|Quoting GIA (Thread starter):|
Any other delivery, product upgrade for Garuda in the near future?
Thursday, March 16, 2006.
At 11:00am sharp, the Boeing 737-400 registered as PK-GWN which was about to take me to Kuala Lumpur, took off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta. It took off uneventfully from Rwy 25R and climbed to its cruising altitude of 32,000 ft. I sat on seat number 4F, right next to Capt. Kiki Martono.
After the seat-belt sign was switched off, I moved to seat 3E, so that I could enjoy the view offered outside the window. Fortunately the Garuda business class wasn’t full, with 6 out of the 16 seats occupied. Not long after that, the stewardesses started serving lunch. I chose beef steak, salad, potatoes, and as desert, a vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
The rest of the flight was uneventful, with the compliment of good weather. I chose to sit at the cockpit of the aircraft as it was about to land. Landing was to be carried out on Rwy 32R, since Rwy 32L was closed for maintenance. The plane was guided to land by F/O Ade Dwipayana exactly at 1:30pm local time, in which it continued to taxi to the apron to disembark the passengers.
The Captain and I chose to disembark at the end, and outside, we were greeted by Garuda ground staff. We then cleared immigration and customs. We were brought to the Garuda office at the airport to collect our flight plan and a sort out some final preparations before heading off to Subang Airport by car.
On the way to Subang Airport, we stopped at “Sate Kajang” restaurant, which tasted outstanding. We also took some “Sate” for snack for the flight to Jakarta. After lunch, we continued our trip, which took around 1 hour all up from Sepang Airport to Subang Airport. Just for the information, Subang was the International Airport in KL before Sepang was commissioned. Its fate is similar to Halim-Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, which only serves several flights each day.
After arriving at Subang Airport around 4:00 pm local time, we headed straight to a hangar owned by MAS. In it, maintenance was under way for 1 plain-coloured Boeing 737, and another plane, a Boeing 747-400.
Outside that hangar was the first time I saw PK-GEF. My first reaction was: shock! It still bore the livery of Inter Airlines Turkey, full of green primer on its body. The old paint peeled everywhere, and some markings covered with white paint.
After climbing the stairs to board the aircraft, I walked around the cabin and the cockpit. My first impression was that this plane is still in top-notch condition, even though the headrests still bore the Inter Airlines covers.
The cockpit is still neat and tidy, even though it had to stay in Subang for several days after it was ferried from Istanbul by Capt. Triyanto and Capt. Kiki Martono on March 10. The layout of the cockpit is exactly the same to PK-GEE, the previous aircraft, which means that I didn’t have to encounter any difficulty to fly it for the first time.
After completing several tasks such as administration and immigration, at exactly 7:00 pm local time, PK-GEF took off from Subang Airport on its flight to Jakarta. I flew the aircraft, and with the take-off weight of 50t and 26.4K engine rating, it was quite a task to control the aircraft, because V1 was reached in such a short time. This was made even worse by the unfriendly skies that night, with heavy showers and CB clouds everywhere.
The aircraft then climbed to 41,000ft, and headed towards Pekanbaru. After reaching 5,000 ft, the weather started to clear off, and above 10,000ft, it was very clear. Fortunately the sun hasn’t completely set, so I could see the clear skies.
After reaching cruising altitude of 41,000ft, we did some testing to check the condition of the aircraft. According to the Exercise syllabus which was about to be carried out, was manual reversion, engine shutdown, stall and to try and exceed Vmo. Luckily I was the pilot flying, and all tests were completed, except stall and engine shutdown, due to several considerations. Manual reversion was done (thank God I exercise regularly), and as well as that, we did engine idle one by one, unusual recovery, and exceeding Vmo.
There’s only one impression I got, exciting! For the first time, I was able to do all exercises on the real thing instead of simulators.
The rest of the flight was filled by noting engine performances and observing the aircraft’s characteristics.
Finally, the aircraft landed safely at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta, at 7:45pm local time, on Rwy 25R. Consequently the aircraft was taxied to parking stand R58 to be finally taken to GMF hangar. The aircraft will then be painted in full Garuda colours, overall maintenance check on the engines and airframe, re-calibrate its weight, and according to the schedule, this aircraft will serve on the Denpasar and Perth routes on March 25.
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