Pilot’s Life In The Cockpit

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Yeah! Is so excited to get this gentlemen on board to share with us more about the Pilot’s Life In The Cockpit. The Cockpit door is always lock and secure, so what is happening back there? Curious? Johan Farid Khairuddin; TV Host, Music Producer & Radio DJ now flying the Airbus A330 as a commercial airline pilot.

From Entertainment Showbiz to A Full Time Commercial Pilot.

    • What is it like in the transition?

The industries may seem very different but really it’s the same thing, if you look at it objectively.  In the entertainment industry, I was always there to “entertain” and to make/keep people happy but by playing music (while on radio), or hosting tv shows etc — In the aviation world, as a pilot, I often do the same thing but with a different scope.

Flying airplanes aside (we are not just talking about safety and the technical aspects of flying), we are talking about the human element in this answer — pilots, although are paid to fly safely from point a to point b, we are also human and being human, we want to give our best “service”, to keep people happy. This is more than just “announcements”, this is about keeping passengers comfortable and giving them the confidence that they will always be in safe & trustworthy hands.

    • What is the most Misconception about being a pilot by the public?

This is a personal opinion because if you asked different people, they would have different misconceptions but, to me, the biggest misconception about pilots is — “we want to purposely delay flights.” It’s like, whenever there is a delay, or the pilot refuses to “take off now” or “land now”, although “other airplanes are taking off/landing”, apparently the pilots want to do this for the fun of it. This is far from the truth! Pilots have families too. We too want to get home to our families and want to do our job efficiently etc — but one of the (many) golden rules of flying is, to never let our emotions come between your airplane. Safety has been and will always be the number one priority. Example, if it takes 2 hours for a flight from point a to point b, but because of a thunderstorm between that journey, the pilots have to deviate another 30mins around it, there would have been a 30min additional time added on to that original 2 hrs right?  Just imagine the repercussions for the returning sectors etc.

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Pilots Life in Cockpit

    • How long before does a Pilot need to Standby / Prep prior to a flight at airport?

Different airlines have different policies, but usually when crew are on standby, they need to be at the airport in the “fastest” available method which is safest for everyone. No “speeding” on the highway etc yeah! Also,  A rule of thumb is, 1 hour to get from wherever you are to home, 1 hour to get ready at home, and 1 hour to get from home to the airplane (not the airport) but again, that’s just a general rule for most airlines.  And mind you, there are VARIOUS systems in place to make sure the crew being called up, is not having the whole airplane wait on him/her! Example, other crew assigned to go elsewhere can go to that earlier airplane and the crew coming to the airport can then replace that person etc.  This is why operational centres have very tight procedures and policies to ensure smooth operations of an airline.  Again, this is in general and in no way representative of any airline.  This information is also widely available on the internet if you search for airline operational due diligence procedures etc.

    • What is Actually Happening in the Cockpit during the entire flight from Point A to Point B? 

So much. I don’t know where to start. The last thing you want people to think is that pilot’s fly with “auto pilot” so that there is nothing to do when in actual fact there are countless amount of items that need to be done as the flight progresses.  As an example, and mind you this is just ONE of the millions of examples, “weather for alternates”.  Pilots need to know that at every moment in time, “should there be a problem”, they need to know where to go and what to do and how long it takes to get there and how the weather conditions are at that destination plus the amount of fuel left etc.  The list I just mentioned is not exhaustive and there a lot more to it than meets the eye (pun intended as this is in an email form), just know that many variables change when in flight and the pilots need to always constantly check to make sure that if something happens whether technical or non technical (example a sick passenger?), the plane can land safely and render the necccesary action to address the situation in the most safest and efficient manner possible.

  • Aside from Communicating with ATC, what else does a pilot do during cruising? Stretch and Chill Out?Thinking where to go once landed? Chat with Co Pilots? or is always a serious mood in the cockpit?

I think I explained most of this above and yes you are right except about the serious mood part.  Situational awareness is a key trait to any good pilot. The ability to know whats going on “around you” even when you are not looking at things.  Example, pilots could be having a conversation about an airport’s weather and maybe joke or two amongst themselves about the local cuisine etc — but when suddenly they hear something that is not right on the air traffic control radio (even at low volume), they pick it up and know whats going on.  Another example would be to always be able to relax and breathe even when things seem as if it’s going bonkers, for example, when passengers start to get rowdy because we are running late and you know that no matter what the internal/external pressures are – you are not going to have anybody push you into a situation which is unsafe.  Personally rather be late than have to go through a storm!

    • Define On Time Departure & On Time Arrival (is the moment of push back or take off / landed or parked at gate)? Does On Time effects a pilot performances review ?

