pumps to Terumbu Layang-Layang (TLL) for the RMN. Sorry, I can't remember the date and my crew. You see, one of RMN's ships, KD PAUS*, if I'm not mistaken, went aground at the coral reefs there. For your information,  coral reefs submerged during high tide but not deep enough for the naval ships to enter the lagoon. A channel was made using explosives to create an entrance for the ships. I suppose the channel was still not deep and wide enough then when the incident occurred. And it started taking in water.....! 

Who else but yours truly went to the rescue.....he...he. On reaching TLL, the naval officers suggested that I pulled the ship. The idea was to tie a cable from the ship to my  nuri. Oh....oh....now the nuri taking the role of a bulldozer pulling logs! I told them it was not possible. Imagine, should the cable snapped,  it might backlash on the tail rotor or the main rotor blades.....! And another factor was the weight of the ship itself. Futhermore, nuri was never made to perform a such role. However, I told them what I could try was to 'push' the ship....applying the experiment from Episode 1. Even with the downwash speed of about 60 knots,  the ship didn't even budge. Sorry RMN....you can have your water pumps to pump out the water from the ship. I don't know how they recover KD PAUS. I am sure it was no big deal for the RMN to recover the ship....just a routine job. Get another ship or a tug-boat to tow it, isn't it?  

Nuri pilots, want to share your experiences for the benefit of others....? You're most welcome to comment.

PS. *  Reader Hamzah, thank you for correcting the name of the ship. Readers, initially the name written was KD PAUH, however, the actual name was KD PAUS.
    
  

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Skim Lambat Kaya

SAYA PERCAYA ANDA MESTI ADA MENERIMA E-MEL SEPERTI DI BAWAH INI......

“You have 500,000.00 GBP from Hyundai Online Promo.Confirm this receipt by replying the due process unit officer (hyundai.claims00@9.cn) .....”

“This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash prize of 1,500,000 (British Pounds) held on the 14th of September 2009 in London (United Kingdom).The selection process was carried out through random selection in Our computerized email selection system (ESS)London Uk......”

“Sorry to distract your attention, I am Mr. Abraham Zonog the bill and exchange manager in the bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. In my department, I found the deposited fund amounted $15m united state dollars owned by a disease customer who died in the air crash with his entire family......”

“PRIZE AWARD:
This is to inform you that your Email ID has won a prize Sum of €1,000,000.00 Euros only in an staats Loterij held in Netherlands....."

DAN BANYAK LAGI........! Sekiranya anda 'delete' semua 'sampah' ini....SYABAS saya ucapkan.

Tetapi jangan terkejut, ada segelintir rakyat Malaysia teruja menerima e-mel seperti ini dan tanpa berfikir panjang, mengikut saja arahan yang diberi. Tak percaya? Anda masih ingat satu ketika dulu ramai yang tertipu dengan 'black money/duit hitam'? Mangsa penipuan termasuk golongan profesional, seperti peguam!

Bagaimana ini boleh berlaku? Saya tertarik dengan komen 'Anonymous' keatas coretan saya bertajuk 'Beringat Sebelum Terlambat'. Petikan komen seperti berikut.....

'.....Tetapi konsepnya masih sama... SKIM CEPAT KAYA! Mana ada orang mahu ambil SKIM LAMBAT KAYA seperti yang ditawarkan kerajaan seperti ASB, Tabung Haji, Public Mutual dan sebagainya. Ini kerana sikap TAMAK yang melanda diri mereka yang tidak mahu bersyukur dengan insentif yang telah ATM berikan..... '.

Ambil kes duit hitam. Perancang penipuan ini boleh dikatakan rakyat dari benua Afrika. Macam mana anda boleh percaya dengan hanya mengguna dakwat hitam dan kertas putih sahaja boleh jadi USD! Ingat macam ini sajalah..... Sekiranya mempunyai 'keistimewaan' ini,   baik tinggal di negara mereka sahaja - tidak perlu merantau beribu km untuk 'mengkayakan' orang Malaysia. Rakyat di negara mereka sendiri sepatutnya diberi bantuan. Lojik tak? Atau, tidak terfikirkah mengapa mereka tidak menggunakan kepakaran ini untuk menipu warga yang kaya di negara mereka sendiri, atau pun setidak-tidaknya warga negara berjiranan? Kerana.....warga Afrika tidak termakan dengan penipuan sebegini. Dengan lain perkataan......TIDAK TAMAK! Segelintir orang Malaysia? Fikir sendirilah.

Ambil kes e-mel. Bila masa pula anda beli tiket loteri di Holland atau England? Tanpa membeli tiket boleh menang ke? Sebagai orang Islam, anda sudah pasti tidak akan membelinya kerana loteri itu haram! Tak terfikir ke....dari lebih kurang 6 bilion manusia di muka bumi ini, anda dipilih untuk menerima Euro 1.5 juta....wow! Ada juga saya terima e-mel dari 'Microsoft' yang saya akan menerima wang dari syarikat ternama itu. Saya percaya ramai dari kita semua mengetahui yang Bill Gates telah menubuhkan satu yayasan untuk membantu mereka yang kurang berkemampuan....lebih kurang begitulah. Bantuan tersebut disalurkan melalui program-program di negara-negara tertentu....bukannya terus kepada individu. Masalahnya, ada orang percaya sehingga sanggup memberi nombor akaun bank mereka. Dengan kepintaran otak manusia yang berteknologi tinggi sekarang ini, jangan hairan sekiranya wang anda dalam akaun nanti.......0! Atau disiasat atas kesalahan 'money laundering'.

Anda anggap macam ini lah.....Skim Cepat Kaya ini seperti 'instant trees' yang ditanam oleh PBT. Dalam sekelip mata....terpacak pokok-pokok di bahu jalan. Ribut dan hujan datang ....tercabut semua. Ialah, mula-mula dipancing dengan memberi pulangan yang lumayan. Apa lagi, perasaan tamak mula menular.....tambah lagi pelaburan; bergadai-bergolok pun tak kisah. Tiba-tiba, kerajaan mengumumkan pelaburan dalam skim tersebut salah di sisi undang-undang dan semua urusniaga dibekukan......hancur lebur!

Skim Lambat Kaya pula umpama tanam pokok dari benih lagi (ini bagi kebanyakan kita, termasuk saya). Macam peribahasa Melayu....sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit. Keperitan untuk menabung akan membuat kita lebih berwaspada dalam mengurus kewangan kita. Kita akan lebih menghargai simpanan tersebut. Nak keluar duit akan berfikir beratus kali.

Pembaca, mana ada jalan mudah untuk menjadi kaya dalam sekelip mata. Memang kita disyorkan untuk berusaha......usaha yang tidak menyalahi undang-undang. Jangan salahkan sesiapa sekiranya anda dibebani hutang keliling pinggang.....tanggung sendirilah! Sentiasa bersyukur kepada Allah, insyaAllah selamat.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beringat Sebelum Terlambat


ANGGOTA TENTERA.....APA DAH JADI NI.....? DI MANA SILAPNYA?


Laporan Utusan Malaysia pada 23 September, 2009

....."Anggota tentera kini memperoleh gaji yang agak lumayan dan mencukupi berbanding dahulu, jika berpangkat koperal ingin hidup seperti seorang leftenan memanglah gaji tidak mencukupi"....Betul kata-kata Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani, Presiden Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia (PBTM) dalam Utusan Malaysia bertarikh 24 September, 2009.

