ALK-VA | 'Monara' E-Zine

  News Magazine of SriLankan Virtual Airlines



12-12-12  First Flight to Hambantota International [VCHI]

Notam: Photo real Sri Lankan airport runways

Recreating 'Flight of the Double Sunrise'

Round the World On Equator

Frequent flyer? Travel by air for vacations? Pilot, or wannabe?

Understand What is True Professionalism


Actual Airplane Maintenance Log Book Entries

You might be a freight dog if...









ALK-VA operated first commercial flights to Sri Lanka's newest airport HRI-Mattala International Airport [VCRI] on 12-12-2012 .

Custom VCRI scenery is available to download. 

A330 4R-ALA of Sri Lankan Virtual Airlines carried out first test landing and takeoff of from HIA on 07-12-12

Approaching HRI after leaving from BIA

Read the full report here





NOTAM: ALK-VA is in the process of updating all 14 Sri Lankan airports, runways and surroundings in FSX to photo real level using Jeppesen charts & Google maps. VCBI Colombo, VCCC Ratmalana and VCRI Mattala airports are already updated. ALK-VA active pilots can request these to enhance their flight simulation realism. All domestic Air Taxi flights to domestic airports require these new scenery files.


KOGGALA VC11 KG-395 D75 / R163 11-29
MINNERIYA (Hingurakgoda) VC12 MIN-290 D84.5 / R055 07-25
VAVUNIYA VC13 VNA-400 D102 / R025 04-22
SIGIRIYA VC15 - D69.5 / R051 04-22
BANDARANAYAIKE INTL. (Colombo) VCBI KAT-112.7 - 04-22
ANURADHAPURA AB VCCA ANU-415 D75.6 / R030 05-23
BATTICALOA AB VCCB BAT-320 D112 / R077 06-24
RATMALANA VCCC RM-350 D20.5 / R182 04-22
AMPARA (Galoya) VCCG - D105 / R088 07-25
JAFFNA AB (KKS) VCCJ KK-236 D158 / R008 05-23
KATUKURUNDA AB VCCN - D37 / R174 11-29
CHINA BAY AB (Trincomalee) VCCT CHB-500 D113 / R047 06-24
WIRAWILA AB VCCW - D98 / R128 06-24

*NOTAM: Hambantota Intl. airport (VCHI) renamed to Mattala Rajapaksa Intl. airport (VCRI) effective 07-03-2013. When using current Jeppesen & Navigraph data refer to VCHI, until next update.

Additionally all water landing sites are identified & designated for Air Taxi DHC-6 float equipped aircraft destinations. Refer Domestic Flight Schedules for full information.



Recreating ‘Flight of the Double Sunrise’


SriLankan VA is happy to announce the recreation of epic flight of World War II era, ‘The Secret Order of the Double  Sun Rise’ flight originally operated using PBY Catalina aircraft. 5650km nonstop, 29hr flight is from Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to Swan River near Perth, Australia.

ALK-VA pilots have completed route proving flights of modified Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft.

Read the full report of this flight here






To commemorate the launching of Sri Lankan Virtual Airlines on 11-11-2011, our A340 4R-ADA aircraft embarked on a journey around the world. It was not just an ordinary around the world flight. Route was specially planed in such a way to stay on the Equator as much as possible. Round the World On Equator - RWOE. Flight takes nearest possible route on equator, subject to availability of airports suitable for A340 operations. After 22 sectors, 23506nm and 54.06 flying hours aircraft completed the flight on 04-02-2012, the Independence Day of Sri Lanka with a flypast over celebration. You can follow this unique flight with Vataware Flight logs (Flight No. ALK343) and Picture Gallery below.

Any ALK-VA pilot can join the flight, or fly it independently when time permits. You can submit Flight Request and Flight Reports as Global Charter Flights.

Read the full report of this flight Here



Frequent flyer? Travel by air for vacations? Pilot, or wannabe?


* Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

* If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

* Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

* It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

* The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

* The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.

* When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

* A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

* Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

* You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

* The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.

* Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

* Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.

* Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

* There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

* You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

* Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.

* If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

* In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

* Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.

* It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

* Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.

* Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

* The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.




    Understand What is True Professionalism

    Being a pilot isn't all seat-of-the-pants flying and glory. It's self-discipline, practice, study, analysis and preparation. It's precision. If you can't keep the gauges where you want them when everything is free and easy, how can you keep them there when everything goes wrong?

    The work of a pilot could easily become more dangerous than that of a modern-day-test pilot.

    The pilots of the Aloha Airlines 737 that lost a 20' section of cabin roof on 28-Apr-88 undoubtedly did a fine job in putting that aeroplane down in one piece. Likewise, the crew of the Piedmont Airlines 737 that literally lost an engine during take-off made an outstanding contribution to asymmetric aviation.

