Saturday, July 11, 2015

'Life is a Journey not a Destination' YH#15

                                                                                               Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image:1  A youthful Yusuf Hashim with his trophy, 38 years ago ..20-June-1977, on the grass apron of Runaway 22, Alor Setar Airstrip, Kedah, Malaysia (see full narration below)

                                                                                    Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 2  No GPS then, just 'primitive topo maps and other implements' to grope along in the clouds

The Modern Day Explorer YH#15
The Modern Day Explorer YH#14 (here)

Prompt #40 Quote #6 : For Vinay's APED quote
of  "Life is a Journey, not a Destination"  -  R W Emerson'
PU's Poetry Pantry #260 : For Mary's hosting

One often wonders. What push endurance to such a degree that time and space are just facts to be encountered and noted. This is Yusuf Hashim's journey! He is skillfully going towards his destination. He is not just an explorer who honed his skills just yesterday. No, not easy to go through his life's journeys (see YH#14 and the rest) if not fully equipped and fully prepared early in life. He pushed himself to be an achiever. That is why he is still at it feeling young at the ripe old age, oops! of 70!

The prose below was posted in Yusuf's FB on July 09, 2015 and Hank received permission yesterday to share this one aspect of Yusuf's talents not known to Hank before. This obviously laid bare his amazing self to be able to sustain his fantastic 'exploits' currently being shared in blogosphere!

The Haiku
An amazing feat
Passion not built in a day
Nurtured through out life

The Prose
Another Blast from the Past 
......
Yusuf Hashim says,
38 years ago .... 20-June-1977, on the grass apron of Runaway 22, Alor Setar Airstrip, when bell bottoms were in style, everything was gung-ho, and nothing was impossible. Today bell bottoms are out, everything is still gung-ho but the flesh is just a little unwilling. So I write more than I do physical things.

In the accompanying photo (above), this smirking young pilot is holding his Champion's Trophy -- won two days earlier in the International Air Navigation Competition, at the Hua Hin Air Rally in Thailand. Seemed like it was just yesterday. As you age, your past often flashes across your mind. It's like your computer asking you - "Do you want to send these files to the Recycle Bin or do you want to erase them forever? Of course I want to KEEP them forever. So I reminisce to keep them alive. Lest the ageing neurons delete them forever

I had flown the Cessna from Kuantan to Hua Hin, to compete in the Air Rally there. And now I'm flying it back with my trophy strapped down by the safety belt in the empty passenger seat. The Cessna 150 Skyhawk, call sign, 9M-AUR, is a two-seater, and it belonged to the Pahang Flying Club, where I was a founder member and its secretary at that time. I was also the first member to get my wings from the club. Malaysian PPL #1965. I wonder who is Private Pilot Licence Number #0007. For your info, those pilots who fly commercial jets hold ATPL or Air Transport Pilot Licences

And Alor Setar was just a refueling stop , like Phuket and Hat Yai. The detour to Phuket was made necessary because of a large tropical storm over Hat Yai which was unsafe for a light plane to fly into. Only another 2.5 hours more of solo flying over the main range, to reach home in Kuantan from Alor Setar.

Flying your own plane, all alone 2.5 kilometers up in the sky, has got to be among life's most unforgettable experiences.The plane is all trimmed out. Your hands are off the stick. You are dying for a cigarette, so you light up a cigarette. Nobody is there to say you couldn't, or you shouldn't. What could be more exhilarating than that? However, after a couple of puffs you decide its probably not wise. So you snuff the cigarette out into a large empty Milo tin you brought on board, because your poor rear end didn't quite agree with all that delicious unhygienic sea food you had in Hua Hin.
It was a LARGE Milo tin. I brought it on board just in case I needed it. Thank goodness I didn't. Otherwise it would have been quite an embarrassing tale, describing the yoga-type of gymnastics needed to poo into a Milo tin, 2.5 km up in the sky, while trying to still be in control of a tiny two seater plane. Some people I know, boastfully describe in detail, the gymnastics needed when they became members of the exclusive seven-mile-high club. I believe, if I had poo-ed into that Milo tin at 2.5 km up, I would have been the Charter Life President of the world's most exclusive Odd-Ball Club. But that was not to be.

However, the Milo tin was already open and I felt like peeing. So I peed into the Milo tin and I told myself I was simply making sure the cigarette was well snuffed out. I'm smiling now because it was a perfect Mr Bean moment.