Sekiranya anda berpegang kepada kata-kata 'BUKAN SENANG NAK JADI SENANG.....BUKAN SUSAH NAK JADI SUSAH', InsyaAllah anda tidak akan menghadapi masalah kewangan. Ingat, tok nenek kita dahulu lagi telah mengingatkan kita..... 'ukur baju dibadan sendiri'.  Tetapi, mengapa masih ada segelintar dari kita mudah lupa? Pada saya, NAK KAYA CEPAT DAN KURANG PENGETAHUAN MENGENAI PENGURUSAN KEWANGAN. Itu sahaja.

Anggota tentera.....Di mana dan bagaimana anda membelanjakan gaji anda? Mengapa 'take-home pay' anda hanya tinggal beberapa puluh RM sahaja? Saya sudah lama bersara dari ATM dan memang sudah kurang pengatahuan tentang gaji/elaun anggota tentera dan lain-lain  kemudahan yang disediakan oleh Kerajaan sekarang ini. Apa yang dicatatkan ini berlandas kepada pengetahuan semasa masih berkhidmat dahulu.  

Kos sewa rumah tinggi? Untuk makluman pembaca, di kebanyakan kem tentera, ATM menyediakan rumah kelamin (RK) untuk mereka yang sudah berkahwin dan mes/bilik bagi yang bujang. Ini bermakna, mereka tidak perlu membelanjakan sebahagian besar dari pendapatan bulanan mereka untuk membayar sewa rumah/bilik. Mereka ini sungguh bertuah sekiranya dibandingkan dengan lain-lain kakitangan kerajaan.

Kos pengangkutan tinggi? Pada pandangan saya.....Tidak. Sebagai contoh, ambil unit yang berada di Kepala Batas, Kedah. Jarak dari RK ke kem tidak sampai 3 km untuk RAMD dan lebih kurang 8 km untuk anggota LLP TUDM. Kenderaan yang paling sesuai ialah 'kapcai' sahaja...bukan kereta! Penggunaan kapcai menjimatkan kos petrol dan senggaraan. Semasa saya masih di TUDM, inilah pengangkutan utama saya....di Kuantan, Butterworth, Labuan dan Kuala Lumpur.

Kos pengangkutan anak kesekolah tinggi? Janganlah beri alasan itu. Kita semua tahu, unit menyediakan bas/trak untuk anak-anak anda. Minta maaflah, saya kurang pasti tentang bayaran. Sekiranya dikena bayaran, mungkin sangat berpatutan. Di kem-kem tertentu, diwujudkan sekolah rendah dan menengah untuk 'anak-anak askar', termasuk MRSM.

Kos rawatan perubatan tinggi?  Ini sudah melampau. Mana ada organisasi yang menyediakan hospital khusus untuk warga ATM? Bukan itu sahaja, hospital pula dilengkap dengan peralatan moden dan dianggotai oleh pakar-pakar dalam berbagai bidang....! Sebagai seorang pesara ATM,  saya bersyukur kepada Allah kerana masih boleh mengguna kemudahan ini, terutama RSAT. Semua ini adalah......PERCUMA!

Kos bercuti tinggi?  Adakah anggota awam bercuti dibiayai atau diberi subsidi oleh kerajaan? Tentu tidak.  Anda? Ya. Seingat saya, kerajaan memberi subsidi untuk bercuti setahun sekali dengan keluarga. Sekiranya anda memilih KTM, waran perjalanan diberi percuma untuk mana-mana destinisi anda. Sekiranya mengguna kenderaan persendirian, anda mendapat subsidi petrol. ATM ada menyediakan rumah-rumah persinggahan di tempat-tempat tertentu. Mengapa tidak mengambil peluang ini?

Pakaian kerja?  Pakaian seragam.....percuma! Malah kemudahan dobi juga percuma. Bagi mereka yang diperlukan memakai pakaian awam, elaun pakaian diberi. Jadi, anda membeli pakaian apabila diperlukan sahaja. Berbeza dengan anggota awam - mereka terpaksa membeli pakaian untuk berkerja.

Kos tinggi untuk menyambut hari lebaran?  Saya ada memberi pandangan kepada program Awani - U-Wartawan, saluran 501, yang membincangkan topik 'Hemah Berbelanja Ramadhan dan Syawal' baru-baru ini. Di bawah adalah pandangan saya.

Assalamualaikum,

Saya tidak pernah terbaca hadis/sunah yang menyarankan berbuka puasa dan menyambut hari lebaran mesti berbelanja lebih. Tetapi, hadis menekankan kebersihan....separuh dari iman. Ini sepatutnya menjadi pegangan untuk kebanyakan kaum Muslim. Tidak malu, malah berbangga, saya menyatakan....saya masih mengguna langsir dan perabot semenjak 9 tahun lalu. Saya tidak boleh menjustifikasikan kepada diri sendiri mengapa saya perlu menukar perkakas tersebut. Peralatan masih baik. Tetapi, saya tekankan disini, perabot dan langsir dalam keadaan BERSIH. Apa orang lain fikirkan, bukannya satu masalah bagi saya. Kesusahan saya....hanya saya yang akan menanggungnya. Kesenangan saya...saya boleh membantu mereka yang memerlukan. Dengan kata lain, tak luak walau sedikit pun apa yang saya ada. Keafdalan puasa bukannya membazir makanan mengikut nafsu. Manakala kemeriahan Hari Raya tidak terletak kepada perkakas baru.


September 5, 2009 2:07 PM

Anda sepatutnya mesti dapat membahagikan apa yang perlu dan apa yang dikehendaki. Perlu? Keperluan untuk hidup seperti tempat tinggal (rumahlah tu), makan, pakaian, mungkin kenderaan. Membeli rumah adalah satu pelaburan. Tetapi, ingat, lokasinya sangat penting. Silap lokasi, ia akan menjadi liabiliti pula. Lagi satu, anda mesti ambil tahu siapa pemajunya.....takut nanti projek perumahan terbengkalai! Kenderaan juga perlu. Belilah yang termampu. Ambil kira bayaran bulanan dan kos senggaraan.

Dikehendaki? Tanpanya anda masih boleh hidup, seperti kereta Jaguar, jam Rolex, makan di hotel 5 bintang, pakaian berjenama, tv skrin leper, telefon bimbit yang tercanggih, dan apa-apa yang ada dalam dunia. Adakah anda sanggup berhutang untuk mendapatkan barang-barang dikehendaki hanya kerana jiran/kawan anda mempunyainya? Sekiranya itulah prinsip hidup anda.....good luck to you! 

Menyentuh pinjaman koperasi.....Mengapa anda mesti mengambil pinjaman koperasi sekiranya tidak terdesak? Saya sedar ramai dari ahli-ahli koperasi meminjam hanya kerana wujudnya kemudahan untuk meminjam, itu saja......bukan kerana terdesak. Di mana lojiknya?

Ingat, bagi anggota Lain-Lain Pangkat (LLP), anda berkhidmat  hanya selama 21 tahun untuk melayakkan anda menerima pencen SEPARUH GAJI POKOK. Sekiranya anda ada masa terluang, baca blog saya bertajuk 'ANGGOTA TENTERA LLP.....21 TAHUN KEMUDIAN'.  Mungkin anda akan kembali ke alam nyata.