    Then the case of the United 747 that lost a cargo door while climbing through 23000'. This 68 in. by 104 in. door tore out of the fuselage side as high as the upper row of windows, and the resulting decompression blew out nine passengers, eight seats and baggage from cargo hold. Debris badly damaged the #3 engine, which had to be shut down almost immediately. Remarkably, a suitcase was ejected with sufficient lateral velocity to reach #4 engine. This too was closed down, after the 2nd officer (surveying the damaged from the main cabin) reported flames coming from both jet pipe and inlet. The starboard slats and flaps were also damaged, and the asymmetric condition of the aircraft restricted flap-setting to 10 degrees. Landing heavy without thrust reversal, 6 tyres blew out and the brakes seized. Interestingly, emergency oxygen was not available, because of a fractured line in the cargo hold. All 10 exits and slides were used for the evacuation.

    Another difficult piloting task faced the crew of the United DC-10 that on 19-Jul-88 evidently suffered a failure in the fan section of its #2 CF6-6 engine. Parts from the disintegrating engine severed all 3 hydraulic systems, resulting in a total loss of fluid, although some slight elevator and aileron control was retained. The crew diverted, largely relying on thrust variation on the remaining 2 engines for pitch and yaw control. Unfortunately, lateral control was lost just before the touchdown, and the aircraft cart wheeled and fire balled. Nonetheless 174 out of 293 were saved.

    Need for airmanship of a high standard can arise in any category of aircraft. On 6-Aug-88, the president of Botswana was being flown in a BAe 125-800 from his capital to a heads-of-state meeting in capital of Angola, when aircraft was intercepted by an Angolan Mig-21 at 35000'. In a remarkable demonstration of the accuracy provided by IR homing, the first missile (an AA-2 or AA-8) blew the right engine off the aircraft, and the second hit it as it fell away. Those inside the 125 heard a loud bang, sensed an explosive decompression, and saw a shower of Garrett TFE731-5 fan blades passing ahead of the aircraft. Aside from the rear cabin being holed, the right wing and flaps were badly damaged and 2000 lb of fuel was lost from that wing. The aircraft control was regained at 28500' and landed at the nearest airfield. The presidential party continued to the capital in another aircraft. (What was said to the Mig-21 pilot has not been published.)

    Of course military pilots are less likely to announce their white-knuckle situations since they would consider such events as day to day thrills and excitement, than what normal pilot would regard as life-shortening experiences.



Sri Lanka, a taste of paradise




A PILOT MISTOOK Venus for an aircraft. Catching sight of the huge planet in his cockpit window, the Air Canada Flight 828 pilot took evasive action, diving 180 meters and sending passengers hurtling to the ceiling. Only after crew assured him that chances of actually hitting Venus were on the lowish side did he return the aircraft to its regular flight path.

Passengers, several of whom ended up in the overhead luggage bins, were stunned, literally. I learned this from a reader named Emmy, who found the tale in a recently published report from a Canadian transport safety organization. "How can you mistake a planet for a plane?" she asked.

Easy mistake to make, Emmy! They are both big things "up there". But to help Air Canada pilots, here are the three key differences between Venus and aircraft. Planes are 70-meter-long pointy objects. Venus is a big round thing 12,000 kilometers in diameter. Planes are planet Earth objects. Venus is 40 million kilometers away in space. Planes contain people. Venus is the home of one of the girls from the Sailor Moon anime series. That’s all you need to know. Hope that helps!






The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for! an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a spec and told we have always done it that way and wonder what horse's ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now the twist to the story...

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad (NO YOU CAN NEVER SEE IT AGAIN!), there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important.




Actual Airplane Maintenance Log Book Entries

"Squawks" are problem listings that pilots generally leave for maintenance crews to fix before the next flight. Here are some squawks submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews.


(P) = Problem

(S) = Solution

(P) Left inside main tire almost needs replacement (S) Almost replaced left inside main tire
(P) Test flight OK, except autoland very rough (S) Autoland not installed on this aircraft
(P) #2 Propeller seeping prop fluid (S) #2 Propeller seepage normal - #1, 3 & 4 propellers lack normal seepage
(P) Something loose in cockpit (S) Something tightened in cockpit
(P) Evidence of leak on right main landing gear (S) Evidence removed
(P) DME volume unbelievably loud (S) Volume set to more believable level
(P) Dead bugs on windshield (S) Live bugs on order
(P) Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent (S) Cannot reproduce problem on ground
(P) IFF inoperative (IFF-Identification Friend or Foe) (S) IFF always inoperative in OFF mode
(P) Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick (S) That's what they're there for
(P) Number three engine missing (S) Engine found on right wing after brief search
(P) Aircraft handles funny (S) Aircraft warned to straighten up, "fly right" and be serious
(P) Target Radar hums (S) Reprogrammed Target Radar with the lyrics





You might be a freight dog if...




Brakes - Off

Slippers - On

Feet - Up

Mixture - Richer the better

Port - Decanted

Fire - Burning merrily

Turkey - Stuffed & eaten

Harness - Loose as possible

Lights - On trees

Palm Pilot - Stowed

De-icing - On cake

Partner - Set to standby


Editor's Note: We welcome your feedback. For the benefit of other pilots please send your ideas, unusual flying experiences, advices, etc. We will publish them in Monara editions.






Pilot, Co-Pilot, Cabin Crew and Passengers....
All of them are entirely dependant upon the talents of an unobtrusive yet indispensable breed of men, without
whose expertise no passenger aircraft would ever take to the air. The Aircraft Engineer.

©alkva MMXI