On time departure is the time the airplane closes it’s doors and pushes back. On time arrival is when the airplane touches down.  And the pilot’s performance review is based on fuel economy, green procedures etc — safety is EVERYONE’s responsibility so there are no “extra points” for being “extra safe”.

One mile of road can only take you so far. One mile of runway, can take you anywhere (1)

Flying required constant communication with ATC

      • Does ATC play a huge role in on time arrival / departure / emergency?

Air Traffic Controllers run the skies and their traffic management and constant communication with them is key.  Arrival time and departure is set prior based on slots. However there are always other variable factors that will affect the arrival time and departure during a flight.

      • Have you encounter fun or problematic ATCs? how you go about it?

Flying general aviation, I have had controllers who have saved my life. I was in a small airplane flying alone when I had engine trouble. They took the time to “guide me” through the skies and point me in a more direct track (while clearing the skies) so that I could land with a priority sequence. So yes they are awesome.

      • How much / to what extend rights are given to a pilots to make decision during flights for best possible on time record or emergency management?

Pilots make the call. Lead by the captain. And input through various crew members including cabin crew, company, air traffic controllers etc. This is part of what we define as CRM – crew resource management.  CRM is towards a safe and efficient flight. All the time.

    • In what is a hugely responsible job, what is the toughest part of being an airline pilot?

The constant study and self empowerment fact that I always want to improve, I always want to get better, I always want to be more efficient and stay safe — while having to raise a family. Haha

    • What’s your biggest annoyance when it comes to passengers?

I don’t get annoyed at passengers. We are in service industry and we should know how to manage our passengers. If the flight is expected to be delayed for instance, I always just apologise and explain why we were late. Each airline has its own policies and procedures for flight deck access however most of them are strictly off limits when in-flight

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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any airlines or government agency.

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K9 Rescue Mission & Experience in Bangkok, Thailand 

Very honored and excited to meet up with a team of  warriors, the K9 Rescue Dog unit when I was Travelling to Bangkok, Thailand. This is absolutely an eye opener experience of my life time.

Savannah (Golden Retriever) getting excited & preparing for training

 

Thai Rescue Dog Association is an all volunteer, non profit organisation proud to serve and save life during nature disasters. This K-9 unit is also recognise as a member of the The International Rescue Dog Organisation (IRO).

The IRO is the worldwide representation for 116 national rescue dog organisations from 41 countries on all continents providing the frame by setting up events, activities and trainings within which its members can achieve their personal goals: from the easygoing dog owner wanting to train with his best friend to the highly specialised deployment task team wanting to practice for the case of emergency.

The Unforgettable Experience

This 2 K9 is teaming up together to rescue possible victims during training.

Knowing that training a good and professional emergency rescue personal is difficult enough, what about training a normal dog to be as professional could be even more difficult. Nothing is better then experiencing myself, hands on to the rescue training to know more.

In this Search And Rescue (SAR) Training experience training, I am glad to be given a chance to team up with a handful real life of volunteers, Mr.Moo (President of SAR Thailand), Soo (Experience SAR Rescuer), and few other newly joined volunteer team. Together with us will be the K9, Zambezi (English Setter), Rockie (Doberman), Savannah (Golden Retriever), and Kiwi (Chihuahua).

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Kiwi (Chihuahua) maybe small in size, a proper train K9 can be very powerful
Handler Is Preparing Training Of The Day with Their 2 K9

Recruiting volunteer to such Organization is never easy. Many volunteer come and go as this is not a routine things we though as easy. Only few stayed for the very passionate and mission oriented person. Those who committed fully knows that this is never a heroic task, because Volunteer does not necessary have the time, they just have the heart.

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Handler Sue is explaining the Training Details

During the two days training sessions, few disaster situation was created to be as real as a happening disaster to train both SAR Dog and its handler to face difficult situations at all time. Includes Collapsed Building and Missing Person. Success rate can never be guarantee, only constant training and deployment experience improve each K9 and Handler during each Search and Rescue missions.

So training hard and training smart is always the key for K9 SAR Team to constantly improve themselves as a team between the Handler and K9. Rescue Mission is always a dangerous games, each mistake is a closing to fatal. They take no chance for error.

Zambezi (English Setter) Just Found A “Victim” During Training
Handler Giving Specific Guides & Commands To K9 During Training
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Every Training Is Like A Game To Them. This How The K9 “Career” All Started

Every training is important to get both K9 and their handlers to be physically and mentally prepared while Every real mission and deployments are unique and never the same.

The Rescue-Dog Competence

Being a professional partner of the UN who gives the directive for deployment of search and rescue dogs at big disasters, IRO not only guarantees the quality of training of them but is also able to quickly react to problems in practical experience and effectively realize improvement. These teams have already proven themselves in numerous missions.