Pembaca semua, pada pandangan saya, tak kira berapa banyak sekali pun pendapatan anda, sekiranya anda tidak pandai mengurus kewangan anda.......MASIH TAK MENCUKUPI! Berhati-hatilah apabila ada orang mengajak anda melabur dalam projek mereka. Silap langkah.....lingkup! YANG PALING MUSTAHAK SEKALI, TENTUKAN REZEKI ITU HALAL....ANDA AKAN SELAMAT, INSYALLAH.

Maaf sekiranya saya menyinggung perasaan anda. Tiada niat untuk memandang rendah terhadap sesiapa. Coretan ini tidak terhad kepada anggota LLP sahaja.....kepada semua.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kenangan Di Hari Raya

19 September, 2009, jam 0700 di Pasar Jitra......



Agak-agak anda, mengapa mereka beratur pagi-pagi lagi, termasuk saya sendiri? Apa lagi kalau tak kerana SANTAN....Tak tahulah, saya betul-betul kawal apa yang saya makan kerana kolesterol di tahap yang kurang memberangsangkan. Keputusan pemeriksaan darah (puasa) terakhir pada 8 Jun 2009, menunjukkan ditahap 'border line':
  • Kolesterol - 6.10 mmol/L (3.6 - 6.2)
  • HDL - 1.60 mmol/L (0.9 - 1.68)
  • LDL - 4.00 mmol/L (1.5 - 4.3)
  • Triglycerides - 0.70 mmol/L (0.1 - 2.26)
  • Gula ( 26/8/09) - 5.6 mmol/L (less than 6.1)
Saya sememangnya mengawal kesihatan saya. Setiap 6 bulan akan pergi ke RSAT untuk diambil darah; setiap penghujung bulan pula periksa tahap gula di rumah. Saya beli alat ini dan juga 'BP Monitor'. Tiap-tiap hari pula tarik troli main golf...... punyalah perihatin tentang kesihatan. Tetapi, tahap kolesterol masih tinggi. Sebulan sebelum dan semasa puasa, bermulalah saya mengambil oats setiap pagi/sahur.  Orang kata baik untuk jantung. InsyaAllah, November nanti saya akan ke RSAT untuk mengetahui keberkesanan oats sepertimana yang diuar-uarkan. Sekiranya berkesan, syarikat pengeluaran bijirin oats ini sepatutnya mengambil saya sebagai duta mereka kerana saya boleh mempromosikan keluaran mereka...he...he.

Tetapi tibanya hari lebaran......habis ‘willpower’ ini. Mana boleh masak kurma kambing ke, lembu ke, TANPA SANTAN.....tiada uuumph! Gila ke? Mana boleh santan diganti dengan susu cair - bukan kurma dah....tetapi 'KURSU".  Saya memang sedar pengambilan berlebihan bahan ini akan memudaratkan kesihatan.

Pembaca, kita tak boleh dipersalahkan. Kerajaan yang salah....bukan kita semua! Kerana kerajaan telah memberi jaminan negara tidak akan kehabisan kelapa untuk menyambut Hari Raya tahun ini. 1 juta biji kelapa dijamin berada di pasaran. Komoditi itu ada, saya belilah. Sekiranya tiada, tak belilah......betul tak? Sebaliknya, jika kelapa tidak mencukupi, kesian kerajaan dikutuk oleh rakyat.....!

Cukuplah merapu setakat ini. Serius  sikit..... Kebelakangan ini, saya sebenarnya memang kurang mengambil daging, makanan berminyak, berlemak, masin dan manis. Diet saya lebih banyak sayur dan ikan - bakar dan sup. Tidak salah makan makanan yang sungguh mengiurkan, tetapi sepertimana yang ditekan oleh Islam......SEDERHANA. Jangan jadikan Hari Raya melepaskan geram selepas sebulan berpuasa.

20 September, 2009, jam 1000 Hari Raya Aidilfitri......
Selepas solat Hari Raya, saya dan isteri terus ke Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah untuk menziarah seorang kenalan. Beliau baru lebih kurang 44 tahun dan dalam keadaan tenat. Menurut doktor, beliau dijangkiti kuman di otak. Mungkin meningitis...tak pasti pula.  Masalah beliau lebih kritikal kerana beliau mengidap kencing manis!

Kencing Manis (KM).....bagi saya.....TOK KEPADA KEBANYAKAN PENYAKIT KRONIK! Penyakit jantung, hati, angin akhmar, buta, kudung kaki/tangan, dan tak tahu lagilah. Puncanya.....tak lain dan tak bukan..... GULA! Saya bukan seorang doktor, tetapi ini adalah apa yang saya perhatikan.

Kalau difikirkan, mengapa kebanyakan kita membuat bising disana-sini apabila gula berkurangan di pasaran. Sepatutnya, kita perlu melihat dari aspek positif, malah sepatutnya bersyukur kepada Ilahi kerana dikurangkan bahan ini. Penyakit KM ini tidak mengenal mangsa, bangsa, agama, baik kanak-kanak hingga orang dewasa. Sekiranya kita prihatin tentang pengambilannya, insyaAllah penyakit ini dapat dielakkan. Doktor....betul tak? Tauke gula....sorok gula pun dah tak berfaedah....he...he.

21 September, 2009 di Taiping......

Berhari raya kedua di Taiping. Saya telah mengambil peluang ini untuk menziarah rakan setingkatan semasa di King Edward VII. Saya tidak berjumpa dengan beliau selepas peperiksaan SC/MCE pada 1966....43 tahun dahulu! Beliau ini seorang perokok tegar. Sebagai kawan, saya nasihatkan agar berhenti sajalah dari merokok. Nak tahu apa jawapannya? 'Aku dah 62 tahun, buat apa nak berhenti. Semasa sekolah lagi dah merokok sehingga kena tangkap oleh Form Teacher'. Kementerian Kesihatan, letaklah gambar yang paling mengerikan pada kotak rokok.....bagi perokok tegar, tak ambil kisah pun!

Ini mengingatkan saya kepada seorang rakan seperjuangan semasa kami berkhidmat di No 3 Skn. Arwah ketika itu adalah seorang pilot helikopter Alouette 111. Juga seorang perokok tegar! Kali terakhir saya berjumpa beliau pada akhir 80'an di Hospital ATM, Kinrara. Beliau mendapat barah usus. Semasa melawatnya, beliau tidak lepas dari merokok. Beberapa bulan kemudian, beliau menghembus nafas terakhir. Jenazah beliau diterbangkan oleh helikopter Nuri dari padang kawad ITU ke kampung beliau di Perak.

Al-fatihah untuk beliau...semoga Allah cucuri rahmat keatas roh beliau.

Kita mesti berusaha, Allah yang menentukan. Kalau usaha sudah dilakukan dan kita ditimpa kecelakaan, termasuk penyakit kronik, itu ada hikmahnya. Kita mesti percaya rukun iman...Qada dan Qadar! Dah jadi pendakwah pula.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fever and Flying

PILOTS....WORDS OF CAUTION....AVOID FLYING  WHEN YOU ARE UNDER MEDICATION......! YOU ARE NOT ONLY ENDANGERING YOURSELF BUT OTHERS TOO. I HAVE  EXPERIENCED IT!

