Route: DPS – DRW
Date: 11 March 2012
ETD/ATD: 10.30 / 10.40
ETA/ATA: 14.40 / 14.55
Flight number: QZ 8424
Plane: Airbus 320-216
Flight deck: Captain Yudi Suryo
Delivery date: 2 October 2009
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Photo © Angara
“Welcome on board,” Senior Flight Attendant Umu Umairoh, clasped her hands upon our entrance.
from Flight Attendant Apriansyah followed further down the cabin.
Forward cabin view. Note Apriansyah’s position at 5D
‘Do you not just love the black leather finish on the seats?’
Rear cabin view
‘Well, with red headrests they look even better,’
14E for Herman and 14F for me. 14D was empty according to the manifest
‘Furthermore, the red headrests indicate that your seat pitch may be bigger than 29.5 inch,’
‘Ah, of course. Especially when well needed extra inches are claimed by full seat pocket in front of you,’
Café menu and Inflight Sales Catalogue
‘Hey, what do we have here?’
‘A tempting on-board souvenir,’
‘Suryo, look at the bottom right corner of the cover…’
“Good morning. May I have your attention for the emergency exit procedure?” Flight Attendant Leny Martiany made her appearance.
Her firm voice just made us listen to her, “As you are seated in emergency exit row, we need your cooperation. Would you please read the instruction carefully how to handle in case of emergency?”
Emergency opening instruction
“You can consult the safety card for further instruction,”
Emergency landing instruction
“If you have further inquiries, do not hesitate to ask us,” Leny concluded our briefing to greet the last passengers as they trickled in.
Final boarding scene. Note Leny’s position at 12D
Umu was on the microphone, “Boarding is complete. We will do a head count in a moment. Please remain seated until we finish,”
Soon enough, Captain Yudi delivered welcome speech to all 87 passengers on board while highlighting some flight details, “We will be flying to Darwin in two hours and thirty minutes with cruising speed of eighty hundred and twenty kilometers per hour at thirty nine thousand feet above sea level,”
Captain Yudi continued, “We are now waiting for clearance. It will take about three until five minutes,”
1L was armed at 10.35. Leny and Apriansyah performed manual safety demonstration during pushback five minutes later.
‘Look at former America West Airlines N173AW!’
Merpati Nusantara PK-MBP
‘Leny and Apriansyah are not finished yet with the demonstration!’
‘We have got the safety card, have we not?’
‘Yes, but still,’
Leny and Apriansyah clasped their hands after finishing the demonstration. While checking if everyone had the seat belt fastened, they returned to their seats.
It took some five minutes to enter 09 threshold as PK
-AXJ had to hold for an incoming aircraft.
Sky Aviation PK-ECH
‘Good to see former OceanAir PR
-OAB escaping Socoraba Airport,’
put it back in business on January 13, 2012 after its storage since May 2008,’
Meanwhile, full thrust of CFMI CFM 56-5B6 twins pushed PK
-AXJ further down the 3,000 meter spread ahead.
Take off roll
was called at 1,900 m spot.
Lift off at 10.50
-AXJ gradually climbed along The Peninsula of Tanjung Benoa.
Enclave of five start resorts. Note geometrical Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso above the slats
Banking to the south east.
Final wave to The Island of The Gods
Five minutes into climb out, fasten seat belt signs were extinguished.
“Due to regulation, all passengers are required to fill out the form before disembarkation,” Umu’s announcement was followed up by distribution of incoming passenger cards.
Personal details and questionnaire
‘La Donna é mobile
‘Explain yourself, Ariel,’
‘What a cheerful face she puts on as she distributes the cards,’
Leny’s joviality did not diminish as she rolled Buy on Board trolley down the aisle with Flight Attendant Eko Puja.
Chirpy Leny in action. Note the overhead locker advertisements
‘Look! The advertisements will become history after March 31,’’
Hassle free Europe
Soon enough, our row got attended by no less friendly Eko.
“Good morning. Do you want to order anything from our Café?”
“We have booked our meal,”
“Sure, may I see your booking?”
Eko stamped our printouts for reconfirmation and served our meal right away.
My Nasi Lemak, still wrapped. Note separate serving of Ikan Bilis (anchovies)
‘Unwrap it! Unwrap it!’
Nasi Lemak Pak Nasser, AirAsia’s signature dish
‘How do you like it?’
‘Great emulsion of rich flavored rice, spicy beef rendang
and mild chicken curry with creamy coconut under taste. All nicely held together by hardboiled egg alternated with either crunchy roasted peanuts or mischievous anchovies,’
“Lovely,” Herman said about his meal.
Chicken satay. Note separate cup of peanut sauce and lontong (rice cake) slices
‘And to wash it down?’
‘Mineral water is complimentary,’
‘Where are you going?’
‘I am going to the lavatory,’
‘Hah, that is not surprising,’
‘Hey, someone lets off steam over there. Literally!’
‘You cannot be serious! What is he doing?’
