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Monday, February 8, 2010

Idiosyncrasies Of Nuri Captains

I wonder who this 'Anonymous' is! I'm confident I know you, my friend. His unedited comments in my article entitled "Serba Tak Kena"...

'...Still not change heh... keep writing so that I can continue reading and to tell you hah... you are just like you.... do you realize that!!! may be many of your copilots or sqn boys knew it.... hahahahahaha fun reading and don't come to the city or else will drive you crazy or you will fumble the first hole at the Darulaman GCC the next day you play golf....

You are just great..!!! friend!!!'

...triggers me to write on idiosyncrasies of Nuri captains whom I had the opportunity to fly with during my copilot days at No 10 Squadron, RMAF Kuantan. I flew with almost all the captains of the squadron. However, there were 3 captains whose idiosyncrasies are still fresh in my memory.

A. Flight Commander (FC)...

This particular FC speciality was to perform running landing on the runaway either on coming back to the Base from operational flying or during training flights. For the benefit of non-fliers, the limitation for 'running landing' of the Nuri is 40 knots. That is stated in the Flight Manual. However, this executive loved to 'run' at 110 knots...just like a fixed wing aircraft!! As a co-pilot, I just shut up. Now...Don't blame the squadron pilots if they follow suit. Afterall...we follow our leaders...Leadership by Example! I dread to imagine what would happen if the tyres burst or the undercarriage gave way!

B. Flight Commander (FC)... 

Not the same FC mentioned above. This guy was very much concerned with 'SAR' (Search and Rescue) in anticipation of a forced landing in the jungle. All military aircraft are required to make 'Ops Normal' call to the Base Ops Room at 30 minutes interval during transit flights. Say the flight from Kuantan to Ipoh...The normal practice was  to say '...Abeam Kuala Lipis this time...Ops Normal'. Not good enough for this captain. 'What do you mean by 'abeam Kuala Lipis'? North...south...north-west...10 nm....40 nm...blah...blah.  Accuracy...accuracy. So '...20 nm north west of Kuala Lipis...Ops Normal'. Those days there were no GPS ...otherwise I suppose  I had to include 'long & lat' of the reporting points. He was right and I agreed with him...it made SAR easier if ever there need to be one. To a certain extent...I inculcated this habit throughout my flying days.

However, he was not that 'SOP-abiding' pilot! Once I was flying with him to Pulau Perhentian Besar. We flew senior government officers assigned to assess the influx of the 'Boat People' - Vietnamese refugees - fleeing their country with the fall of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). There were thousands of them on the island and they came using barges. That was my first and last trip to the island...a real beautiful island. After offloading the paxs, we flew back to Kuantan. When we approached Rantau Abang, famous for turtles those days, he took control from me and did a low level flying over the beach. There were a lot of foreign tourists then. Now you know why the turtles refused to 'visit' Rantau Abang anymore...no peace even to lay eggs!

Sadly, he is no longer with us ...only memory lingers on! Al-fatihah...

C. Squadron Pilot...

I looked forward for 'Bamboo Express' (Ops Bamboo) tasks. The task involved troop lifts and resupply for the Police Field Force (PFF), mainly the Senoi Praaq. The pick-up point was Lasah, Sg Siput. The flight time from Lasah to certain posts, eg, Pasig, Gob, was more than 30 minutes. So, you see, one round trip to Pasig took about 1 hour. On the average, I clocked more than 20 hours for these Ops and we had to night stop at Butterworth Base, at least for 2 nights. This captain, Lieutenant in rank, took off early in the morning from Kuantan and on reaching Lasah, shut down the Nuri for a short briefing by the Liaison Officer (LO). That  was the last shutting down before landing at Butterworth Base. After that...'running' refuelling and  running lunch of 'nasi bungkus'.  We had our lunch during running refuelling or while flying to the posts. I 'had control' while he ate and vice versa. Frankly, I didn't understand why he refused to shut down for lunch under the tent prepared by the PFF.

When we clocked the daily maximum of  7 flying hours, he would then request an extension for flight to Butterworth Base. It was  really a very tiring flight...8 solid hours in the seat except for a short briefing! What do you expect of me on reaching the room? After dinner at the 'Makcik' stall...back to the room...z z z z z. Totally exhausted to say hello to members there!! The next day...back to the same routine.

He too...is no longer with us! May your soul rest in peace...

Now...back to Anonymous. I wonder what my squadron pilots/co-pilots make up of me! It does not matter anymore to me. Afterall...those were the good old flying days...my friends.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Selamat Pagi Tuan,

Saya amat meminati coretan kisah Tuan ketika masih dalam perkhidmatan TUDM. Mana tidaknya, perkhidmatan helikopter kerap digunakan oleh pihak tentera semasa menentang insurgensi dahulu. Saya ingin bertanya kepada Tuan, Tuan tidak mahu menulis buku tentang pengalaman Tuan sendiri?

Luke Jetie

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Saudara Luke Jetie,

Terima kasih kerana membaca blog saya. Ada juga minat nak menulis pengalaman di suatu ketika dulu tetapi ianya melibatkan kos yang tinggi dan pulangan tak seberapa. Jadi, memadailah menulis dalam blog.