But first, let me put you in the correct perspective about myself. I do not smoke.....I do not consume alcoholic drinks......I excercise.....I lead a clean life, and I simply enjoy flying, OK? Syukur Alhamdulillah, at this age I still manage to pull the trolley for my daily round of golf and,  at least for the moment, tax payers don't have to pay for my medical bills.

The experience  I would like to share with you took place while I was serving as OC No 5 Squadron, RMAF Labuan - 26 years ago.....how time has passed!

15 April, 1982. The task for the day was a VVIP communication flight from Labuan to Keningau and back. And, of course as expected, who else but yours truly was the pilot. Actually, for once I was not that keen to fly but I had no choice.

The day before the flight, both my Flight Commander and Training Officer were down  with fever and the doctor gave them 'attend C' - military term for medical leave. In the afternoon, I too,  was not feeling that well. Before closing shop, I informed the Base Commander that I might not be able to fly the VVIP the next day.

'Who else to fly then?'.....was his respond. 'One of the squadron pilots'.....was my reply. I had full faith in my pilots. However, from the way he sounded, I knew he was not happy and I knew that he wanted me to fly the VVIP myself. By the way, I was the only 'VVIP-endorsed'  pilot in the squadron then since I was a 'B-cat' pilot. I got this B-cat way back on 13 June, 1978 while at No 3 Squadron. To get a temporary endorsement for the aircraft captain was not a problem at all. I suppose it was an honour to be a VVIP pilot - flying  the King, Sultans, PM and all those classified as VVIPs. The difference between fixed-wing VVIP pilots and we, the 'egg-beater' pilots, was that those lucky pilots fly all over the world, while we fly the VVIPs all over the kampungs. You may also have a bright future or ........a disaster. I knew what I am talking about and I am not about to divulge what I had gone through when I was a VVIP pilot at No 3 Squadron........! (It got nothing to do with flight safety aspect). 

That night, my fever became severe and I had no choice but to go to RSAT (Rumah Sakit Angkatan Tentera) in the Base. The Medical Orderly (MO) called the doctor at the Officers Mess. He was unable to attend to me because he was busy that night.......watching film show! I think he must have prescribed the medicine to the MO since I was given the medicine. If I am mistaken, it was just panadol. No problem. I took it before sleeping and slept. The next morning, before the flight, again I swallowed 2 panadol and ......up..up and away to Keningau with the VVIP.

The problem came when I was about to land the nuri from the hovering state on reaching Keningau. I lost my sense of judgement....! I did not know whether the undercarriages were on the ground or not.....my head became so light. Anyway, I managed to land safely. Oh man....I was really sweating! When the VVIP and his entourage left the nuri, I slept.....really slept in the nuri. The flight back to Labuan was uneventful. The sleep really helped me.

On reaching home, my wife told me the doctor called the house enquiring my whereabouts. She told him that I had gone flying. I think he was worried. Well, I never called him and neither did he call me. The matter rest there.

Well, pilots, I survived to relate my experience so that, hopefully, you can benefit from it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Patriotisme 3

Komen 'Abah' terhadap blog bertajuk 'Patriotism 2' membuat saya terfikir untuk menyiarkan surat saya kepada Pengarah PLKN. Saya menghantar surat ini melalui faks disebabkan PLKN ketika itu tiada kemudahan e-mel; mereka baru berpindah ke pejabat baru. Maaf tidak dapat menyiarkan alamat dan # telefon....susah nak jawab panggilan peminat-peminat nanti..he..he (jangan marah ya)

06000 Jitra
Kedah Darulaman

7 Ogos 2009

Dato’ Abdul Hadi Bin Awang Kechil
Ketua Pengarah
PLKN
Kuala Lumpur

Assalamualaikum,

CADANGAN MENJEMPUT PENERIMA ANUGERAH KEPAHLAWANAN DAN MEREKA YANG TERCEDERA UNTUK MENCERITAKAN KISAH PERJUANGAN MEREKA

Untuk makluman, saya telah menceritakan pengalaman-pengalaman saya dalam blog – xnuripilot.blogspot.com. Respons dari lebihkurang 140 siswa-siswi Fakulti Sains Sosial, USM, menggambarkan kebanyakan mereka tidak mengetahui perit maung pasukan keselamatan menentang pengganas komunis (PK). Polimik untuk membawa pulang Chin Peng oleh pihak tertentu adalah punca saya menulis dalam blog.

Dalam coretan terkini, Patriotism 2, saya telah mencadangkan kepada Menteri Pertahanan agar PLKN menjemput penerima-penerima anugerah keberanian, iaitu SP, PGB, PTU dan KPK, dan mereka yang cacat anggota disebabkan operasi menentang PK, untuk menceritakan kisah pengalaman mereka. Cerita dari mulut tuan empunya badan sudah pasti akan memberi impak yang lebih berkesan. Tetapi ianya harus berterusan untuk semua kursus.

Saya percaya ramai dari mereka ini bersedia menerima jemputan tersebut. Saya sendiri sebagai penerima PTU, berbangga sekiranya diberi peluang untuk menceritakan pengalaman saya sebagai mantan pilot helikopter Nuri.

Sekiranya Dato’ berkelapangan, sila layar komen-komen kepada Pengalaman Pertama dan Pengalaman Ke2.

Sekian untuk difikir-fikirkan. Terima kasih.

MEJ (B) NOR IBRAHIM BIN SULAIMAN

Respons dari PLKN......Untuk makluman, faks yang diterima pada 27 Ogos itu sebenarnya ialah 'peringatan' saya kerana kecewa tiada mendapat sebarang respons.

From: Saimi Bin Jusoh
To: nibsny@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:41:21 AM

Subject: MAKLUMBALAS SURAT CADANGAN JEMPUTAN PENSYARAH PLKN

Dengan hormatnya saya ingin menarik perhatian tuan berkaitan perkara tajuk.

2. Pihak Jabatan telah menerima surat cadangan yang dikemukan oleh tuan bertarikh 7 Ogos 2009 melalui faks pada 27 Ogos 2009.

3. Pertimbangan selanjut sedang dibuat oleh cawangan-cawangan yang berkaitan sebelum perkara ini dipersetujui kerana ia melibatkan banyak implikasi-implikasi berikut:

a. Jadual waktu yang sedia ada perlu dirombak semula jika perkara ini perlu dimasukkan.
b. Implikasi kewangan yang akan terlibat.
c. Bentuk syarahan yang bakal dilaksana.
d. Lain-lain perkara yang bersangkutan.

4. Pihak Jabatan amat mengucapkan terima kasih di atas keprihatinan Tuan dalam perkara ini dengan mengemukakan satu cadangan yang bernas. Pihak Jabatan akan menghubungi Tuan jika maklumat lanjut diperlukan.

5. Sekian terima kasih.

Penghargaan saya kerana PLKN sudi menjawab surat saya.

From: nor ibrahim sulaiman
To: Saimi Bin Jusoh
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 11:12:30 AM

Subject: Re: MAKLUMBALAS SURAT CADANGAN JEMPUTAN PENSYARAH PLKN

Assalamualaikum,

Terima kasih kerana sekurang-kurangnya anda telah memberi jawapan.

