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Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Airstrip Checkout

Warning: Non-pilots may find this post boring. Yesterday I had the privilege of getting checked out at another airstrip. Many of the airstrips that we operate in and out of here on a regular basis are quite challenging. However, there's two or three that are just truly "exciting!" This is one of them.

As necessary we build in margins (through reduced loading on take-off etc.) to make our operations safe. It's not uncommon to have to reduce our loading on take-off by anywhere from 50 to 120 kg with our turbo 206's. With the non-turbo it's even more.

At Sungai Barang, the airstrip that I just got checked out at, we have to reduce take-off loading by 230 kg in the turbo! That's over 500lbs! On many of our strips, if it's recently rained or the grass is wet, the pilot will als0 reduce loading on landing. This one of the few strips where it's actually mandated in our aistrip directy (minus 120kg landing in normal conditions.) Suffice to say, it's truly a "short field," but we still operate routinely and safely within our margins.

I'm looking forward to serving the people of Sungai Barang!


theda said...

Truly Amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Dave you really shouldn't tell your mother about these kinds of airstrips. Really, I'm just kidding. It makes me pray harder for you everyday. I know you are well trained and very capable of flying on this kind of airstrip.


Dave Downing said...

Awesome pics of Sungai-Barang. How long is usable and what altitude is the strip?
Congrats on getting through your "re-standardization" does Jason do those?
Keep up the good work.

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Nope, not boring at all! And I'm not a pilot, but I am an MK who regularly flew in and out of these kinds of airstrips, so naturally this is very interesting! I have to say, though, that this particular airstrip looks pretty tricky! :o