What Does It Take To Be Part Of A S.A.R. Team?

There is no rules stated that who can or can’t be a S.A.R team. If this post trigger your interest to be one of them, my advice is just remember to ask yourself :

  • Are you willing to sacrifice your every weekend to train with your dog for 4-5 hours?
  • Are you ready to get your hand dirty to search in mud, to work under extreme situations like under the hot sun, to soak in your own sweat continuously for long hours?
Each single dog might be a rescue dog – their good nose is native. To train with them can be done as sporty hobby: Numerous organisations and associations offer such programs. The playful learning of the basic skills is at the same time the beginning of the “career” of each rescue dog. There are many Voluntary K-9 units across the world. To get more details or to contribute to support, just walk into your region units.
Yes! Is possible for a Well Trained & Certified K9 (with proper approval & lots of paperwork) to fly in a Cabin just like you and me
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Patiently Waiting For Their Luggage To Arrive

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Take Stunning Travel Photo With Just Your Phone!

Although there are many argument of using a DSLR can take more precise and detail picture. But Many travellers just like you and me now use to travel very handy and light, maybe only with our Smart Phone.

In this latest post, We have connected with Hafiz; a Professional Photographer and also a Contributor for Getty Image, to joint give us some FAQs.

1. Do Smart Phone users take stunning pictures just like DSLR?

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YES. it’s not about the equipment but more to the knowledge and experience of creating great photos. But of cause, nothing can beat DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras. Of course, there are limitations when using smartphones. I use DSLR/Mirrorless when i want to achieve certain goals with my photos such as being able to print big canvas and sell them later.

2. One of the best moment during Travelling is to record the moment to remember. What are the tips and tricks to take stunning travel pictures with Smart Phone Camera?

  • Keep it Simple
  • Take a picture with your eyes first.
  • Look of light source. is the scene nicely illuminated?
  • To get best composition, especially for beginners, stick to rule of thirds (RO3) to make your composition pleasing to look at. Master RO3 before learning about other composition technique. My tip – if it looks great to you, you have done it.

3. Now a days Food Photography is so popular where travellers love to share the food they are eating with their social media friends. What are the most important tips to capture a stunning food picture?

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  • Lighting/correct exposure is a must. Place food on a table near to light source such as windows or lamp.
  • When taking food photos, bear in mind that you will want to make the viewer salivate when looking at the photo. Take wide and close up photos.
  • Do a google search on what kind of angle and composition is pleasing to the eyes.
  • Top view angle seems to be the hip angle nowadays

4. Frequently most Traveller have problem with Low Light Condition. What’s your advice and how can Travellers overcome this problem?

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  • Tripod is your best friend. Set up your camera/smart phone on a tripod to reduce motion blurring/shaking when taking low light sceneries such cityscapes, fireworks etc.

5. You are also well known and experience for time laps. And most smart phone now do have time laps features pre-install. What are the thing we should know and prepare before taking a time laps pictures or video?

  • Tripod – placing your phone on a stable surface or use a tripod is a must.
  • Composition – always compose your shot by looking at the rule of thirds, foreground, framing, etc.
  • Scene – is the scene worth to time lapsed? are the clouds moving fast or slow? are the crowds stationery or otherwise? Time Lapse is about capturing change of scenery or movement so that when we play them later at normal speed, these change of scenery is moving at a fast pace.
  • Smartphone has the interval pre set up, so you don’t have to worry about it. just worry about your composition.

A Professional Photographer, a Time Lapse Freak, A Father Of Two Lovely Children, A Contributor to Getty Image. Hafiz Ismail is one of the well know photographers base in Malaysia since year 2008. For more of his work, visit http://imagesbyhafiz.com/.

Disclaimer : All Pictures and Videos used in this post are used with permission of owner Hafiz Ismail and Pexels. If you would be interested in these pictures or to use in any of your personal or commercial use, please kindly contacts the owner directly for permission. 

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EXPAT IN BANGKOK.

1.What made you decide to stay in Bangkok and how long did you stayed here?

I always dreamed of living in a country with hot climate but never was serious about this idea. When my husband got invitation to work in Bangkok, I was highlighted abut the idea that my dream could come true. We have moved to Bangkok in the late December of 2014, since than I am trying to get on with hard character of Bangkok and to find myself new in tropical climate and Asian atmosphere.

When you move countries you try to make long term plans, but life shows that God knows better where and for how long we will stay.  I hardly can imagine doing what I do here: helping whales in the Golf of Thailand, working with SAR dogs, so I try not to think about the fact that one day maybe I will leave Thailand.I am just enjoying amazing experience I have a chance to get  and being thankful for every day.

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2. What is the biggest challenge you had as an Expat in Bangkok?