Pembaca.....agak-agaknya apakah keputusan kepada cadangan ini nanti? Lihat dan tunggu sajalah!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

US-Made Pilots

Every time I pass by the Air Force College at Kepala Batas, I never miss looking at the displayed helicopter there........Bell 47G. It reminds of my introduction to a flying career way back in June, 1973. I was first trained in that helicopter and had logged about 109 hours. My first flight was on 13 June, 1973 with my instructor, John Grimes, and my last  solo flight before bidding sayonara to the Air Force was on 21 February, 1991..... a 2-hour sortie flying the  Bell 47G!


2-hour solo flight in Bell 47G in 1991 with Sempang runaway in the background

Readers, I was not trained by the RMAF but by a private company owned by an American - S.E. A Helicopters (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, located at RMAF Base, Kuala Lumpur. Except for the Advanced Phase,  all the instructors were American pilots. Allouette lll was used during the Advanced Phase and the pilot was an ex-RMAF pilot, the late Capt Nasir Ma Lee. For the Instrument Phase, we flew a Bell Jet Ranger 206. So, I can say that I was more or less American-trained lah......he....he.

Hey, don't think that we graduated that easily; only 9 out of 11 made it. To ensure quality control (sounds like SIRIM), we were  checked by RMAF examiners from the EU (Examination Unit). They were Sqn Leader Benjamin Lee (I think he migrated to New Zealand) and Flt Lt Abdullah Nasution - retired as the Air Force Chief.....now you know. We were so familiar with Ben Lee's peculiarity, especially when checking us on the Bell 47G! If he put his left leg on the door frame and smoked his 'Gold Leaf' cigarette during the check ride.....you passed. Otherwise.....be prepared for a recheck. We used to tease him by telling that smokers used his brand when answering the call of nature only...he....he. We were able to joke  with him freely since we were quite senior then; I was already a captain in rank while the  others were lieutenants. Eight of us were from the Army and one from the RMAF.

Oh boy, I really enjoyed this 1-year course. We were more or less on our own - very relaxing. The Base never disturbed us; the Company was not in a position to simply order us beyond the scope of the course syllabus. Once they tried to order us to do errants for the company, we simply said NO. That was the first and the last. The only anxiety was when it was time for the 'AXERS' to check us out.  Those days, if you happened to go to EU, the first thing you saw was a vertical log with an axe stuck to it.  We never went near the place . I found out later what it symbolised, that all pilots who did not meet  the  standard set by the RMAF would be grounded. Later on, when I sat for my nuri 'cat' at the EU, I saw that symbol...........really sadistic those examiners....... but not those two!

The course was not without a mishap. The Company lost one Bell 47 when one of my colleagues lost control during his solo 'slope landing' excercise at the mining area in Belakong - now the famous 'The Mines'.  If I'm not mistaken, the chopper was written off. He was unharmed.

The course ended on 29 April, 1974 when we received our certificates....



And my 'wing' was presented by the Chief of the RMAF then, AVM Dato' Sulaiman Sujak at RMAF Kuantan in 1974.....


Wing presentation at RMAF Kuantan and my First Wing

When the RMAF established its own Helicopter Training School, the choice of the helicopters for the basic training was none other than the Bell 47G ......If you can fly this 'Dragon Fly', you can fly any type of helicopters! Newer and modern helicopters are pilot-friendly. This was one helicopter where your body coordination must be very good. Anyway, these Bells were no longer in use and decommissioned.

I'm sure most readers of my seniority still remember the tv series M*A*S*H*. The scenario depicted US medical teams during the Korean War. And, the primary air transport vehicles deployed to ferry the casualties were.........Bell 47!

Well, my friends - Lt Col (B) Affendy Mustafa, Lt Col (B) Darby Awin, the late Lt Col (B) Jalil Ghani, Maj (B) Sawaludin Lamin, Maj (B) Thiagarajah, Maj (B) Ismail Malek, Maj (B) James Chong and Maj (B) Zulkifly Kaliwan- wherever you may be, those were the good old flying days........

Tuesday, September 15, 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!!!

Extracted from sitiroffinimy.blogspot.com

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sehari Dalam Kehidupan Seorang Pilot

Kali ini, nak merapu sikit. Baru sahaja habis tarik troli 9 lubang dengan 2 orang member. Walaupun bulan puasa, setiap pagi kami tetap main golf, malah tahun-tahun sebelum ini, kami bermain 18 lubang. Puasa tahun ini, 2009, agak letih sikit - maklumlah, umur dah menjangkau 60 tahun!

Membaca semula rencana 'I REMEMBER WHEN.....' (tak jemu-jemu membacanya, maklumlah, pertama kali melihat gambar dalam surat khabar) mengingatkan saya rutin seharian sebagai kapten helikopter nuri..... di era saya semasa aktif melakukan tugas penerbangan. Pada saya, semasa menjadi kapten pesawat nurilah yang sungguh memuaskan sebagai seorang pilot, terutama di No 3 Skn. Mana tidaknya, selama berkhidmat hampir 3 tahun di sana, hanya sekali menjadi 'Pegawai Bertugas', sekali menghadiri 'Mess Night', dan tidak pernah terlibat dalam sebarang 'parade'. Tugas hanya...terbang...terbang!  Mungkin, keadaan sekarang sudah banyak berubah mengikut peredaran zaman, wallahualam..... Malah, No 3 Skn telah berpindah ke bangunan baru.

Sebagai pilot, tugas saya hanya terbang sahaja....tiada urusan pentadbiran yang perlu dilakukan. Itu tugas eksekutif, iaitu Ketua Skuaderon (KS), Flight Commanders (FC) dan Training Officer (TO). Secara ringkasnya, FC menentukan siapa yang ditugaskan untuk penerbangan operasi manakala TO menentukan pilot-pilot melakukan MCT (monthly continuation training). Semasa mula berkhidmat dengan TUDM, setiap pilot nuri diberi 5 jam sebulan untuk MCT. Peruntukan ini dikurangkan kepada 3 jam pada akhir 70'an.

Ruang pejabat? Mana ada untuk aircrew. Hanya KS mempunyai pejabat; FC dan TO berkongsi pejabat. Jawatan rasmi saya semasa di No 3 Skn ialah Timbalan FC (Nuri).....nama ada sikit glamor tapi meja pun tiada. Kelebihan yang diberi ialah saya boleh 'authorize' penerbangan nuri. Tetapi ini semua bukannya satu masalah bagi saya; tak kisah pun! Ketika mula berkhidmat di No 3 Skn, KS masih berpangkat Mejar sahaja. Pilot berpangkat Lt Muda hingga Kapten; AQM berpangkat Sarjan hingga WO2 (seorang sahaja). Saya berkhidmat di bawah 3 KS. Pengganti KS pertama dan seterusnya berpangkat Lt Kol (U).

Jadi, dimana kami - baik aircrew nuri atau Alouette - melepak? Dimana lagi...... Bilik Anak Kapal atau lebih dikenali.....

