A Tale of a Prince Who Finally Learnt How To Fly

8 Jan

Prince Ding when he was 3 years old

Once upon a time, there was a Prince who is dearly known as Ding. He was born in 1952 in Kelantan. Since it was during post-war era, his beloved mother thought that it was best for him to stay in Kelantan with his Grandmother, Tengku Zainab while the rest of the family return to Johor. Tengku Zainab is the daughter of Sultan Muhammad ke-4 Kelantan and like any other grandmother showered her grandson with attention and love. A manny, Yeng, was assigned to take care of his well-being. He bathed him, fed him, played with him and took him to school. Ding would ride on his horses or read his comics during his free time. He also dream that one day he would be able to fly a plane, just like in the comic books.

Tengku Zainab : Prince Ding's Grandmother

As he grew up, guess where did he apply to work? Malaysia Singapore Airlines in the 70s, now known as Malaysia Airlines System (MAS). Fate had it that he did not become a Pilot but did ground work instead. Yet he kept his dream alive and have strong passion for aviation industry. He worked there for 38 years before retiring and have quite a collection of aircraft models at home.

Ding's Plane Collection 1

Part of Ding's Plane Collection

Ding is my dad. I remember how he saved money to take us for a family holiday around the world every single year. Every time we fly, he would make his daughters (my elder sister especially) to go into the cockpit and get the Pilot’s autograph as part of traveling journal. He on the other hand would have the chance to pretend flying the aircraft while it was on auto-pilot mode. Whenever he was on duty, he would find chance to make friends with the pilots, first-officers or even chief crews and slip into the cockpit. I find it very cute. He even had his excuses like to go to London every now and then just to buy some pretty dresses for his daughters, so that he would have more time to spend in the cockpit.

Tengku Nasrudin in his MSA uniform

My dad is a very kind, sweet and loving man. Frankly, I have not bought any birthday presents for him for a couple of years already. After celebrating his birthday for at least 25 times, I ran out of ideas on what to get him. I always want birthday presents to be special, especially for your someone-special. I rather not give anything than give something that you don’t give much thought of. That is how fussy I could get. What are your favorite presents to your own dads? Some ideas please? Since Daddy is turning 60 this year, I decided to buy him a flying lesson as his birthday present.

My Dad turning 60 years old

The moment I bought THE present, I was really excited myself. I was so excited myself until I had to make sure that I and my hubby get to fly with him on his 1st flight! Once the date for his 1st flight was set, I got daddy to play daily puzzle to reveal his present. He loves solving riddles and puzzles. He used to participate in Treasure Hunts with my late mum ever since I was small. Anyway, what I did was I gave him a letter of a word ‘CESSNA 172’ (not in order) every day for him to solve. On the last day, after he got his last letter, on the way to Subang Skypark then only he finally managed to solve the anagram. Unfortunately, our plan was anti-climaxed when the cloud was too low for us to fly on that day. I was frustrated and woke up every morning since then looking at the clouds trying to reschedule my dad’s 1st flying lesson. Lucky for us as the weather improved. It was the longest 3 weeks and I had to keep myself busy to take my mind off the flying lesson. The day before flying I had to remind hubby to make sure that all the cameras and batteries were charged. What did Kiasu me bring along? Besides our camera phones, Ipin’s Nikon D3, GoPro Hero video camera (to be mounted on Cessna) and my little Cisco Flip HD video camera.

Daddy and me : recording flying class with Cisco Flip HD Video Camera

Knowing your Cessna session

Daddy’s lesson was schedule at 11am and I had to make sure that my two men had their breakfast to avoid any ’emergencies’ which requires the toilet. As we arrived at Subang Skypark, we were greeted by Captain Omar Shariff who was going to teach my dad some flying  and plane basics as well as safety procedure. At that point, Daddy was still thinking that Captain Omar was going to fly and he was just going to be the ‘navigator’ who will be touching the steering once a while. He was wrong! During the short flying class, I had to remind him a few times to pay attention to Captain Omar as “You ARE going to fly this plane Dad!”. Daddy is so cute when he is nervous.

