Simulator Training in Singapore

Trip Start Feb 05, 1990
Trip End Jan 31, 2005

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What I did
Simulator Training

Flag of Singapore  ,
Friday, February 17, 1995

Maj Brandie Branders as the 28 Squadron Training Officer finally managed to convince Air Command that there was a huge benefit in doing training on a simulator as it could simulate emergencies we could not do in the aircraft.  This was quite difficult (to convince Air Command) as most of the Generals were Flammies (Fighter Pilots roughly translated as flaming arses) and had no idea of piloting prop driven aircraft.

The biggest problem from what I gathered was that they did not understand that there were more options than just shutting down the engine, and that for every individual option you had a multitude of different sub-sets of emergencies and condition's which could result ie not only did you have to shut down an engine, you had to feather the propeller as well, and a no 3 engine shutdown with the prop feathered was totally different that a no 3 engine shutdown with the prop not feathering.

Luckily he persisted and today most of the training for 28 Squadron conversions is done on the simulator which saves the SAAF money and is a whole lot safer - as an example world-wide more aircraft were lost during training for 2 engines out on the same side that were ever lost in actual 2 engine out emergencies.

Any case, so during February 1995 I set of to Singapore and Asia Pacific for the first of 3 training sessions in Singapore.  What an amazing experience, and my first flight in a Civilian Airline overseas.  What fun, free booze!

Had a whale of a time with lots of spending money, and everything was so cheap, but must say I overdid it and bought so much stuff on my first trip I did not have money for lunch for the rest of the week :).

But in the years till I left 28 Squadron it was remarkable how much better the crews were at handling emergencies.  On my first trip the Flight Engineer could not even find the emergency in the DASH-1 :), before leaving the Squadron we had an actual on the same emergency - engine fire, no one's heart rate even went up, just boom boom and done, down and dusted.  Money well spent!

It was very busy for the Nav though as we used to take 2 crews of Pilots and Flight Engineers and only one Nav.  So the Nav did a morning session in the Sim, technical classes with both crews over lunch, and an afternoon Sim.  Knackered by the time you got out of the sim, I must say.  But very good experience and everyone became a lot better at their work - I learned to monitor the overhead panel during take as the Flight Engineer was monitoring the engines right in front of him and just glancing at the overhead now and again. 

Was not what I was required to do, but an extra pair of eyes never hurt, and it helped to be in the sim and have the time to learn what to look for.  It helped as I once noticed a problem on the overhead panel - just touched the engineer and pointed, with immediate effect.


officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.

Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the 2nd century AD. It hosted a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Occupied by the Japanese in World War II, Singapore declared independence, uniting with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963, although it was separated from Malaysia two years later. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore is the world's fourth leading financial centre, and its port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 26% of Singapore's GDP in 2005.

Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959, and governs on the basis of a strong state and prioritising collective welfare over individual rights such as freedom of assembly, an approach that has attracted criticism from organisations such as Freedom House.

Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of whom 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, Singapore also hosts the APEC Secretariat, and is a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth.

The earliest known settlement on Singapore was in the 2nd century AD. It was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire, named
Temasek ('sea town'). Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, it was part of the Sultanate of Johor. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt the settlement down, and the island sank into obscurity for two centuries.

In 1819, Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the British East India Company to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post. In 1824 the whole island became a British possession under a further treaty whereby the Sultan and the Temenggong handed it over to the British East India Company. In 1826 it became part of the Straits Settlements, a British colony. By 1869, 100,000 people lived on the island.  In World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya, culminating in the Battle of Singapore. The British were defeated, and surrendered on 15 February 1942. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". The Japanese occupied Singapore until the British repossessed it in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender.

Singapore's first general election, in 1955, was won by the pro-independence David Marshall, leader of the Labour Front. Demanding complete self-rule, he led a delegation to London but was turned down by the British. He resigned on return and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock, whose policies convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.

In elections in May 1959 the People's Action Party won a landslide victory and immediately made Singapore a self-governing state within the Commonwealth, with Lee Kuan Yew as the first prime minister. Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara until December 1959, when he was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak, later the first President of Singapore.

Singapore declared independence from Britain on 31 August 1963, before joining the new Federation of Malaysia in September along with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum. Tunku Abdul Rahman separated Singapore from the Federation two years later, after heated ideological conflict between the ruling parties of Malaya and Singapore.

Singapore gained sovereignty as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the Commonwealth) on 9 August 1965, with Yusof bin Ishak as president and Lee Kuan Yew still as prime minister. In 1970 it joined the Non-aligned movement, and in 1976 it helped found the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In 1990, Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee as prime minister. During his tenure, the country faced the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the 2003 SARS outbreak, and terrorist threats posed by Jemaah Islamiyah. In 2004, Lee Hsien Loong, eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the third prime minister.
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