'Crewroom'

Crewroom di No 5 Skn. Lawatan pilot dari Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei

Di sinilah kami manghabiskan masa sekiranya tiada tugas penerbangan. Apa yang ada di crewroom hanyalah kerusi dan meja rotan (government issued). Dan, dengan kemahiran aircrew sendiri, dibuat 'bar' (jangan pandang serong ya - mana ada jual minuman keras). Semua penghuni club eklusif ini dikenakan caj bulanan 'coffee swindle' untuk membeli nescafe, gula dan susu. Sekarang baru anda tahu mengapa pilot nuri jadi penagih nescafe, macam saya ni.....Minumlah kami sehingga mabuk dengan kopi dari pagi hingga petang. Untuk meluangkan masa, ada yang baca surat khabar/majalah, main chess, scrabble, carrom tetapi tiada tv. Bagaimana pula aroma dalam crewroom dengan sebilangan besar pilot dan AQM memakai flying suits dan asap rokok berkepul-kepul macam chimney? Tak tahu lah saya......dah sebati. Masa itu mana ada 'Ambi Purr'.

Isteri saya ada menceritakan yang guru tiada pejabat sendiri kecuali Pengetua dan guru-guru kanan. Jadi, cikgu-cikgu, anda sekurang-kurangnya ada juga meja dan kerusi di Bilik Guru. Kami dengan kerjaya yang penuh glamor ni, apa pun tiada.....!

Yang menjadi hak kami ialah......lockers! Setiap pilot diberi locker untuk menyimpan 'flying suit, helmet, boots', navigation bag, atau apa-apa yang anda sukalah. Bau di sini boleh tahan juga......mujurlah kebanyakan kami mengguna 'ubat gegat' (mothballs).

Sebagai kapten nuri, anda ada co-pilot untuk menyediakan 'Flight Plan' dan apa-apa yang perlu sebelum penerbangan. Berlari-larilah hamba Allah tu....saya sendiri telah melalui liku-liku ini hampir 2 tahun sebelum menjadi kapten pesawat. Beliau dan AQM 'terpanggil' untuk memanjat nuri bagi melihat minyak enjin, keadaan rotor blades, dan sebagainya.....biasalah tu! Kapten pula, pergi ke Bahagian Kejuteraan untuk mengesahkan penerimaan pesawat. Tanda tangan sahaja.....anda bertanggungjawab keatas pesawat dan crew/penumpang. Kesilapan anda membuat keputusan mungkin mengakibatkan.... ANDA DAN MEREKA.... 'HANYA TINGGAL DALAM KENANGAN'!

Kalau tak silap saya, ada satu filem menayangkan isteri seorang pilot pesawat pejuang menghantar suami beliau ke skn dan melambai tangan semasa sisuami terbang. Dan diiringi dengan lagu 'Kau Di Awan Biru' (lebihkurang macam tu lah)....... sungguh romantik! Sudah pasti, ini tak berlaku pada saya atau mana-mana pilot nuri. Tak tahulah kalau senario ini dipraktik oleh famili pesawat pejuang.......Jangan marah!

Saya tinggal di rumah kelamin sepanjang berkhidmat dalam TUDM. Setiap hari hanya menaiki 'kapcai' sahaja. Semasa mula-mula berkhidmat di No 10 Skn, TUDM Kuantan, kapcai saya mengumpul banyak jam penerbangan. Mana tidaknya, sekiranya membuat detachment di Butterworth, kapcai dibawa bersama bagi memudahkan saya memecut ke Pulau Pinang (PP); ketika itu PP masih Bebas Cukai.

Sebelum berakhir waktu kerja, kami akan ke Bilik Operasi untuk melihat siapa kena loteri - ditugas untuk penerbangan keesokan hari. Sekiranya masa berlepas jam 0700, kami mesti berada di pesawat sekurang-kurangnya 1 jam sebelum waktu berlepas terbang; jam 0600 dah ada di Skn. Semasa Operasi Selamat Sawadee, si burung nuri ini kerap balik kesarang di waktu malam. Adakalanya, kami terpaksa menghantar 'casevac' ke Lapangan Terbang Bayan Lepas kerana tidak dapat mendarat di Hospital Pulau Pinang disebabkan kegelapan. Mendarat di Skn jam 2000 sudah menjadi kebiasaan.....no big deal. Jam 0800 keesokan hari.....terpacak di Skn. Sungguh dedikasi kami semua di waktu itu....he....he.

Teringat saya satu peristiwa di TUDM Kuantan. Ketua Cawang Penerbangan (KCP) telah menunggu di Bilik Pengawal untuk memerhati waktu pilot dan AQM masuk Pengkalan. Ramai dari aircrew No 10 Skn tiba lewat - terdapat kami masuk kerja jam 1000. Apa lagi, beliau telah 'menjemput' Bos saya ke pejabatnya untuk membincang tentang tahap disiplin kami. Nak tahu apa jawapan Bos?..... Aircrew masuk ke Pengkalan jam 0600 dan nuri mendarat jam 1800 tiada beliau ambil tahu.....sudah tentu kami layak datang lambat. KCP mungkin atau sengaja 'terlupa' arahan ASI (Air Staff Instruction - betulkan saya kalau tersilap) bab 'Crew Duty Time'. Semenjak itu, KCP meletak jawatan 'Pengawal'.

Untuk keistimewaan ini, kami diberi elaun penerbangan (EP). Untuk makluman, EP semasa mula-mula saya menerima 'sayap' ialah RM350. Beberapa tahun kemudian naik ke RM550. EP terakhir sebelum mengucap sayonara kepada TUDM pada 1992 ialah RM880. Nak tahu berapa EP semasa.......?

  • Juruterbang (Instructor) - RM4,000
  • Kapten pesawat - RM3,500
  • Co-pilot - RM2,500
 Wow......

Pemuda dan pemudi, jangan lepas peluang keemasan ini........macam buat 'recruitment drive' pula! TUDM kena bayar elaun nampak gayanya.....

Aircrew......adakah keadaan masih sama ke?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Di Anak Tirikan......

Pembaca, tahukah anda apakah pesawat terbang TUDM yang paling lama dan masih berterbangan di ruang angkasa Malaysia? Tak lain dan tak bukan......

The  Old but Faithful - Nuri S61A- 4
dan adiknya
 Older Version of Mini Cooper - Alouette 111

Kedua-dua jenis helikopter ini telah mula berkhidmat untuk negara semenjak awal 60'an lagi. Kebanyakan pilot yang  menerbangkan pesawat ketika ini masih  belum melihat dunia ini lagi. Macam  inilah........katakan Nuri dan Alouette ini adalah kakitangan kerajaan, Nuri telah lama dan masih menjawat jawatan KSN, manakala Alouette pula masih PAT. Apa tidaknya, berlandaskan kepada prestasi sepanjang perkhidmatan, KPI mereka adalah pada tahap maksima ......10/10 sama seperti saya berikan untuk KSN. Tak percaya? Baca blog saya bertajuk 'Pengiktirafan Negara......Nyawa Atau Nama'.

Banyak pesawat telah bertukar ganti, tetapi mereka   masih 'tersedia' menabur bakti demi untuk negara......! Abang-abang dan adik-adik mereka telah lama 'decommissioned'. Tiada lagi Twin/Single Pioneer, Bullldog, Dart Herald,  Caribou, Albattros,  A4 Skyhawk, HS125,   dll.......namun si burung nuri dan cepung ini    masih berligar-ligar di hutan belantara!   Pesawat  C130 Hercules, jet-jet eksekutif,   pelbagai jenis pejuang, seperti F18, MIG 29,   Sukhoi, dll, telah diperolehi. Tetapi, tiada  sebarang pengganti  untuk Alouette atau Nuri. 

