Pilot Career Center - Global
Pilot Career Center - Global

B737-200F First Officer

Pilot's Blog

Pilot Details
Company Transmile Cargo
Based in KL, Malaysia
Age 27
Gender Male
Pilot's Blog

I have been with Transmile Air for over five months now as a First Officer

on the B737-200 Freighter. These recent months has been an excellent

learning experience; not only do I get the opportunity of a lifetime to fly

a jet aircraft but to also experience the life here in South East Asia is

definitely a pleasant treat!

Transmile Air is a privately-owned company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

and is a publicly traded on the Malaysia Stock Exchange. The company

utilizes a 15-aircraft fleet of c-208s, B737s, and B727s freighter aircraft

on scheduled cargo operations throughout Asia. Our major customers include

DHL, Pos Malaysia, UPS, CEN Worldwide and a few various logistics companies

to add to list. Our destinations include India, Singapore, Indonesia,

East-West Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Macau,

Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The company is

progressively expanding and thus the future looks bright and secure for

Transmile Air.

Before I joined Transmile Air, I started out as a bush pilot in Northern

Ontario and Manitoba on the C-185 and Beavers (See my caption under Float

Pilots). Later, I became a dispatcher for a local airline in the West Coast

(Again, see my caption under Non-Flying Positions) before joining my present

company. I am sure the next question many will asked is exactly how did I

land this overseas job with pretty much no turbine nor multi time. There is

no magic formula here but I think the answer lies with being persistent and

having some patience. The call to this job didn't came in an instant. For

over one year, I had to continously maintain a good relation with the

company chief pilot and pretty much had to convince him to take me on

despite being a foreigner. Luckily, the right time came and with that one

phone call and next thing I knew I was off to Malaysia! The point to make

is to never give up and continue to try to market yourself as a valuable

employee to the companies you wish to work for. Go with the right attitude

and right mindset, and everything else will fall into place. The more

effort is put in, the more you will get back in return!

Licensing is not too much of a big issue here. As long as you have the

right qualifications and employment is granted from a Malaysian carrier,

the DCA here will provide you with a "validation" meaning you are permitted

to fly here based on your foreign license until such time where you will

need to sit at least six (UK) ATPL papers and perhaps other Performance

papers (again, depending on your qualifications) in order to obtain a full

Malaysian ATPL. The above mentioned only applies if you hold a non-UK or

JAA licenses whereas the Malaysian DCA will convert your license at par if

you do hold UK or JAA licenses. Lastly, there are two air law papers that

must be completed prior to aircraft training.

Our grounschool is in-house and simulator training for the B737-200 is done

in Hyderabad, India which the company had wet leased from Indian Airlines.

Going to India for the first time was a very exciting idea as I have never

been to that part of the world before and seeing India first hand was a very

interesting trip to say the least. After successfully passing the checkride,

off we go to the aircraft to for a few circuits plus a few engine cuts to

get our PPC endorsed on the license. After that, the trainees start their

line training. Our company requires new trainees to complete a minimum of

40 sectors of flying before going for the line-check with a company aircraft

examiner. On top of this, we have to go for a Dangerous Goods, Safety and

Emergency as well as a wet drill course to be fully qualified as a flight


Flying the B737-200 is definitely a dream come true for me as that was the

very first aircraft I ever travelled on as a passenger. Despite having

minimum turbine exprience, learning about the B737 inside and out was not

that difficult provided the right effort and the right attitude is there.

Other than learning how to handle the aircraft, I had to overcome the

language barriers with Air Traffic Controllers where English is not their

mother tongue; I supposed only time and more exposure would do the trick!!

Flying into different airports throughout Asia and gaining exposure in

International operations is also something different and exciting otherwise

not being able to experience while in Canada. The amount of massive

thunderstorms throughout the entire day here also makes flying a challenge

at times.

Like any other freighter companies, we have to cope with a lot of night

flying as well as a lot of awkward schedules from really early morning

departures and not returning to base until noon or afternoon in most days.

Due to our nature of work, we often have two week detachments (sometimes one

month) away from home which is not favoured by crews already married.

Living in Kuala Lumpur is a blast. This vibrant, metropolitan city is a

mixture of the Malays, Chinese, and Indians molded together into what is

Kuala Lumpur today. There are many things to do and see here and the

varieties of night life here is sufficient to keep your curiousity busy. It

is quite a modern city so you can pretty much find all the amenities we all

come to expect from a modernized city. The predominant language spoken here

is Bahasa Melayu but you can get by with English without much problems. If

you love food, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are definitely the places to

come!!! If being outdoors is more suited for you, there are ample of islands

for scuba diving, backpacking, and also hiking. They are readily available

outside of Kuala Lumpur and these places are usually easily reached by

automobile. Being located close to the equator brings 365 humid and hot

days and frequent thunderstorms and showers in the late afternoon. Like

anything else, come with an open-mind and you will enjoy the experiences

that comes along with living overseas.

Overall, I must say my experience so far has been second to none and I have

enjoyed every minute of it. If you do have an opportunity to come to this

part of the world, then I say take the plunge and make the move!

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