(2) Not knowing the language of the country I live in.  I am rather fluent in couple of languages: English,  Russian, Ukrainian, Polish. So visiting and living in Europe for 3 years never had such situation that nobody understands me and I don’t understand anybody.Never had such experience.  Its hard, depressing and just awful .Though at my work I speak English and most of my friends are English speaking I try my best to learn Thai.

3. Bangkok is a striking place. What was your impression of the city and county?

 Did you mean first impression? I was totally shocked that the beauty of skyscraper can be connected with tropical forests just in the middle of the city or under the bridge. It felt as any second an elephant can walk out of bushes. Bangkok is totally different form other part of Thailand. Never lived for long in any other places than this city, So can speak just about it. Bangkok is definitely a crazy place, a city of amazing possibilities where you can find all the most modern and technical world just one step from the rich jungle life. Its something totally different from calm and stable life in Europe countries. Here to stay in one place, you have to run…and to achieve you have to be a bit crazy by yourself. But as I always was curios, active and rather brave to try my strength in everything new- I feel very happy here.

4. What make trigger your interest in becoming a part of Thailand SAR K9 Unit? and tell us more about your partner Kiwi.

I was dreaming to have a dog of my own for many years but my Lifestyle never allowed to have enough time for a dog. But moving to Thailand and yet not having a job I had a lot of free time and decided its the best moment to look for a puppy. Because I was sure I will travel a lot as always and that Bangkok is not Pet friendly city  I decided to look for a tiny breed. I checked all Bangkok shelters for 4 month. But never found as tiny dog as I needed. And than by total chance i saw an advertisement, I called and this was the first lady who talked English fluently. I was surprised to hear that she has 2 puppy litters and she lives on my street. So of course I checked puppies, and checked them 3 more times until decided to take the smallest puppy girl.

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She was 100% white at that moment. When she got a bit older about 4 month, I heard about free community classes in Bangkok, lead by english speaking teacher. Thats how I met Sue. We started attending classes and one day I heard that on weekends they train their dogs for SAR and desperately looking for victims to train the dogs.

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I was happy to help, I was always interests in dogs behaviors and training. I was totally amazed and in love with what they do. But even never dreamed of being the part of the team. But once one of the team members he showed me how to train Kiwi. First step ( i took her on the SAR training just for socialisation, as I was being a victim ) and Kiwi was rather good and brave. Since than we started to train. Now Kiwi is about 6 month in the training. She is 1.2 years. Since September we make every week trainings for 4-5 hours SAR and on Tuesday obedience and agility. Kiwi already can go in narrow dark tunnels, had experience going with me from height from the roof. I knwo there is one chihuhuha K9 in Japan working for Police and i believe litlle Kiwi has all chances to become first SAR Chihuahua in history. I hope by watching Kiwis example other owners of dogs small breed will see their potenial.

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Small breed dogs are not only for sofa life. They need their own mission and sense in life. It makes dogs life happier, dog healthier which definitely means longer life.  Actually Chihuahua are rare breed which was not breeded by humans, tats why their health is string and instincts too. They are brave, confident and high drive as they are easily excited.

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In SAR small breeds definitely have big future as they can get to places a big dog just cant reach. Kiwi has it hard training with big dogs, she has to jump as high as doberman, search as good as Labrador and be as calm as pointer just to be enough good and change peoples mind about Chihuahuas that they are not good for SAR. I believe with love, hard work and open heart you can achieve anything you wish with any dog. Any dog has its instincts so we just need to know how to deal with it.

Maria Readers Tips for Travellers to Bangkok :

(1) For People who are interested to come to Bangkok as a traveller for the first time, what is your advice?

For your readers: Check expat forums, craigslist and TripAdvisor before choosing any destination. That would safe your time and money.

 (2) What’s the best savings tip you can give to anyone trying to save up during their trip in Bangkok?

 Saving tip- use city bus its amazingly cheap from 7-12 bath if you are lucky to have conditioning. Eat on the street not in the fancy european style cafe. Than you can definitely eat one dish just for 35-50 baht. If you want to save money but still go to the sea side. Choose not touristic destinations and better land than islands. You will get the same amazing views but food and accommodation will be 30% cheaper. For fruits and vegetables check local markets, you can amazing  veggies there for couple of coins.

 (3) Top 5 Most Useful Words to learn and use for Foreigner Travellers travelling to Bangkok / Thailand?

Learn how to say yes, no, straight and PLEASE remember by heart the address where you stay. That can save you time, money and sometimes life. And learn numbers in thai otherwise you cant shop properly and fun!

P.S already Kiwi was on Thai National Tv twice, there was an article in Bangkok Post..so step by step Kiwi becomes a little SAR star. But the main for us is training . And I believe soon we will get the certification.