Anonymous said...

Anak anak kapal semasa operasi gubir... Dimanakah kalian semua berada?
Sejarah ini tidak di ketahui olih mereka yang sedang menerajui TUDM.
Mereka yang telah bersara ramai yang tidak mahu mendekati TUDM, tanya lah mereka yang terlibat dengan operasi ini... ishsss... mereka dilupai seperti out of sight ...out of mind.
Mereka hanya tinggal kenangan dan yang selalu kita dengar hanyalah "Kami ditakdirkan selamat untuk meneruskan kehidupan ini, tetapi kami seperti tidak pernah wujud"
Alahai.... TUDM apa kah masih relevan?.....

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Saudara Anonymous,

Saya difahamkan isteri kepada arwah Wan Munsiff, Puan Khadijah Khalid, berada di Kangar. Beliau telah bersara. Saya sedang berusaha untuk menghubungai beliau.

Sedih sekali...TUDM tidak langsung memperingati mereka ini.

Anonymous said...

Selamat Pagi Tuan,

Terima kasih kerana membalas pertanyaan saya semalam. Tuan, saya ingin bertanyakan tentang soalan lain, itu pun kalau Tuan masih ingat atau tidak tentang beberapa perkara tentang insignia TUDM ketika Tuan masih berkhidmat dengan TUDM. Saya pernah melihat satu insignia untuk dipakaikan pada uniform TUDM pada tahun 1970-1980 (agak2), berupa sayap penerbangan, tetapi dipakai pada bahu. Kalau dengan perkhidmatan Tentera Darat, ia bermaksud askar tersebut ialah seorang Komando. Jadi, apakah maksud insignia itu dalam perkhidmatan TUDM? Soalan kedua pula, adakah Tuan pada masa dahulu sempat menggunakan panggilan pangkat seperti dalam perkhidmatan Royal Air Force, cthnya kalau untuk pangkat Capt., dalam RAF ia dipanggil Flight Lt., kerana saya pernah melihat Air Commodore Datuk Sulaiman Sujak menyematkan sayap penerbangan untuk Tuan selepas Tuan menamatkan latihan asas penerbangan helikopter.

Luke Jetie

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Saudara Luke Jetie,

1. Insignia 'sayap' di bahu pakaian seragam TUDM melambang beliau telah berjaya menjalani kursus 'payung terjun' di Sekolah Komando, Sg Udang.

2. Semasa saya mula berkhidmat dalam TUDM, panggilan pegawai masih mengikut RAF, seperti Flt Lt, Sqn Cmdr, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Selamat Petang kepada Tuan,

Terima kasih kerana memberikan info tersebut. Untuk pengetahuan Tuan, saya melihat insignia tersebut dalam Buku 'Unsung Hero' yang menceritakan tentang tiga tokoh negara ketika negara masih menentang komunis. Di dalam gambar tersebut, saya melihat Brigadier (U) Ngah Said memakai insignia tersebut. Menarik juga Brigadier Ngah Said, beliau juga merupakan seorang juruterbang helikopter dan juga pesawat caribou dhc4.

Luke Jetie

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,hahaha i kind of wonder what you guys thought of me !. must be a pain in the ???. hehehe

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Sharif,

No stories...OKlah tu...he...he

Capt's Longhouse said...

nor,

,,,nil co-pilots on the Alouette 111 gives us the freedom to fly as we please too. hehehe
,,,but the Nuri was indeed a joy to fly and performing hundreds of different taskings for king and country.
,,,if fact, we can write volumes about that old lady.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Sharif,

If only x-Nuri pilots willing to write their experiences, we can publish it. Do you know publishers who might be interested?

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear from you, Sir if you want to publish the book.

Luke Jetie

Anonymous said...

Satu usaha yang amat baik.

Capt's Longhouse said...

nor,

,,,just capture your experience in the blog and see if any publisher be interested ?.
,,,there this Ramli guy in R2W that you might want to check out with ?. He was with the RMAF before and apparently presently in the publishing business if am not mistaken. He left some comments in my blog too but i left it as it is.
,,,Major Jeffery is also actively writing about his Nuri experiences and will be leaving the RMAF soon.
,,,i wrote the Nuri Training Instructor Handbook b4 I left the service but not too sure if it is still being utilized ?.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,correction, Ramli in 'mind NO EVIL' blog site-lah.

Zaiton Othman said...

Askm.tuan,
Telah beberapa hari saya membaca setiap coretan di blog tuan. Baru saya faham apa yang pernah dialami oleh para suami yang bertugas ketika itu. Saya harap buku ini dapat dijadikan pencetus semangat kewarganegaraan dalam kalangan genarasi sekarang dan akan datang. Saya ingin mencadangkan agar tuan turut sertakan segmen pendek mengenai kehidupan para balu yang suami mereka terkorban ketika menjalankan tugas(TUDM). Terima Kasih.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Puan Zaiton Othman,

Terima kasih kerana membaca blog saya. Saya sendiri jarang mencerita pengalaman saya ketika aktif terbang kepada isteri. Cadangan puan memang baik. Saya akan usahakan, InsyaAllah.