Saya hanya berhasrat untuk menulis membabitkan  nuri sahaja. Secara jujur, pada pandangan saya yang kerdil ini, nuri masih mampu melakukan tugas yang diberikan. Persoalannya, adakah mereka ini dilengkapkan dengan peralatan berteknologi moden untuk menghadapi cabaran semasa? Nuri bukan lagi melakukan penerbangan di dalam negara sahaja - penggunaan mereka sudah melangkau sempadan negara.

Ingat lagi tsunami di Acheh pada 2004? Nuri telah di'deploy' ke sana  untuk operasi kemanusian.  Sebelum ini, nuri telah dihantar ke Kampuchea dibawah panji-panji PBB. Bulan Ramadan 2008, kita digemparkan yang kapal MISC diculik olih lanun-lanun di Somalia. Anda dah agak pesawat mana yang turut terlibat dalam Ops Fajar untuk membebaskan anak kapal 'Bunga Melati, bukannya pesawat pejuang yang canggih dan kemegahan TUDM, tetapi.......the old faithful NURI! 

Saya masih ingat siaran tv  menunjukkan  sebuah nuri berligar berhampiran kapal KD Mahawangsa di Lautan India. Terfikir juga oleh saya, adakah aircrew nuri mahir dalam EW (Electronic Warfare)? Jangan ketawa......musuh mereka mungkin mengguna senjata canggih, seperti 'anti-aircraft missiles' - bukan seperti semasa era saya. Ketika itu pengganas komunis hanya mengguna grenade launcher dan senapang saja. Tak tahulah saya mungkin nuri telah ada peralatan seperti 'Counter Measure Dispensing System'. Tak apalah.....sekurang-kurangnya mereka dapat menikmati 'cruise holiday' percuma walaupun bukan dengan kapal QE2...he..he. Jangan marah.....
Saya ada menerima e-mel dari seorang pembaca blog saya. Bacalah keluhan beliau....'Apa yang saya lihat, perspektif orang awam, malah sebilangan anggota TUDM sendiri pada Nuri adalah 'Keranda Terbang' atau pun 'Besi Buruk Terbang'............Mereka menganggap pesawat Nuri ini tidak selamat untuk dinaiki. Macam kami ni drebar lori buruk pulak....Fighter pilot pulak berlagak perasan bagus kononnya terbang pesawat canggih.....' Begitu sekali tanggapan sesetengah pihak!

Kesian........!

Keranda Terbang.......mungkin tanggapan ini dapat diatasi sekiranya pihak atasan TUDM menaiktarafkan nuri kepada IFR-rated. Dan, pada pandangan saya, SOP nuri berkaitan dengan 'minimal weather conditions' harus dikaji semula. Saya majukan keratan blog saya bertajuk 'Bad Weather Challenge' untuk difikir-fikirkan........

'Readers, the current nuri pilots are highly trained when they pass out from Air Force College. They fly in IFR categorized trainers and flying in clouds is no big deal. But once they are converted to nuri flying....they become cloud phobia. The main culprit is .......the SOP itself. I Follow Road/River flying is embedded in their minds!

RMAF, food for thought. Don't you think it's high time to review the SOP? '

Anda tentu bertanya mengapa saya asyik-asyik menekan kepada SOP. Mudah saja......nuri pilot terbang berpandukan SOP. Di era saya dulu, anda pasti 'GAGAL' sekiranya anda rempuh awan - tak kisah hitam atau putih - semasa penerbangan 'Cat' (lebih kurang macam ujian memandu kereta). Alasannya.......'poor airmanship'!

Buat satu ketika dua-tiga tahun lepas, pilot nuri tersenyum lebar apabila kerajaan mengumumkan yang nuri akan diganti dengan helikopter baru yang lebih canggih. Berangan-anganlah mereka - maklum sajalah mereka mungkin berpeluang menerbangkan EC725, EH101.....tak kira apalah. Saya sendiri cemburui mendengar berita ini - sungguh bertuah pilot helikopter sekarang. Tiba-tiba, pembelian dibekukan dengan alasan rasmi ekonomi tidak mengizinkan... sungguh mengecewakan........!

Hidung saya kembang apabila penulis tersebut turut menyatakan '......Saya berasa bangga apabila membaca artikel tuan yang banyak menaikkan semangat saya dan rakan untuk terus terbang dengan Nuri ni. Walaupun kami tak dapat menerbangkan pesawat baru, paling tidak pun kami berbangga dapat menerbangkan pesawat yang paling banyak berjasa kepada negara. Pesawat Nuri memang menjadi 'kuda kuat' sejak zaman tuan sehingga kini.'  Terima kasih. Bersabarlah.....mungkin satu hari nanti impian anda akan terlaksana, insyaAllah. Jangan lupa menulis pengalaman anda  apabila menerbang helikopter serba canggih nanti.

Ingat lagi gurindam 'Nuri...Oh Nuri....'? Biarlah saya poskan semula sebagai peringatan.

Nuri....oh nuri....
Walaupun tua masih lagi berkerja
Pilot lama dah bersara
Kini kau dipandu pilot muda
Badan mu sekarang terlalu tua
Terketar-ketar di angkasa raya
Pabila tempoh bad weather
Kau terbang tak tentu hala
Silap langkah pilot muda kau bawa bersama
Walaupun tua tetap berjasa
(Sungguh kejam penulis tersebut.....he....he. Jangan marah beb)

Pengurusan tertinggi TUDM,  kerap-kerapkanlah melihat kebawah.....dengar jugalah rintihan aircrew pesawat helikopter. Dan berbanggalah dengan dedikasi mereka ini. Janganlah menganaktirikan mereka!

11 September, 2009 - sebuah pesawat PC-7 Pilatus telah ditimpa kemalangan di Pulau Langkawai. Kedua-dua pilot telah terkorban. Ucapan takziah saya kepada ahli keluarga mereka, khususnya, TUDM amnya. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya keatas roh mereka. Al-Fatihah....

Pilot nuri......apa komen anda?









                                                                                            
                                                                                     

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Salvaging A Nuri

28 July, 1983.......A call from the Base Operation Room (BOR) '.......tasking for one nuri to recover a nuri which had  toppled at Maligan'. Of course, the first question  I asked was the condition of the aircrew. Syukur to Almighty Allah, the aircrew were fine.

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, there were not much flying activities in Sabah and Sarawak. Imagine, during my 3-year tour in Sabah, my total flying hours were 450 hours only, whereas in 1978 alone, while serving in No 3 Sqn,  I flew 650 hours. In fact, Sabah saw more air tasking compared to Sarawak. The Regional Air HQ 11, based in Kuching, on several occasions, decided to send a nuri from No 7 Sqn, RMAF Kuching for detachment at my No 5 Sqn. Well, what could I say.....the directive deprived my aircrew of flying!

If I am not mistaken, on the day in question, 2 nuri were on a resupply mission in the interior of Sabah.  One of the nuri was from Kuching. Oh ya.....the detachment crew (DC) were self-authorised for their flights and, as  Squadron Commander, I had no operational control over the aircraft or the aircrew.

