Aircraft loaded, pre-flight checklist complete, engine start, clearance received, and off we go soaring into the skies at full throttle headed home to Thailand. Sounds simple right? It was not. What happens behind the scenes of every single flight is like a beautiful 90-minute long orchestra concert that actually took hundreds of hours of preparation and practice between several musicians operating different instruments before showcasing their performance on stage when the curtains drop. This is the perfect example to illustrate our ferry flight from Singapore and most importantly how we operate as a team at Siam Seaplane.
A ferry flight is a process of delivering an aircraft, and in this case, our first Cessna Grand Caravan EX C208B had to be relocated from Singapore to Thailand. To make the journey, our team had to prepare multiple documents weeks in advance for several authorities to issue the associated permits for flying out of Singapore, through Malaysia and entering Thailand. We all had to ensure the aircraft was properly loaded and fueled through careful calculation of weight and balance to ensure the aircraft is well within safety limits; as well as conduct a test flight in the busy skies above Seletar Airport. When the captain gave the green light that the aircraft was safe to fly and satisfied with all aspects of the meticulously planned flight, we were finally able to board the aircraft and fly her home.
Smiles were lit up around the cockpit and cabin as the powerful Pratt & Whitney engine came to life and started rotating the propeller. We ran by our checklists point by point and in no time we were lined up on the runway. “Cleared for takeoff” radioed Seletar tower and off we went, releasing the brakes and smoothly increasing power to our newly acquired aircraft on her maiden flight to Thailand. Lifting off the ground was an incredible experience of mixed emotions. We were all immensely happy that our efforts have led us to this moment, but this was no time for celebration as we were climbing to 10,000 feet and now entering Malaysian airspace. Once leveled off we all cheered and admired the capabilities of the aircraft while cruising through beautiful weather over Malaysia and mildly turbulent air right before our first stop in Krabi, Thailand to refuel the aircraft and go through customs and immigration. One more flight to go, a total of 4.30 hours of combined flight time for our ferry. Flying the last leg of the day was comforting as we were now in our very own familiar Thai airspace. Our assigned altitude had us flying right over a sea of clouds, what we pilots call “Cloud Surfing” which always puts a smile on your face.
When we finally touched down at our final destination Hua Hin Airport, it was clear that we had reached a new milestone here at Siam Seaplane. I could not help but reflect back on the hard times we went through as a team to make this happen. The years we spent to get to this point has paid off and all of this is just the very beginning. The journey continues for all of us here at Siam Seaplane as we continue to work endless hours to realize our dream as a seaplane operator — and starting with our ground-to-ground charter and sightseeing service Siam Scenic imminently — and I am truly grateful to be a part of an incredible team.