Daddy getting ready to fly

Prince who finally learnt how to fly

It was time for his practical training. 1st time to fly a plane. No more auto-pilot mode. “Yes Daddy, you ARE flying this plane. Do enjoy the flight but please be mindful that you have your daughter and her paparazzi husband on-board too”. We took a couple more photos before getting into the cute little tiny Cessna. If you have experienced being in a car with someone who have just learned how to drive, my experience flying with my Dad was ten times worse than that! I just had to keep my cool and keep a positive attitude along the way. First was the taxi – getting the plane onto the runaway. Daddy was getting used to the steering and going left and right and some abrupt brakings in between. No sweat.

Passengers' view on Cessna

Cessna approaching KLCC by Captain Tengku Nasrudin

Then we took off and the nervous feeling was blown away by the breathtaking aerial view of Kuala Lumpur. It was unbelievable. I felt as if I was flying too because the plane did not have aircond and so we have to open the window to get some fresh air in. It was not long before i started having some motion sickness. Daddy was going up and down and sharp turns to the left and right. Honestly, the strong wind and my 30 years experience of flying on commercial aircraft did not help either. I reminded myself to breath in and out and focus on the beautiful KLCC and other landscapes of KL.

Aerial view of Kuala Lumpur from Cessna by Ariffin Aris

After 20 minutes of flying, I was ready to vomit. I had to give in and held onto my Mr Photographer when Dad did his ‘up & down’. At that time, it was not funny or cute anymore. If any of you decide to do this, please have some chewing gum or mint or asam with you. It will help to keep you sober for a while. After 30 minutes of flying, we made our way back and landed safely. It was such a relief and I really hope that my Dad a great time flying. Can you tell from the video (to be uploaded soon courtesy of Ariffin Aris) below?

Tengku Nasrudin and Captain Omar Shariff with Cessna


9 Responses to “A Tale of a Prince Who Finally Learnt How To Fly”

  1. Kalamazad December 14, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    I think you should visit http://www.aviationcraft2011.blogspot.com for your choice of birthday present to your dad in fucture

    • kureen December 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      Wow, pretty neat stuff and would definitely consider the models for my Dad’s next birthday present. Which one would you recommend? Am thinking of getting one for one of our clients who is in the aerospace industry as well. What do you propose?

  2. Rin Ahmad January 11, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    i would like to share ur xp on homebirth with my readers but the comment box is closed.
    cn i translate ur xp into my writing(e-novel)?
    & u really did that? huh! still with my forehead ups & down. Unbelievable.
    Do u knw can it be done with 1st baby?

    • kureen January 11, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      Hi Rin,
      Yes of course you can share my water home birth experience with your readers and yes the comment box was closed. Now I’ve opened it up for you and your readers to share with others. I only open it by request from time to time.
      Yes you may translate it into your e-novel with credits or links to this blog please. It is my hope that with my experience and blog, it will inspire more people, women or men.
      Yes, it can be done with 1st baby and many acquaintance of mine has done it. You will find links in the water home birth posts to Hypnobirthing and support group for home/gentle birth in Malaysia. There will be Part 4 of my water home birth soon, so stay tune and do follow Happy Hippie Avenue 🙂

      • Rin Ahmad January 11, 2012 at 10:46 am #

        I’m doing Mech with Nieza actually. She told me bout this. Again, amazing & thanx. This xp sure hit a different happy ending to my heroine..hahaha…tq. XOXO!!
        will link urs to my blog to.

  3. Azilawati January 9, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    ‘rather not give anything than give something that you don’t give much thought of’ that is so true and agreed on that. Keep on writing Kureen, I have started to fall in love with your writing.

    • kureen January 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      You make me blush whenever you re-quote what I write, Azila. To my surprise, people like my writings more when I get a bit ’emotional’ on certain things. hehehe, even though I tried not to. Appreciate your feedback once again 🙂

  4. Shikin January 9, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    OMG best present ever. That was so sweet Erina, I’m so happy for Dad for having such a wonderful creative daughter to get him the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime!

    • kureen January 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks Shikin, the least I could do to cheer him up after mummy passed away. Sometimes I get misunderstood for being too blunt with my opinions…hehehe. Don’t we second child always do?

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