Those days we had no GPS, and to find our way in the air, we used only Topo Maps, a compass, a combined protractor and parallel rule, and the flight "computer" as shown in the second photo. We also made use of features like Railway lines, prominent landmarks and DR or dead reckoning, to establish our positions. The map is on my lap as I fly VFR (Visual Flight Rules), looking out to the ground occasionally, trying to identify prominent ground features, just to ensure I am on the right track. It's nerve wrecking and you are on an adrenalin high most of the time.

Those were good days indeed. Aviation Gasoline or Avgas was only 60 sen per gallon, and was tax exempted for Flying Clubs. And single engine airplanes were relatively cheap too. We bought this Cessna 150 on Hire Purchase for only RM95,000. For comparison, my new Volvo 144 at that time was RM27,000. Now it costs nearly a thousand ringgit an hour to fly. And to maintain your licence you have to fly a certain minimum number of hours a year. I can no longer afford to fly for fun, so I simply let my PPL licence lapse........

I want to conclude by telling you I've also stopped smoking. I am actually a smoker. I stop occasionally only because I wanted to set a good example for my kids and grandkids, to show them that cold turkey is the best and most effective way to stop smoking. But I ain't succeeding because my eldest ones are still smoking .......oh how I love the good old days when I used to take one or two of my daddy's cigarettes while he was having his afternoon nap.....

28 comments:

  1. This was extremely interesting to read Hank, As you so rightly say life is a journey, for some the journey is hard going for others easy,
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad we have gps now. And when you gotta pee, you gotta pee lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you have to go, you have to go.
    I'm not fond of planes and heights, so I'm glad there are people like Yusuf who enjoy doing it. Shame it got too expensive for him to fly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This speak to in so many ways! If only my husband blogged... he is a pilot currently grounded =( . He took a fall and was hospitalized for several months. FAA surgeon says 1 year get better, he would love this. Although his current passion was flying the water dropping helicopters for out local fire dept. I loved the story and the Haiku AND the photo, old photographs tell a story all on their own...... and the HDR added to it's interesting history!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to do what he does, he said to me he is spending his kid's inheritance. I guess ours won't get anything either and we haven't travelled nearly so much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not sure I could survive going anywhere without a GPS.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, when you've got to go you've got to go! Nicely as you might say Hank - and s/he who wears bell bottoms is an unstoppable force!

    ReplyDelete
  8. a wonderful read...passion needs to be nurtured indeed...I like that he quit smoking, a great feat...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree, life is a beautiful journey filled with surprises at each corner.. lessons to be learned.. goals to achieve.. life is not a destination.. rather its a stepping stone to reaching our true one. Beautifully captured :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow. Good on him. Passion alone does not get you there. Hard work, practice and failure do. But when you have passion, the other things become a bit easier.

    ReplyDelete
  11. passion for thing can lead us to top

    ReplyDelete
  12. We all have dreams but to achieve them is another matter entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  13. An interesting write, Hank; but there doesn't seem to be a poem of yours here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will let this stand this week, but next week please share a poem you have written. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. The haiku is supposed to legitimize the posting. Never mind, I'll get a proper poem done for the future

      Hank

      Delete
  14. Passion is like fire, if we never add some wood, the ember will fade into ash,..

    ReplyDelete
  15. I enjoyed this Hank - he certainly has had a life filled with passion and life is indeed about the journey not the destination.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good for him, thanks for sharing Hank ~

    ReplyDelete
  17. I see the Haibun/Haiku here and love them--I also enjoyed the shared passage. Sometimes we don't see those heroes as human, but these words fix that. And I loved the reflection: "It's like your computer asking you - "Do you want to send these files to the Recycle Bin or do you want to erase them forever? "

    ReplyDelete
  18. What an enjoyable read, Hank!! I especially enjoyed the contemplation of what gymnastics would be involved in using the Milo tin, LOL. Careful not to jostle the joystick! Plane might do some unplanned loop de loops!

    ReplyDelete
  19. this was such an interesting read

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fascinating - and your haiku is an apt commentary. He's wrong about cold turkey being the best way to stop smoking, though. I stopped gradually over 3 months in 1987, via the brilliant SmokeEnders course, and never started again, Your friend, it seems, keeps stopping and re-starting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Another great poem, with the background you always provide this is a fun series.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like it! Passion is not built in a day... interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Loved the quote and everything else!

    ReplyDelete
  24. After doing some online research, I've ordered my first electronic cigarette kit from VaporFi.

    ReplyDelete