‘He has got something between his forefinger and middle finger,’
I approached Eko at the rear galley, “I am not sure, but someone might be smoking in the cabin,”
“We will take care of it. Thank you for notifying us,” Eko said after looking out for it with striking calmness which must have been developed during his three years of service with AirAsia.
‘They really take matters seriously, including the lavatory! Look how tidy it is,’
Umu was waiting for me outside. Apparently, she was called in to deal with the passenger.
“It was an electronic cigarette. I have consulted our regulation, but could not find any specific rule regarding electronic cigarette. Nevertheless, I have asked the passenger to refrain from smoking. My apology for the inconvenience,”
“You do not have to. I was just astonished. Thank you for the clarification,”
Forward view of steam free cabin
‘Suryo, look out the window!’
Rai Hawu (Savu island) on the left and Rai Jua on the right
, an ideal surfing location during Indonesia’s dry season thanks to an exposed reef break!’
‘Do not forget Savu as well where Captain James Cook stayed for three days in 1770 before continuing on to Batavia,’
‘And over there!’
Roti island. Note Laut Mati (Dead Sea) right above the engine
‘Roti island, home to extremely endangered snake-necked turtle species. Can you imagine the turtles after being discovered for the first time by George Albert Boulenger in 1891, have just been regarded as distinct species to New Guinean snake-necked turtles in 1994?’
‘Hey, tax free shopping has just started! Do you know that snake-necked turtle is one of the most desired turtles in the international pet trade?’
‘AirAsia does not sell pets on board!’
In the meantime, Leny graciously walked the aisle like a model on a catwalk showing AirAsia branded beach hat.
‘You should join her,’
‘Ariel, I think the show is coming to an end,’
‘So what? Do you not want to be on the picture with Leny?’
“Do you like my fashion show?” Leny enthusiastically welcomed me at the rear galley, “Photo? Photo?”
Mates, I was immediately in cloud nine!
“Sure! Just a moment! I will put some make-up on,”
“Let me take a picture of both of you,” Eko suggested as Leny disappeared into one of the lavatory.
“What a novelty! That would be great!”
Leny and I with AirAsia’s headwear. Courtesy of Eko
“The hat just suits you,” I commented.
“You wear a cap already, so I cannot put it on,” Leny smiled.
Our gathering did not last long due to upcoming turbulent weather.
“You should return to your seat and have your seatbelt fastened until the turbulence is over,” Leny switched into strict mode.
‘It was a great suggestion, Ariel,’
‘Speaking of suggestion, do you not feel writing any positive feedback?’
After the turbulence was over, I was back at the rear galley where I gladly submitted a feedback form in presence of Leny, Eko and Umu.
“All I want to say on it is that AirAsia should be proud of you for this wonderful flight,”
“By the way, may I ask you a favor?”
“Do you mind writing something on my book?”
“Of course!” Leny gladly took my notebook I brought along, “In Indonesian, okay? Or Sundanese?”
“How about Javanese?” I suggested.
“I am from Java,” Umu replied.
“Really? How nice!”
“Do you know someone for her? She is still single,” Leny looked at Umu with a smirk.
“Well, how about him?” I gestured towards Eko which made all of us burst into laughter.
Memoirs from Leny, Eko and Umu
At one moment, Umu took the microphone, “Due to Australian quarantine requirements, we will soon be spraying the cabin,”
"Do I have to return to my seat?"
"No, no, you can stay here if you want. It will not take long,"
Once giving the go-ahead to Apriansyah who was prepared in the front, Umu stirred herself.
"Do you want some peanuts?" Leny asked in the meantime, "I have got shelled peanuts with me,"
“That is very of kind you, but I just do not want to leave my travel companion alone any longer,”
“Sure, no problem,”
‘Let me see it! Let me see it! Err, what has Leny actually written?’
‘Hai, brother Suryo, nice to meet you. I am Leny Martiany. Until we meet again on another Indonesia AirAsia flight,’
‘What about Umu’s?’
“…we will be landing at three o’clock local time. Our crew members will be walking through the cabin to collect rubbish. We wish your cooperation,”
Umu’s announcement sadly marked the end of our flight.
Upon another reminder about Australian custom regulations and possible penalties for not observing the rules, fasten seat belt signs were illuminated.
“We are about to land,” Captain Yudi declared the final approach to 11 – 29 runway.
East Point on the foreground. A recreation reserve which has its origin in 1869
Ludmilla on the foreground and Darwin’s Central Business District on the background
Soon on short final in full view of DRW
’s counterpart of green Boeing 747 of Changi Airport of Singapore.
Grey Airbus 340
Reverse thrust was applied immediately after touchdown at 14.50.
Turning into taxiway E2
With afternoon relative humidity average over seventy percents during the wet and hot months like March, condensation forming on ice-cold fuselage was inevitable.
Within five minutes, PK
-AXJ safely pulled into Bay 2.
,” I called out to Leny who saw off her eagerly disembarking passengers from the rear galley, while keeping out of their way.
When Leny clasped her hands, I felt relieved to go.
With the palms pressed together, Umu and Apriansyah just made me follow their example before exiting 1L.
And last but not least.
Terima kasih, PK-AXJ!