Saturday, August 30, 2014

Visiting an old flying pal ....Andrew Lian

I first get to know Andrew Lian in 1983. That was the time I was instructing on ultralights. He came in as one of the volunteer instructors and I gave him a check ride on the Quick Silver MX2 Ultralight. I found this uncle to be very well coordinated and can really fly the machine by the seat of his pants. We became instant friends and I got to know he was a Simulator instructor in Singapore Airlines. In the simulator he flies the Boeing 707 , 727 and B747.

In the early days he would fly up to KL to fly ultralights on the weekends and he stays with me quite a few times. Likewise whenever I am in Singapore his home was always open to me. At one point of time somewhere in 1987 Andrew was encouraging me to join SIA as an airline pilot. He arranged for me an informal chat with his nephew Gerald who was at that time a training captain on the 747 fleet (Today I was told he is the VP ops in SIA!). Well I could not agree on certain terms and stuck on to flying helicopters.

Andrew is almost 90 years old and when I visited him in Johore he is still very much alive when we talked about flying. His favourite is instrument flying and he had derived some short cuts to master instrument flying. To the younger pilots who had flown with me many of the short cuts that I talk about in flight are from this great man!

One of the ocassion that I remembered most was when Andrew was an instructor in Kuching in the 1980s. In those days the ultralights had no intercom so the students would have to be thoroughly briefed before the flight exercise. One of the ground handlers after listening to Andrew briefing his students many times decided that he can when Andrew went away for lunch this ground crew took off and bounced back (a hard one but he survived!)
Today Andrew is still trying to master flying the Bell 206 but on the Microsoft Flight simulator! Old pilots never die...
Of course his son Dennis is also a pilot but for a career he has chosen motor racing!

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