What happened was that when the nuri landed at the LP in Maligan to off-load the rations, the captain did not realise that the ground was soft due to the rain.  Well, one of the undercarriages was embedded in the ground. As a result, the nuri toppled on its side. The crew shut down the aircraft and came out of the nuri safe and sound. Radio call was made to BOR and the other nuri picked and flew them to Labuan.


I flew to Maligan with the engineering crew later that day. But before that, I was directed by the Base Commander (BC) to take the DC for flying once they arrived. The idea was to recover from the traumatic experience that they had gone through. I still remember the AQM was the only one  who was reluctant to fly. I flew with the captain as my first pilot.  We flew around Labuan.

The problem faced then was....how to make the nuri upright? To upright the nuri, a crane was needed. But Maligan was inaccessible to motor vehicles! And, the nuri was too heavy to be airlifted by another nuri. Unlike one incident, way back in 1980,  1 nuri crashed landed at an LP at about 5000 feet in the thick jungle of Perak. RMAF managed to get the assistance of the RAAF which deployed a Chinook helicopter to airlift the nuri to Butterworth, or was it Ipoh?

Readers......trust those creative and innovative engineers! Under the leadership of the Senior Engineering Officer (SEngO), Maj (U) Khoo, he and his team came out with an improvised crane. Honestly, I am at lost on how to describe the mechanism deployed. Use your imagination based on the photograph........The people of Maligan were really very helpful and the works were made easier with their assisstance.

The upright nuri in the background in August 1983. See the improvised logs used as pulleys

If I am not mistaken, the aircraft was flown back to Labuan some time in August 1983 after successfully  undergoing flight tests.

I really salute the ingenuity of the Base engineering personnel. Without their creativity, the RMAF might have to write off one  nuri........at the expense of tax payers' money.

To Maj (U) Khoo and your dedicated team, well done..... 

Monday, September 7, 2009

I REMEMBER WHEN...

6 September, 2009...the unforgettable date for me! The article on my flying experiences was published by the NEW SUNDAY TIMES under ' I REMEMBER WHEN...'. My main objective is to enlighten the public on the roles of the RMAF, in general, and Nuri pilots in particular,  in the Nation's fight against the communist terrorists (CTs).  It saddens me  that no mention whatsoever is made on the crucial part played by the RMAF whenever this  topic comes out in the mass media. Be it during the 'Warriors Day' every 31 July or the sacred 'Merdeka Day' on 31 August. 

As I mentioned in my postings, 5 Nuri aircrew were KIA (killed in action) on 27 April 1976 at Gubir operation area.  We, the nuri pilots then,  were operating in hostile environment, and being shot by the CTs were routine - without a single chance to fight back! Unlike the ground troops, we were the hunted, not the hunters. Of course, these incidents were the untold stories .....!  

I REMEMBER WHEN: I flew a Nuri to Mt Kinabalu

2009/09/06

By Arman Ahmad

MANY things have been said about the Nuri helicopter, some good and a lot bad, but it cannot be denied that the aircraft is the workhorse of the air force.

All I can say is that it served me well.

This bird has many roles. Because it is the aircraft with the biggest lift capacity in the air force's inventory, it has been used for a variety of assignments, from troop deployment to lifting freight and ferrying VIPs.

My military service started in 1969, when I graduated as a second lieutenant after two years in the Royal Military College and joined the army.

In 1973, I enrolled in a helicopter course at SEA Helicopters (Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur. A year later, I was assigned to fly the Nuri.

In my years flying the Nuri, I flew countless sorties against the communists.

The helicopter was the lifeline to the army fighting in the jungles. Without supplies from the air, they would lose their mobility in jungle operations.
                                                                                                              
They depended on the Nuri helicopters for their food, troop movement and medical evacuation.

Because of the critical role of the Nuri, these faithful workhorses became the No. 1 target of the communists who did every-thing they could to take out both aircraft and pilot.

They even distributed leaflets in Kroh offering a RM3,000 reward for killing a helicopter pilot. I remember a leaflet showing a communist terrorist aiming his rifle at the pilot as a Nuri came in to land.

The Nuri was a sitting duck for communist target practice -- being big, bulky and rather sluggish, unlike its younger brother, the Allouette 3, the "Mini Cooper" of the air force.

We were fortunate the communists were not Olympics-standard shooters, otherwise we would have all been goners. I came close to being shot down a number of times.

Once, a supply mission from Klian Intan to the jungle turned dangerous. The soldiers were unloading their rations when I heard a loud grenade explosion. We were under attack. Our soldiers ran for cover and I took off hastily.

As I skimmed the tree tops, another grenade was fired. It missed but the explosion shook the Nuri. It was a long, scary flight back to base.

While operating from Keroh, there was another close call. We landed to pick up troops in the jungle and were greeted by a hail of bullets. My air quartermaster was hit in the leg. Fortunately, it was just a graze.

Sometimes, you have to make quick decisions under difficult situations, like when I was winching an injured soldier from the thick jungles of northern Perak and the stretcher got caught in the branches.

We were hovering some 60m over the ground, a nice target for the communists, and my quartermaster was frantically trying to free the stretcher. It didn't help that the Nuri was buffeted by winds.

My adrenalin was pumping.

Under such circumstances, I had the option to shear the winching cable, but it would be at the expense of a life. But I knew that if I took this decision, it would haunt me for the rest of my life.

Thankfully, I didn't have to make the decision -- the quartermaster managed to free the stretcher.

But, perhaps, the most memorable experience I had happened not during any encounter with communists.

An ambitious Sabah government asked for our help in 1984 to carry building materials up Mt Kinabalu to build a rest house.

Mt Kinabalu is some 4,095m above sea level and I had to haul the materials to a site near the top, 3,048m high.

The Nuri is not a pressurised aircraft and we use oxygen masks when flying above 3,048m in case we experience hypoxia.

The plan was to use the Kinabalu Park headquarters as the pick-up and refuelling point and the trip up to the mountain and back would take about 30 minutes.

After doing the calculations, I realised that I could only lift about 455kg on each flight. That meant I would have to do many dozens of flights to deliver the material.

The nearest landing area in case of bad weather would be Kundasang and if that was not accessible, I would have to fly to Kota Kinabalu or Ranau.

We did a trial flight. We took off from Labuan with enough fuel to simulate the weight of the Nuri on landing at the 3,048m landing area.

On approaching the landing area, the craggy face of the mountain loomed before us.

As we approached the landing site, I realised there was no way of determining the wind direction, since there was only the solid rock of the mountain and no trees whatsoever to indicate wind direction.

At high altitude, the Nuri's controls became very sluggish. It felt like I was piloting a three-tonne army lorry with-out power steering instead of a helicopter.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fuselage of a crashed Bell helicopter, a forgotten victim of the mountain years before. It wasn't exactly a welcome sight.

On coming to a hover, the Nuri yawed clockwise. I countered by slamming down the left pedal but was still unable to stop the yaw.

The cross wind from the left was too strong. The only option was to dive into the chasm and fly out. I had 3,000 hours on the Nuri, and this was probably what helped me get clear.

I recommended to my superiors that the idea to use the Nuri to lift the materials be abandoned.

I learned later that Sabah Air got the contract.

Read more about Major Nor Ibrahim Sulaiman's flying experiences at his blog, xnuripilot.blogspot.com