Saturday 4 April 2015

LIMA 2015 Part 01

[If you had read this post earlier, there are some updates below. Read on]

WOW!!! It has been almost 2 months since my last posting... Well no worries as the pictures and the experiences are here. So sit back comfortably and keep on reading.

So let's start from the very beginning. It all started at 8am at Penang International Airport. I had booked the PEN-LGK flight about 10 months back. All was great and all was confirmed, until 2 months prior where Malindo notified that the PEN-LGK services had been terminated. So instead of the PEN-LGK route, I had to take the PEN-SZB, SZB-LGK route (Penang-Subang, Subang-Langkawi). No complaints here as I was now given more flight hours. Woohoo.

Anyway, back to Penang International Airport. OD1153 to Subang was operated by 9M-LMM.

Malindo ATR72-600 (9M-LMM)

One of the perks of booking early (I think) was the ability to select the seats that I want. 1A it was for all 4 legs of the flight. Did not manage to get a nice shot here, but there will be in the following posts. The sunrise was just great, to shed some light on the C-130 parked in front of the DCA tower.

It was my first time on an ATR and my first time on a turboprop, so it was a little exciting. Didn't know what to expect, but on takeoff roll, I came to realise what just how loud a prop could be, even from the inside. Well obviously as I was sitting slightly frontwards of it.

Window layout of Row 1 and 2

Row 1 does give lot's of legroom. I could easily cross my legs without bumping into the bulkhead in front of me. The only downside is that you do not have any floor storage for your bags, which can be a bit of a hassle if you are a photographer who switches lens during the flight a lot. My bag can be seen in the tiny compartment above the seat. 

Do note that the storage space above 1A / 1C is used to house the cabin crew's dummy oxygen mask, seatbelt and life jacket. The crew will also ask if you are OK with helping out during an emergency since we were at the emergency exit row.

Mt. Kinabalu??? Nah.. just some cloud formations

Flight was smooth and uneventful. We touched down at Subang on time. Even managed to grab a shot from my seat row.

ATR72 Interior

Subang Airport plays host to Malindo, Firefly and to other business jets. Malindo's slot was at the end of the terminal, which gave me good opportunities to snap along the way.

9M-FIA being prepared for its flight

I had about 30 minutes of transit time. 15 minutes of which were used to check in my bag to Langkawi. They do not automatically transfer passengers who are transiting at Subang to Langkawi. So I had to wait for my bag, scan my bag, queue at the counter and check it in again. So now, for the remaining 15 minutes. Instinctively, I went to the viewing deck (Anjung Tinjau). Not much, but you get a clear view.

Viewing Deck

Subang Airport Terminal

Went one round just to have a look. There is a McDonalds' outlet which has a very limited view of the apron where Malindo aircraft are parked. From the picture above, there is an aircraft simulator just to the left. It was rather warm in the terminal. Either the AC is not working that well, or that I am near the main door, or that I have been walking.

Time's up and I was once again waiting for my flight. From what I heard, there were 3 flights to Langkawi, all within 30 minutes. I guess this is to cope with the increased passenger number for the LIMA event. Mine was the last of the 3 for that time.


Boarding from the aft

I was at 1A again. Being me, I whipped out a piece of tissue, and polished the window screen ( I know some of you do that too ). Wouldn't want a shot to go bad due to stains on the window pane.

Some views from 1A before and after takeoff.


Props in action

The complimentary snacks were a packet of biscuit and a cup of water. Good enough for me. 
In about 1 hour and 15 minutes, we were already in the vicinity of Langkawi International Airport. A shot taken just before touchdown shows how beautiful the island can be.


The maritime display fleet was parked on the other side of the airport, but since I was at 1A, I did not manage to get anything. Those on the right would have had a great view.

The apron has been officially converted to the display area, with helicopters, fighters, business jets and MORE aircraft parked there.

LIMA display area (saw the J10s?) 

One thing I like about Langkawi is how we had to walk on the tarmac to the terminal area. This gave lots of opportunity for apron shots of arriving aircraft. And since it was LIMA period, there were lots of visits from military aircraft and business jets.

Malaysia Airlines B737-8H6 (9M-MXP)

Indonesian Air Force C-130H (A-1320)

Air Asia A320-216 (9M-AHA)

Aircraft on static display

Air Asia 'Ninetology' (9M-AHG)

Actually arrived on the 16th, which was one day before the LIMA exhibition, but will skip to the opening right away. Wondered how I got the idea to skip. It is Langkawi, and here are some of the attractions that one could go to while one is there.

Hornbill in the trees

First stop was the cable car (SkyCab) up to the hanging bridge. Ticket price was about RM25, though you should show them your IC if you are local to get this rate. It is much more costly without it.

Before going on the cable car, all visitors were required to experience a 3D display in one of the domes. Its basically a room with seats inside a hemisphere. Some projectors project image onto the ceiling of it, giving all a full 360 view. The display is essentially a roller coaster ride. One could feel a wee bit dizzy after the display.

Waiting in line

The line was long, but fast moving. Each car took 6 people.

View from the SkyCab

Ride was fun, going up one of the steepest slope to the mid-point, before continuing up to the last station, where the suspension bridge is located.

Mid-point view

Another view of one section of Langkawi before proceeding to the next station.

Suspension bridge from a distance

Last station

Looked like there was some construction works going on to build a transit system to link the station to the head of the suspension bridge. Though since it was not ready, all tourist had to hike about 400m to the end of the suspension bridge, walk the length of the entire bridge, then hike back to the station. Be prepared.

Suspension Bridge

Not bad for a day's visit, which would last me a few months or maybe a year (or two) before I return to Langkawi for LIMA 2017. Now, on to the display. Will start a new post.