May 22nd -
Phuket, Thailand to Jakarta, Indonesia
9 hrs 35min non stop flying
flight lay ahead with a 9 hour flight to Jakarta. We decided to
get airborne as early as possible, we were at the airport at 5am
but when we got there there was no one else at the airport so
we could not clear customs, immigration or get the weather. After
3 hours of waiting and paperwork we started PH-SMD.
to runway 27 (the same runway we landed on yesterday) and after
takeoff turned south to pick up our track on climb to 10,000 feet.
It was a cooler outside so the climb was better than expected.
Our final cruise height ended than at 12,000 feet (outside air
temperature 9 degrees, groundspeed 120kts with a 15kt headwind.
On-route we had an excellent view of Kuala Lumpur (KL) and then
Singapore. Singapore Airport could be seen from the left window
and the skyscrapers of the city from the right hand side. We flew
direct over the city at 11,000 feet, below in the harbor there
were many ships docked.
to Jakarta was again made on HF as we could not raise them on
VHF radio. 10 minutes to the boundary we reeled out the aerial
and raised Jakarta Radio without any problem on 8.957MHz. Soon
after we made contact on 119.2MHz, VHF. We were a little concerned
that the relevant authorities in Indonesia would be informed of
our arrival and clearance number. We had been advised that the
civil authorities, military and ministry of foreign affairs all
needed to be contacted. Our man on the ground, Mr. Ujang Suganda
who organised the clearances assured us all would be ok.
could be seen as we entered Jakarta airspace. Towering Cumulus
and Cumulus Nimbus thunder clouds were dotted around us. We weaved
around towering clouds which had a base of around 8,000 feet and
rose well above 15,000 feet. As we were already as high as we
could go (12,000 feet) we could not climb above the clouds but
we could go around the majority. For the few Cumulus clouds we
had to fly through the turbulence was not that severe.
Our reason for
a stopover of two nights in Jakarta is Alan's friend William Furney
lives in Jakarta. William moved to Jakarta 5 years ago and is
married to Sara, they have two children, Wallis and Reuven. William
works as a foreign corespondent for a Spanish news agency and
Sara is the Principle of an English school.
Landing at Halim
International Airport (nearby Jakarta International) we were impressed
by the wide selection of aircraft at the airport. Halim is a joint
military and civil airport for light aircraft and executive jets.
It also seems to be an aircraft graveyard with engineless aircraft
parked around the field. Again we saw ATR42's at Halim, since
leaving Europe at many of the airports we have visited the ATR
is doing the short haul work.
We parked the
aircraft and were met by a "follow me" truck which gave
us a lift to the terminal. A quick visit to immigration and that
was it (customs didn't want to see us). William pulled up in his
car with his driver. It was good to see William again after 2
years. The traffic in Jakarta was worse than Dublin, it took us
a hour to get back to the house with some adventurous driving
on the way. William and Sara had kindly organised a Barbecue for
us that evening. We spent the evening relaxing on the back verandah
drinking Bombay Sapphire and cocktails. A very pleasant evening
followed by a much welcome sleep after our long day. Tomorrow
is a rest day to be spent sight seeing around Jakarta and planning
for our flight to Bali on Saturday. Bali will be a 4 hour flight
but with mountains rising to 14,000 feet and active volcanos on
route we need to spend some time selecting the best route for
Many thanks to
William, Sara and family for putting us up in Jakarta, a much
welcomed rest stop. Jakarta was an impressive city (in spite of
an incident in which we had some property stolen from William's
car, something tourists are subject to anywhere in the world)
Alan and William in Jakarta